(Note: These are the key books, not science or media news. The Top Ten Darwin and Design Science News Stories for 2009 are here, the Top Ten Darwin and Design Media News Stories for 2009 are here, and my comments on the latter are here. Also, to get the links, you must go here.)
My comments follow.
8. The Deniable Darwin & Other Essays by David Berlinski. It only takes one dose of Berlinski to get hooked. His wit, his way with words, his sharp mind, and the ease at which he is able to poke holes in the Darwinian worldview catch you off guard. Those who watched Expelled were treated to a taste of Berlinski as Ben Stein interviewed him in his flat in Paris. Now you can get a "seven course meal" of Berlinski with this new compilation of 32 of his best essays written over the past fifteen years.
The volume is named after his 1996 essay "The Deniable Darwin" that appeared in Commentary and launched Berlinski into the middle of the Darwin or Design debate, where he has happily remained ever since. What makes this volume so great is it includes not only Berlinski's essay but also reprints the dozens of letters received in protest and support from notable scientists and philosophers (Allen Orr, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Arthur Shapiro, Paul Gross, Tom Bethell, Michael Behe, Phillip Johnson, M.P. Shutzenberger, etc) along with a response to the letters by Berlinski. Berlinski's replies are witty and sharp.
For the first time, The Deniable Darwin collects all of these essays and exchanges into a single volume.
[From Denyse: Berlinski is another interesting example of a secularist or agnostic – or maybe just plain eclectic mathematician – who confronts the bankruptcy of Darwinism. His key contribution, in my view, is the word “deniable” in the title of the book. It had darn well better be okay to deny a bailout to Darwinism. ]
#9 pick is here.
Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.