David Berlinski was in top form on Fox News last night talking for an hour with Mark Levin about Darwinism as an “alchemical explanation for biology,” a “secular myth,” a thoroughly vacuous one, not a “scientific theory” but more like a “collection of anecdotes.”
The performance is outstanding. As both a colleague and a fan, I admit I’m biased. But I know he was outstanding because Professor Jerry Coyne throws a fit about it over at his blog Why Evolution Is True. Coyne proves you can be both catty and witless with remarks about David’s income, his book The Devil’s Delusion being #41 on Amazon (compared to Coyne’s Faith vs. Fact at #79,267), the cost of “croissants and fancy suits” in Paris, and more. Only scoring a major hit would produce a tirade like that.
Berlinski himself is brilliant, unpredictable (endorsing French socialized medicine), and all around a unique intellectual character. No doubt that’s what attracted Levin to him in the first place. Their subject is the “link between evolution, science and progressivism,” and I think it’s the first time I’ve heard a discussion of the second of law thermodynamics, applied to the course of civilization, on Fox News. Levin’s persona on TV is, interestingly, much more soft-spoken and thoughtful than on talk radio.
With the exception of Christopher Hitchens, a “very sophisticated guy,” David dismisses the New Atheists, the “whole crew of Jerry Coyne, Dawkins, Shallit, Harris,” as “windbags.” (This produces from Coyne the pathetic exclamation, “Well, so be it, but I maintain that I’ve expelled a lot less wind than Berlinski!”)You can watch below, and find a transcript here.