Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy New
$9.55
Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.99
  • Save: $7.44 (44%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Devil's Delusion: Ath... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

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

4.1 out of 5 stars 306 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$9.55
$9.01 $5.03

God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction by Dan Barker
"God" by Dan Barker
Explore one of the featured new releases by Dan Barker. Learn more | See related books
$9.55 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions
  • +
  • Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design
  • +
  • Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design
Total price: $33.05
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

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.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465019374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465019373
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I suppose most people like to at least appear to be open-minded, but sometimes I wonder how often (say) a conservative Republican sits down to read Noam Chomsky's political screeds, or a dedicated leftist sits down to enjoy Adam Smith. I picked up "The Devil's Delusion" in just that spirit, fully expecting to find a book which would argue against most of my own beliefs.

I wasn't really expecting something as brilliant, challenging, and engaging as this. If you think that the only people who don't believe in evolution are Fundamentalist knuckle-dragging Georgia swamp-dwellers, you're in for a big surprise. Berlinski himself is an agnostic of Jewish descent, an astonishingly erudite man and a brilliant thinker. He also writes frightfully well. And it is often hard to disagree with him. As he notes in the opening pages of this book --- concerning religion, God, and the rest: "I do not know whether any of this is true. I am certain that the scientific community does not know that it is false."

You might want to read those two sentences again, because they form the logical heart and soul of this book. Berlinski is not on a mission to preach religion; his task is to make plain just how little we actually know about the universe, and to try and re-awaken our sense of wonder. In this, he succeeds brilliantly.

The book cannot really be summarized in a brief review, but let me try to show you at least his thoughts about cosmology and the Big Bang.
Read more ›
38 Comments 222 of 244 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Any book by David Berlinski is bound to be fun. He is simply one of the most erudite writers in popular science and mathematics today. Those who particularly like seeing sacred cows treated with a hint of sarcasm and irreverance will enjoy his writing on almost any subject, but this book, attacking the "new atheism" as it does, is especially delightful if for no other reason than for how pompous writers like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchins are in their approach to this subject.

In brief, Berlinski's argument boils down to three main points: there is nothing in science proper that undermines religion (a point that used to be widely recognized and even extolled by writers like SJ Gould), most of the new atheists badly misunderstand even the most rudimentary arguments of theology and are not logically consistent, and finally that much of science has become rather dogmatic, like a new religion. I think Berlinski does an excellent job addressing all three of these points, the first of which should be more or less self evident. Claims, for example, that one "should" only believe in physical or visible evidence are not, in and of themselves, empirical claims. Indeed, I have friends who resolutely insist that materialism is "all there is" while remaining blissfully unaware of the fact that such a statement could not arise from strictly empirical observation.

Regarding the new atheist approach to Aquinas, Berlinski correctly notes that the critics of St. Thomas really do not understand his arguments. Take for example the famous cosmological argument of Thomas Aquinas. In its simplest form, this argument takes the form of a syllogism. Everything that begins to exist has a cause. The universe began at some point. Therefore the universe has a cause.
Read more ›
253 Comments 991 of 1,155 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This book is so well written that superlatives seem inadequate. Berlinski begins by stating that he is not religious and has no particular religious axe to grind. He is a mathematician and scientist. Yet he skewers science in general, and Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and Harris in particular with well-reasoned argument, simple yet cogent analysis, and more humor than I would have thought possible for this subject.

Berlinksi makes it clear that he in no way means to disparage or belittle Science. He is only trying to show how Science has been twisted by The Four Horsemen in an attempt to prove an anti-religious point of view, and how that twisting promises so much and delivers so little.

I have read Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris (I could not force myself through Dennett's doorstop of a book), and I thoroughly enjoyed each one as I read it. Yet, reading David Berlinski's book made me honestly question what I found so thought-provoking or convincing about any of them.

This book is well worth reading if for no other reason than raising some unexpectely challenging questions, and providing you with some innovative and fascinating insights into ideas you might not have considered. I really liked this book !!!
28 Comments 414 of 500 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the documentary movie Expelled by Ben Stein, one of those interviewed was David Berlinski, author of the book under review, for his assessment of evolution, intelligent design, and the dogmatic opposition to any criticism of Darwinism by the scientific establishment. As far as I know, this book is Berlinski's first book-length criticism of Darwinism and especially of what has come to be known as scientism (the atheistic religion that pretends that it is based on science). The interesting title of Berlinski's book comes from an amalgamation of Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion, McGrath's response The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine, and another book by Dawkins titled A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love. Berlinski describes himself as a "secular Jew," and says that his "religious education did not take. I can barely remember a word of Hebrew. I cannot pray." Although he does not, to my knowledge, say he is an agnostic, it seems that that must be what he is. He has a Ph.D. from Princeton University and has taught mathematics and philosophy at universities in the United States and in France. He has written math and science books such as A Tour of the Calculus, ...Read more ›
2 Comments 65 of 76 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions
This item: The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions
Price: $9.55
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: miracles on demand, michael behe, david berlinski, the devil's general