THE DEVIL’S DELUSION by DAVID BERLINSKI

4.2 of 5.0

 

 

The bottom line: Satan fibs and says, “There is no God.” The book exposes this lie for what it is and why the modern delusion (scientific atheism) is so unstable.

Don’t be put off-balance by the title of my review; this book does not use strictly “religious” or “Bible-based” arguments to poke holes in scientific atheism. Rather, it employs science, logic, philosophy and a healthy dose of common sense to poignantly illustrate that many of the scientific claims of atheism are quite unscientific. This, of course, comes from a man who is by no means anti-science. He just happens to believe that the great theories of science are not equipped to provide a reliable roadmap to navigate all of human experience.

In the end, what you walk away with after reading The Devil’s Delusion is a biting and sarcastic deflation of a puffed-up worldview less God.

The author of The Devil’s Delusion, David Berlinski, is an ivy-League educated Ph.D (Princeton, philosophy) and was also a postdoctoral fellow in mathematics and molecular biology at Columbia University. (He is also a self-described “secular Jew.”) Generally speaking, his book provides a strategic, point/counter-point/point style argument that questions the validity of scientific analysis when it extends itself beyond answering, “How?” He elucidates that science is silent about God (i.e., gravity and random mutations have no opinion on the matter), and in many cases when science does overreach, the results can be monstrous.

In each chapter Berlinksi exposes the scientific pretensions that support the atheistic worldview. He interacts with some big ideas (e.g. morality, cosmology, fine-tuning of the universe, and Darwinian macroevolution by natural selection) and a large chuck of his arguments are constructed in response to notable atheists (e.g. Weinberg, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens). Because of this approach, the author can spend a paragraph or two with one idea (e.g. those from Pinker) while spending entire chapters scrutinizing the works of others (e.g. Richard Dawkins).

The author has a very sharp writing style that makes this book very quick and enjoyable to read. He has the unique ability to say much by writing very little. His execution is swift and his frequent use of piercing quips and acerbity left a smile on my face after turning every page.

In the end, The Devil’s Delusion takes a rational approach to challenge the pretensions held by those who have unyielding faith in scientific atheism. This makes theistic thought not only defensible, but a logical alternative after a scrupulous analysis of the alternatives.

 

Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal

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