Book Review: The Devils Delusion

January 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Book and Movie Reviews

The Devils Delusion – Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions
Book Written by David Berlinski
Review by Donald James Parker
 
After reading Berlinski's book, only one word comes to mind – "WOW". Actually, now that my heartbeat has returned to normal, other phrases are flowing through my cerebral plumbing.  Superlative is one that strikes a chord. The thought that this might be the best book I have ever read is hard to dismiss.

I have heard David speak a few times, once in person when I bought my copy of this book. It is fun to listen to him, but even the best of us always leave something unsaid or phrase something a little more clumsily than we would like when we don't have the luxury of analyzing and perfecting our thoughts before committing them to our audience. With Berlinski's power through presenting a written word to refine the many threads that pulsate through his obviously hyperactive brain, he is able to produce a masterpiece of eloquence that parallels the universe itself, at the same time complex yet comprised of simplicity. His cheek has to be slightly raw from his tongue rubbing against it as he glibly and, with the precision of a laser beam, penetrates through the veneer of pseudo science and pseudo intellectualism with his hilarious observations. He is the epitome of a scholar, providing much of his own original material, but yet deftly weaving in quotations from preceding scholars to enhance his own verbal illustrations. This book is a jewel which I will read again – with highlighter this time – so I can capture the passages that make me jealous as a writer. I'll use this as a tutorial on how to get an argument across to a target audience. Berlinski could pedantically utilize his extensive vocabulary in a fashion that would force his readers to keep a Funk and Wagnall's nearby, but he normally uses simple words to break complex arguments into a verbal feast that a lesser man can digest with gusto. His analogies use mundane, down-to-earth scenarios and jargon to which common men can relate. His grasp on philosophical and logical discourse is only surpassed by his capacity to compose phrases which break down those ideas with a witty delivery that even Mark Twain would envy.  For example, this one almost had me rolling on the floor.

In reference to some  contrived computer programs written to demonstrate natural selection at work in the cyber world, Berlinski says, "What these computer experiments do reveal is a principal far more penetrating than any that Darwin ever offered:  There's a sucker born every minute."
 
What has amazed me since I entered the fray over Darwinian thought two years ago is the absolute lack of any respect from Darwin proponents for meaningful discourse or the people who are unconvinced by Sir Charles and his ambitious theory. Apparently being a doubter is of great honor if God is the target of the skepticism. However, if Darwinian gradualism through mutations is the target of questioning, being a skeptic places a person right between a skunk and a vulture on the social totem pole. The one star reviews on this book are absolutely ludicrous. There is no fairness involved. The agenda of eliminating God as opposed to seeking truth, which Berlinski outlines nicely in his book, is confirmed by the reviews of his detractors. They can't appreciate the genius of this writing because it rips holes in the foundation where they live. It culls their herd of sacred cows leaving a couple of swayback steers dreaming of days when they still bore their reproductive organs. It not only reveals their agenda, but exposes the dearth of common sense, logic, and true science behind it. Berlinski is truly a threat to the Darwinian empire. And the modus operandi of people who can't successfully dual against ideas is to assassinate the character or cast doubts upon the intellect or credentials of the speaker.
 
There are a lot of wonderful books out there concerning this ongoing controversy. If you are a veritable truth-seeker, you can't go wrong with choosing to dive into the depths of this marvelous work of creation (pun not intended). This book does not include a lot of scientific arguments against evolution. David resorts to tactics used by writers supporting Sir Charles. He makes statements like "there's not enough evidence". You can't judge the accuracy of that statement without more facts. You'll need to read other books to find out why he makes those claims. They are not scarce. His goal is not to shoot down evolution per se, but rather to jerk the carpet out from under those who would sound the atheistic trumpet in Zion based on alleged scientific proof. He succeeds very nicely.
 
About the reviewer: Donald James Parker is a novelist and computer programmer who resides in Madison, South Dakota.  Check out his website at www.donaldjamesparker.com?tcp.

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