New York City, USA
|Occupation||Academic philosopher (PhD in philosophy from Princeton University)|
David Berlinski (born 1942) is an American philosopher, educator, and author. Berlinski is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. A critic of the theory of evolution, Berlinski is theologically agnostic and refuses to theorize about the origins of life. He has written on philosophy, mathematics and a variety of fictional works. His daughter, Claire Berlinski, is a well known journalist.
Berlinski was born in the United States in 1942 to German-born Jewish refugees who had immigrated to New York City after escaping from France as the Vichy government was collaborating with the Germans. His father was Herman Berlinski, the noted American composer, organist, pianist, musicologist and choir conductor, and his mother was Sina Berlinski (née Goldfein), an American pianist, piano teacher and voice coach. Both were born and raised in Leipzig where they studied at the Conservatory, before fleeing to Paris where they were married and undertook further studies. German was David Berlinski's first spoken language. He received his PhD in philosophy from Princeton University.
Berlinski was a research assistant in molecular biology at Columbia University, and was a research fellow at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria and the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHES) in France. He has taught philosophy, mathematics, and English at Stanford University, Rutgers University, The City University of New York, the University of Washington, the University of Puget Sound, San Jose State University, the University of Santa Clara, the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and taught mathematics at the Université de Paris.[clarification needed] [better source needed] 
Mathematics and biology
Berlinski has written works on systems analysis, the history of differential topology, analytic philosophy, and the philosophy of mathematics. Berlinski has authored books for the general public on mathematics and the history of mathematics. These include A Tour of the Calculus (1995) on calculus, The Advent of the Algorithm (2000) on algorithms, Newton's Gift (2000) on Isaac Newton, and Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics (2005). Another book, The Secrets of the Vaulted Sky (2003), compares astrological and evolutionary[disputed ] accounts of human behavior. In Black Mischief (1988), Berlinski wrote "Our paper became a monograph. When we had completed the details, we rewrote everything so that no one could tell how we came upon our ideas or why. This is the standard in mathematics."
Berlinski's books have received mixed reviews; Newton's Gift and The Advent of the Algorithm were criticized by MathSciNet for containing historical and mathematical inaccuracies while the Mathematical Association of America review of A Tour of the Calculus by Fernando Q. Gouvêa recommended that professors have students read the book to appreciate the overarching historical and philosophical picture of calculus.
Berlinski, along with fellow Discovery Institute associates Michael Behe and William A. Dembski, tutored Ann Coulter on science and evolution for her book Godless: The Church of Liberalism (2006).
Berlinski was a longtime friend of the late Marcel-Paul Schützenberger (1920–1996), with whom he collaborated on an unfinished and unpublished mathematically based manuscript that he described as being "devoted to the Darwinian theory of evolution." Berlinski dedicated The Advent of the Algorithm to Schützenberger.
He is the author of several detective novels starring private investigator Aaron Asherfeld: A Clean Sweep (1993), Less Than Meets the Eye (1994) and The Body Shop (1996), and a number of shorter works of fiction and non-fiction.
A denier of evolution, Berlinski is a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, a Seattle-based think tank that is a hub of the intelligent design movement. Berlinski shares the movement's disbelief in the evidence for evolution, but does not openly avow intelligent design and describes his relationship with the idea as: "warm but distant. It's the same attitude that I display in public toward my ex-wives." Berlinski is a scathing critic of evolution, yet, "Unlike his colleagues at the Discovery Institute,...[he] refuses to theorize about the origin of life."
Berlinski appeared in the 2008 film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, in which he told interviewer Ben Stein that "Darwinism is not a sufficient condition for a phenomenon like Nazism but I think it's certainly a necessary one." He also says:
It'd be nice to see the scientific establishment lose some of its prestige and power...Above all, it'd be nice to have a real spirit of self-criticism penetrating the sciences.
In his 1996 article, The Deniable Darwin, published in Commentary, Berlinski says he is skeptical of evolution for a number of reasons, including the appearance "at once" of an astonishing number of novel biological structures in the Cambrian explosion, the lack of major transitional fossils transitional sequences, the lack of recent significant evolution in sharks, the evolution of the eye, and (in his view) the failure of evolutionary biology to explain a range of phenomena ranging from the sexual cannibalism of redback spiders to why women are not born with a tail. The article was described by historian of science Ronald L. Numbers as "a version of ID theory", and was ridiculed by philosopher Daniel Dennett as "another hilarious demonstration that you can publish bullshit at will—just so long as you say what an editorial board wants to hear in a style it favors." Richard Dawkins said similarly: "David Berlinski's article reminds me of the tactics employed by a certain creationist with whom I once shared a platform in Oxford. The great evolutionist John Maynard Smith was also on the bill, and he spoke after this creationist. Maynard Smith was, of course, easily able to destroy the creationist's case, and in his good-natured way he soon had the audience roaring with appreciative laughter at its expense. The creationist had his own peculiar way of dealing with this. He sprang to his feet, palms facing the audience in a gesture eloquent of magnanimous reproof. "No, no!" he cried reproachfully, "Don't laugh. Let Maynard Smith have his say. It's only fair!" This desperate pretense that the audience was laughing at Maynard Smith, when in fact it was laughing with Maynard Smith at the creationist himself, reminds me of Mr. Berlinski... As for the identity of the creationist who tried to pull this little stunt on Maynard Smith, it was none other than David Berlinski. The audience, by the way, saw through his tactic instantly and treated it with hoots of derision."
Berlinski replied to Dawkins: "RICHARD DAWKINS has succumbed to the endearing weakness of revising the history of an unpleasant encounter in one's own favor. I have done as much myself. But a public charge calls for a public response. In 1992, Mr. Dawkins, John Maynard Smith, and I did share a podium at Oxford University. His hands trembling with indignation, Mr. Dawkins proposed to attack organized religion; I proposed to attack Richard Dawkins; and John Maynard Smith, seeing that it was required, proposed to defend Mr. Dawkins from my attack. The intellectual drubbing that Mr. Dawkins imagines I received, I recall in distinctly different terms. But why argue over the past? I have a videotape of our encounter, which I would be happy to make publicly available. If he wishes to debate again, Mr. Dawkins need only set the time and the place."
He also stated: "DANIEL C. DENNETT is under the curious impression that the best rejoinder to criticism is a robust display of personal vulgarity. Nothing in his letter merits a response.
Still, one general point deserves attention. Both Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins have fashioned their reputations as defenders of a Darwinian orthodoxy. Their letters convey the impression of men who expect never to encounter criticism and are unprepared to deal with it. This strikes me as a deeply unhealthy state of affairs. Ordinary men and women are suspicious of Darwin's theory; Dennett and Dawkins hardly go far here in persuading them that their intellectual anxieties are in any way misplaced."
Berlinski is a secular Jew and agnostic. Berlinski's views towards criticism of religious belief can be found in his book The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions (2008). In summary, he asserts that some skeptical arguments against religious belief based on scientific evidence misrepresent what the science is actually saying, that an objective morality requires a religious foundation, that mathematical theories attempting to bring together quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity amount to pseudoscience because of their lack of empirical verifiability, and he expresses doubt towards the Darwinian variation of evolutionary theory.
Mark Perakh, a critic of the intelligent design movement, contended that Berlinski's writings are not scientific, but popular, and that Berlinski "has no known record of his own contribution to the development of mathematics or of any other science." Berlinski himself prefers to be known as a writer rather than as a mathematician.
- Non-fiction books
- Berlinksi, David (1968). The Well-tempered Wittgenstein (Thesis (PhD)). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University. OCLC 54749918.
- —— (1976). On Systems Analysis: An Essay Concerning the Limitations of Some Mathematical Methods in the Social, Political, and Biological Sciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-02120-X. LCCN 76013444. OCLC 2213153.
- —— (1976). Philosophy: The Cutting Edge. Port Washington, NY: Alfred Publishing Co. ISBN 0-882-84029-0. LCCN 76007548. OCLC 2089782.
- —— (1978). "Adverse Notes on Systems Theory". In Klir, George J. Applied General Systems Research: Recent Developments and Trends. NATO Conference Series 5. New York: Plenum Press. pp. 949–960. doi:10.1007/978-1-4757-0555-3_72. ISBN 0-306-32845-3. LCCN 77026044. OCLC 470761024. Retrieved 2014-01-17. "Proceedings of the NATO international conference held in Binghamton, New York, August 15–19, 1977, sponsored by the NATO Special Program Panel on Systems Science."
- —— (1986). Black Mischief: The Mechanics of Modern Science (1st ed.). New York: William Morrow and Company. ISBN 0-688-04404-2. LCCN 85021820. OCLC 12721232.
- —— (1986). "The Language of Life". In Casti, John L.; Karlqvist, Anders. Complexity, Language, and Life: Mathematical Approaches. Biomathematics 16. Berlin; New York: Springer-Verlag. pp. 231–267. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-70953-1_9. ISBN 978-3-642-70955-5. ISSN 0067-8821. LCCN 85030324. OCLC 13010820.
- ——, ed. (1989). A Guide to the Compositions of Herman Berlinski. New York: Herman Berlinski Collection (Jewish Theological Seminary of America). OCLC 417235152. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (1990). The Rise of Differential Topology. Boston, MA: Birkhäuser. ISBN 3-764-33073-2. OCLC 123046016.
- —— (1995). A Tour of the Calculus (1st ed.). New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-42645-0. LCCN 95004042. OCLC 31970193.
- —— (1997). "Prague Interlude". In O'Reilly, Sean; O'Reilly, James; O'Reilly, Tim. Travelers' Tales: The Road Within: True Stories of Transformation (1st ed.). San Francisco, CA: Travelers' Tales, Inc. ISBN 1-8852-11-19-8. OCLC 38049772.
- —— (1998). "Gödel's Question". In Dembski, William A. Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design. Foreword by Henry F. Schaefer, III. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0-8308-1515-5. LCCN 98020999. OCLC 38959771.
- —— (1999). "Joseph Maier: A Personal Reminiscence". In Marcus, Judith T. Surviving the Twentieth Century: Social Philosophy from the Frankfurt School to the Columbia Faculty Seminars. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. ISBN 1-56000-352-9. LCCN 99016173. OCLC 41445653.
- —— (2000). The Advent of the Algorithm: The Idea that Rules the World. New York: Harcourt. ISBN 0-15-100338-6. LCCN 98043755. OCLC 40459999.
- —— (2000). Newton's Gift: How Sir Isaac Newton Unlocked the System of the World. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-684-84392-7. LCCN 00034724. OCLC 44046921.
- —— (2003). "The Mathematics of Matter and the Mathematics of Mind". In Maler, Oded; Pnueli, Amir. "Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control: 6th International Workshop, HSCC 2003, Prague, Czech Republic, April 2003: Proceedings". Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2623. Berlin; New York: Springer-Verlag. p. 1. ISBN 3-540-0-0913-2. LCCN 2003045461. OCLC 51855533.
- —— (2003). The Secrets of the Vaulted Sky: Astrology and the Art of Prediction (1st U.S. ed.). Orlando, FL: Harcourt. ISBN 0-15-100527-3. LCCN 2003009789. OCLC 52214462.
- —— (2005). Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics. Modern Library Chronicles (1st ed.). New York: Modern Library. ISBN 0-679-64234-X. LCCN 2005041519. OCLC 57573840.
- —— (2006). "Two Fables by Jorge Luis Borges". In Dembski, William A. Darwin's Nemesis: Phillip Johnson and the Intelligent Design Movement. Foreword by Rick Santorum. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. ISBN 978-0-8308-2836-4. LCCN 2005033144. OCLC 62330745.
- —— (2008). The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions (1st ed.). New York: Crown Forum. ISBN 978-0-307-39626-6. LCCN 2007048071. OCLC 183162134.
- —— (2009). Klinghoffer, David, ed. The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-979-01412-3. LCCN 2009935347. OCLC 624322270.
- —— (2011). One, Two, Three: Absolutely Elementary Mathematics (1st ed.). New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 978-0-375-42333-8. LCCN 2010038555. OCLC 657595353.
- —— (2013). The King of Infinite Space: Euclid and His Elements. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-01481-1. LCCN 2012042492. OCLC 828850721.
- Fiction books
- Berlinski, David (1993). A Clean Sweep (1st ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-08744-6. LCCN 92036534. OCLC 26764139.
- —— (1994). Less Than Meets the Eye: An Aaron Asherfeld Mystery (1st ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-11298-X. LCCN 93045281. OCLC 29470294.
- —— (1996). The Body Shop: An Aaron Asherfeld Mystery (1st ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-13935-7. LCCN 95046783. OCLC 33439024.
- Articles in peer-reviewed journals
- Berlinski, David; Gallin, Daniel (May 1969). "Quine's Definition of Logical Truth". Noûs (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell) 3 (2): 111–128. JSTOR 2216260. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (September 1970). "Systems Analysis". Urban Affairs Review (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications) 6 (1): 104–126. doi:10.1177/107808747000600111. ISSN 1078-0874.
- —— (June 15, 1972). "Philosophical Aspects of Molecular Biology". The Journal of Philosophy (New York: The Journal of Philosophy, Inc.) 69 (12): 319–335. ISSN 0022-362X. JSTOR 2024776. OCLC 244821401. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (December 1974). "The Philosophy of Biology by Michael Ruse". Philosophy of Science (Book review) (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press) 41 (4): 418–422. doi:10.1086/288605. ISSN 0031-8248. JSTOR 187011. OCLC 716512499. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (December 1976). "Russell and Moore: The Analytical Heritage by A. J. Ayer". American Political Science Review (Book review) (Washington, D.C.: Cambridge University Press; American Political Science Association) 70 (4): 1257. doi:10.2307/1959389. ISSN 1537-5943. JSTOR 1959389. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (March 1977). "The Cybernetic Theory of Decision by John D. Steinbruner; The Sciences of the Artificial by H. A. Simon". American Political Science Review (Book review) (Washington, D.C.: Cambridge University Press; American Political Science Association) 71 (1): 424–428. ISSN 1537-5943. JSTOR 1957077. OCLC 805068983. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (1990). "Knowing, Knowledge, Known". Logique et Analyse (Brussels: Nationaal Centrum voor Navorsingen in de Logica) 33 (129-130): 3–20. ISSN 0024-5836. OCLC 1756092.
- Articles in journals and newspapers
- Berlinski, David (August 1975). "Mathematical models of the world". Synthese. Part 1 (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers) 31 (2): 211–227. doi:10.1007/BF00485978. ISSN 0039-7857. OCLC 4895060169. Retrieved 2014-01-17. Part 2 and part 3 published in Synthese, 36 (3) (November 1977), and 37 (2) (February 1978), respectively (OCLC 226993726).
- —— (1978). "Catastrophe theory and its applications: A critical review". Systems Research and Behavioral Science (Book review) (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons) 23 (4): 402–416. doi:10.1002/bs.3830230411. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (October–December 1980). "Kurt Gödel (1906-1978)". Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale (Paris: Société française de philosophie) 85 (4): 509–518. ISSN 0035-1571. JSTOR 40902196. OCLC 763653542. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (Winter 1989). "Vienna". New England Review & Bread Loaf Quarterly (Middlebury, VT: Middlebury College Publications) 12 (2): 157–168. ISSN 1053-1297. JSTOR 40237243. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (January 1996). "The Soul of Man Under Physics" (PDF). Commentary (New York: American Jewish Committee). ISSN 0010-2601. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (June 1996). "The Deniable Darwin". Commentary (New York: American Jewish Committee). ISSN 0010-2601. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (November 2, 1996). "Keeping an Eye on Evolution: Richard Dawkins, a relentless Darwinian spear carrier, trips over Mount Improbable". The Globe and Mail (Book review) (Toronto, Ontario: The Globe and Mail Inc.). Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (December 2, 1996). "The End of Materialistic Science". Forbes ASAP (New York: Forbes): 146–160. ISSN 1078-9901. LCCN 94648579. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (July–August 1997). "Ground Zero: A Review of The Pleasures of Counting, by TW Koerner". The Sciences (Book review) (New York: New York Academy of Sciences) 37 (4): 37–41. ISSN 0036-861X.
- —— (February 1998). "Was There a Big Bang?" (PDF). Commentary (New York: American Jewish Committee). ISSN 0010-2601. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (April 2001). "What Brings a World into Being?". Commentary (New York: American Jewish Committee). ISSN 0010-2601. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (November 26, 2001). "Where Physics and Politics Meet". The Weekly Standard (Book review) (New York: News Corporation) 7 (11). ISSN 1083-3013. OCLC 32775365. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (February 18, 2002). "God, Man, and Physics". The Weekly Standard (Book review) (New York: News Corporation) 7 (22). ISSN 1083-3013. OCLC 32775365. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (March 2002). "Einstein and Gödel". Discover (Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Publishing) 23 (3): 38. ISSN 0274-7529.
- —— (March 18, 2002). "Lucky Jim". The Weekly Standard (Book review) (New York: News Corporation) 7 (26). ISSN 1083-3013. OCLC 32775365. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (Fall 2002). "Inventing Numbers: How Mathematicians Filled the Inky Void" (PDF). American Educator (Washington, D.C.: American Federation of Teachers) 26 (3): 36–41. ISSN 0148-432X. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (December 2002). "Has Darwin Met His Match?". Commentary (New York: American Jewish Committee). ISSN 0010-2601. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (April 2003). "A Scientific Scandal". Commentary (New York: American Jewish Committee). ISSN 0010-2601. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (November 2004). "On the Origins of the Mind" (PDF). Commentary (New York: American Jewish Committee). ISSN 0010-2601. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (March 9, 2005). "There are valid criticisms of evolution". The Wichita Eagle (Knight Ridder). Archived from the original on 2005-03-21. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (April 1, 2005). "Academic Extinction". The Daily Californian (Berkeley, CA: Independent Berkeley Students Publishing Company, Inc.). OCLC 60637422. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (February 2006). "On the Origins of Life". Commentary (New York: American Jewish Committee). ISSN 0010-2601. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (August 29, 2007). "Inside the Mathematical Mind". The New York Sun (Book review) (TWO SL LLC). Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (May 5, 2008). "The Dang Thing". National Review Online (New York: National Review, Inc.). OCLC 45278115. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (April 18, 2008). "Connecting Hitler and Darwin". Human Events (Washington, D.C.: Eagle Publishing, Inc.). Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (April 28, 2008). "The Scientific Embrace of Atheism". PJ Media (Blog) (Los Angeles, CA: PJ Media). Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- —— (April 2008) [Published 2008 in chapter 8 of The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions as "Our Inner Ape, a Darling, and the Human Mind"]. "The God of the Gaps". Commentary (New York: Commentary Inc.). ISSN 0010-2601. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- Engber, Daniel (April 15, 2008). "A Crank's Progress". Slate. The Paranoid Style in American Science (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post Company). Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2014-01-10.
- Berlinski 1968
- Berlinski 1972
- "David Berlinski, Senior Fellow - CSC". Discovery Institute. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- Phy-Olsen 2010, p. 73
- Berlinski 1988, p. 167
- "MR: Search Publications database". MathSciNet. Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society. Database search for MR1815707: Newton's Gift by Berlinski. Subscription required.
- "MR: Search Publications database". MathSciNet. Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society. Database search for MR1766416: The Advent of the Algorithm by Berlinski. Subscription required.
- Gouvêa, Fernando Q. (January 1, 1996). "A Tour of the Calculus". Mathematical Association of America (Book review). Washington, D.C.: Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- Coulter 2007, p. 319: "I couldn't have written about evolution without the generous tutoring of Michael Behe, David Berlinski, and William Dembski, all of whom are fabulous at translating complex ideas, unlike liberal arts types, who constantly force me to the dictionary to relearn the meaning of quotidian."
- Wilf, Herbert S. (1996). "Marcel-Paul Schützenberger (1920-1996)". Electronic Journal of Combinatorics (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania) 3 (1). ISSN 1077-8926. Retrieved 2014-01-17. Synopsis: "A memorial page for Marcel-Paul Schützenberger, with contributions from Herbert Wilf, Dominique Foata, David Berlinski, Dominique Perrin, Richard Askey and Moshé Flato."
- Frankowski, Nathan (Director) (April 18, 2008). Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (Motion picture). Premise Media Corporation.
- Berlinski 1996b
- Numbers 1998, p. 20
- David Berlinski and Critics (September 1996). "Denying Darwin". Commentary (Letters to the editor) (New York: American Jewish Committee). ISSN 0010-2601. Archived from the original on 2014-11-10.
- Berlinski 2009a, p. xiii
- Perakh, Mark (December 4, 2003). "The assault of ID advocates on Professor Gross's essay is poorly substantiated". Talk Reason. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- "David Berlinski—Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions" on YouTube
- Coulter, Ann H. (2007) [Originally published 2006; New York: Crown Forum]. Godless: The Church of Liberalism (1st pbk. ed.). New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-1-4000-5421-3. LCCN 2007280683. OCLC 148652646.
- Numbers, Ronald L. (1998). Darwinism Comes to America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-19312-1. LCCN 98016212. OCLC 38747194.
- Phy-Olsen, Allene (2010). Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design. Historical Guides to Controversial Issues in America. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood. ISBN 978-0-313-37841-6. LCCN 2010009743. OCLC 656503130.
- Official website
- David Berlinski, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture
- Berlinski's articles listed at Discovery Institute
- "Dr. David Berlinski: Introduction (Part 1)" on YouTube – Part 1 of 22 parts of Icons of Evolution (2002), produced by ColdWater Media
- "A Tale of Two Citations" by James Downard at Talk Reason