On this ID the Future, Human Nature author and polymath David Berlinski and radio host Michael Medved discuss everything from human depravity, the burning of Notre Dame, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the Big Bang and a quixotic century-old pact to ban war. Berlinski argues that the case for the death of God and the case for the impending demise of human depravity have been greatly exaggerated. Contra Steven Pinker, Berlinski insists that there is little if any evidence that human evil is being steadily rolled back by the spread of secular values. Further, the idea that science has disproven God flies in the face of trends running in the opposite direction, perhaps most dramatically in the triumph of the Big Bang theory over an eternal universe model. Berlinski, who himself is not religious, insists that Whig history is bankrupt and that anyone imagining that human depravity and the God hypothesis are things of the past are themselves living in the past. Today’s recording is reproduced here by permission of Michael Medved and The Michael Medved Show.
On this ID the Future, host Wesley J. Smith talks with polymath and Human Nature author David Berlinski about the philosophy of mathematics, the corruption of science, the burning of Notre Dame, modern Europe’s curious incapacity to build graceful, beautiful structures, and what’s driving the devolution of Western society. But before any of that, Berlinski relates the dramatic story of how his parents, European Jews, escaped the Nazis only by the skin of their teeth. This is Part 1 of a two-part conversation borrowed with permission from Wesley J. Smith’s Humanize podcast.
This episode of ID the Future features the second part of a conversation between Uncommon Knowledge host Peter Robinson and polymath David Berlinski, author of the newly released book Human Nature. In this segment of the interview, Robinson asks Berlinski about a book by Nicholas Christakis, Blueprint, which argues that evolution has endowed us with a genetic makeup that drives human culture toward virtue and progress. Berlinski demurs, pointing to the horrors of the twentieth century and by noting that the virtues Christakis underscores, such as cooperativeness, can also be put to nefarious purposes. The Nazi Party, for instance, “was a marvelous engine of cooperation. All those Nazis cooperated with one another running death camps.” Robinson also asks Berlinski about Pope Benedict XVI’s 2006 Regensburg address and the West’s relegating religious thinking, in Peter Robinson’s words, “to the children’s table.” Berlinski says he would frame the situation a little differently: we are today less able to entertain a whole category of arguments we used to be able to entertain — theological arguments. As a habit of thought, theology has receded, but Berlinski says he sees this as temporary. “Theological arguments are not going to disappear, and the fundamental questions they address are not going to disappear either.”
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid reads from David Berlinski’s new book Human Nature. The excerpt is a tribute to Phillip Johnson and his 1991 book Darwin on Trial. Berlinski calls the work a “Majestic Ascent.” Johnson, he writes, not only brought evolution into question logically and scientifically; he brought the case where it belongs, before “the considered reflection of the human race.” Berlinski himself reflects on various empty attempts to build a scientific theory on prior commitments to materialism. “Darwin’s theories,” he says, “are correspondingly less important for what they explain, which is very little, and more important for what they deny, which is roughly the plain evidence of our senses.”