David Berlinski

David Berlinski bigraphy, stories - American educator and author

David Berlinski : biography

1942 –

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, the hub of the intelligent design movement. A critic of the theory of evolution, Berlinski is theologically agnostic and refuses to theorize about the origins of life.http://www.slate.com/id/2189178/entry/2189179/ He has written on philosophy, mathematics and a variety of fictional works. His daughter, Claire Berlinski, is a well known journalist.

Early life

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 Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University.Berlinksi, David, The Well-tempered Wittgenstein, Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1968,

Academic career

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, Rutgers, 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.


A critic of evolution, Berlinski is a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, a Seattle-based think-tank that is 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.", Daniel Engber, Slate magazine, April 15, 2008 Berlinski is a scathing critic of Darwinism, 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."Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008 film). Rocky Mountain Pictures. Directed by Nathan Frankowski. 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 magazine, 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.David Berlinski, "", Commentary, Vol. 101, June 1996 No. 6 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."