Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Book Review, Deniable Darwin

Book Review, The Deniable Darwin. David Berlinski

The Deniable Darwin & Other Essays by David Berlinski (Discovery Institute Press, 2009) is a fascinating collection of essays and papers by Berlinski mostly published in Commentary but also in other writings. Berlinski by this point is one of the world's best known agnostics (made infamous in his appearance in Ben Stein's Expelled documentary).

What we get in these collections is what one expects from Berlinski, namely sharp and clear reasoning (often overly loquacious) albeit to frustratingly opaque conclusions. The following statement sums up rather well Berlinski's epistemological method, "The plain truth - no trivial thing - of course - is that no one knows" (p. 546). Intelligent Design while possible is far from being proven. Darwinian Evolution is even farther away from being proven. Do we get alternative solutions perhaps? No, none is forthcoming.

The best part of this book (and much to Berlinski's credit) were the various responses from professional critics concerning some of his papers which cast doubt on Darwinian Evolution (and in turn his response to the criticisms). Highlight's for this reader were the fascinating account and interaction between Einstein and Godel (Einstein And Godel. Friendship Between Equals), a summary of the question of irreducible complexity and Darwinian Evolution (Has Darwin Met His Match?), on the problem of human intelligence in light of evolution (On the Origins Of The Mind), human language and evolution (Our Silent Partners), and most impressive of all was the unlikelihood of chance as being the principle starter for life (On The Origins of Life).

All in all a great read and highly recommended for the Christian and non-Christian alike.

No comments: