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The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions Paperback – Sep 22 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (Sept. 22 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465019374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465019373
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #75,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"Berlinski knows his science and wields his rapier deftly. He makes great sport with his opponents, and his readers will surely enjoy it."--Tom Bethell, bestselling author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science""A powerful riposte to atheist mockery and cocksure science, and to the sort of philosophy that surrenders to them. David Berlinski proceeds reasonably and calmly to challenge recent scientific theorizing and to expose the unreason from which it presumes to criticize religion."--Harvey Mansfield, Professor of Government, Harvard University "Berlinski's book is everything desirable: it is idiomatic, profound, brilliantly polemical, amusing, and of course vastly learned. I congratulate him." --William F. Buckley Jr. "With high style and light-hearted disdain, David Berlinski deflates the intellectual pretensions of the scientific atheist crowd. Maybe they can recite the Periodic Table by heart, but the secular Berlinski shows that this doesn't get them very far in reasoning about much weightier matters."--Michael J. Behe, Professor of Biological Sciences, Lehigh University, bestselling author of "Darwin's Black Box "and "The Edge of Evolution" "David Berlinski plus any topic equals an extraordinary book." --Chicago Tribune "From the Hardcover edition."

About the Author

David Berlinski holds a PhD from Princeton University and has taught mathematics and philosophy at universities in the United States and in France. He is the best-selling author of such books as A Tour of the Calculus, The Advent of the Algorithm, and Newton’s Gift. Berlinski writes frequently for Commentary, among other journals. He lives in Paris, France.


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Format: Hardcover
I first read about David Berlinski's The Devil's Delusion in the May 5/08 edition of National Review. Just before his recent death, William F. Buckley found the book to be "everything desirable; it is idiomatic, profound, brilliantly polemical, amusing, and of course vastly learned"; and when George Gilder, co-founder of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, declared it "the definitive book of the millennium," I was hooked in to read it.
And oh my, what an incendiary and provocative landmark it turns out to be.
With Baconian pithiness and singular authority, Berlinski--a Princeton Ph.D who has taught mathematics and philosophy at universities in the U.S. and France--pillories the intelligentsia's new-found faith in atheistic scientism as shallow and exclusionary. "Like any militant church," he says, "this one places a familiar demand before all others: Thou shall not have any other gods before me."
Writing as a highly respected member of the scientific élite, Berlinski nevertheless sets out to puncture the conceit that science, as the single belief system that rational humans can place their faith in, is a "narrow and oppressive orthodoxy" that regards religious belief with "frivolous contempt."
To interdict an I-know-where-this-is-coming-from reaction, BerlinskI sets down, on his first page, the "inconvenient fact" that he is "a secular Jew [whose] religious education did not take"--adding, however, that his book is a defence of religious thought and sentiment "because none has been forthcoming." Here, obviously, is a man given to a sense of fair play.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a world that is increasingly secular we hear daily, the appeal to science as the sole voice of authority as to the explanation of our existence. The one who believes in a personal creator is mocked under the false assumption that science has either disproven the possibility of an intentionally created world, or that it has proven the other view. Berlinski exposes this falseness.
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 31 2008
Format: Hardcover
In this entertaining & thought-provoking work, Berlinski exposes the limitations of science and the pretensions of those who insist that it must be the ultimate basis for understanding the universe. As a secular scientist, he argues from a scientific perspective. Being intellectually honest, he admits ignorance as to the big questions but he does reach conclusions from the available information. With acuity and acerbic wit, he reveals flaws in the scientific theories from the scientific point of view.

The author considers the onslaught on religious belief as an attempt to establish science as the single secular religion in which rational people ought to place their faith. Science has made the world more mysterious than ever before, argues Berlinski, since we now know more about what we do not know & have never understood. As science progressed, so did the mysteries that it cannot explain. To mention a few, the following questions have no naturalistic answers: (a) Where existence came from; (b) The origin of life, consciousness & morality; (c) The fine-tuning of the universe that makes human life possible. No convincing answers exist among the plethora of speculation.

Berlinski values the great physical theories as treasures of knowledge while emphasizing that they cannot answer the questions raised by theology and do not offer a coherent view of the universe. By raising apposite issues, he turns the scientific community's skepticism on itself. Does a rigid and oppressive orthodoxy of thought dominate the sciences? Are scientists prepared to believe in anything as long as religious thought is avoided? Did the secular ideologies of the terrible 20th century have an overall beneficial or evil effect?
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Format: Paperback
Thomas Aquinas has prayed to God " to pour forth upon the shadows of our intellects, a ray of the brightness removing from us the double darkness of sin and ignorance in which we may be". Berlinski's book is a small part of this ray. Using principles of scientific investigations and solid, logical philosophical inquiry he skillfully presents a difference between a scientific fact and ideological opinion about this fact promoted by the atheist establishment. Discussion is precise, clear and to the point. It ranges from the subject matter of mathematics, physics, biology to philosophy. I would recommend this book to anyone , who is either interested in the subject of science and religion or is struggling addressing objections ,raised by individuals such as Dawkins, against the existence of God.The objectiveness of the scientific inquiry has been hijacked by the atheist camp and after reading this book the reader will know why.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love it when incredibly smart people write with humility. Fantastic read and some great pro-theism arguments
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Format: Hardcover
The people who attack this book haven't read it. At least not beyond the chapter headings. This sort of angry nonsense is common among religious zealots, be they atheist or otherwise. If your not anti-religion, then you'll like it. If you are then their is nothing anyone can say that will make you like anything anyone says about the people you disagree with.

It's funny how what we call militant atheism is actually a guise for the more common complaint about the sloppy thinking of this group. Their bigots, and they don't like this book because it exposes that.
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