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Berlinski and Metaxas Take Manhattan

Berlinski Metaxas.jpg

David Berlinski and Eric Metaxas shared the stage last night at the University Club in Manhattan. The occasion was a "Socrates in the City" event with Berlinski speaking on "The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions." David was outstanding and thoroughly delighted the crowd of 300-plus.

Discovery Institute's photographer on the scene, who promised us a nice candid backstage photo of Eric and David together, now cites a technical glitch -- sorry, no picture. (Thanks for nothing. You're fired.) Instead we went with this press-pool photo. Facing the camera, that's Metaxas on the right, Berlinski on the left.

So here's what happened. After a characteristically hilarious introduction by Metaxas, Berlinski stepped to the podium and delivered a sustained and scathing critique of the attitude of condescension that accompanies scientific pronouncements that God is dead. Starting with Copernicus, Berlinski described the roots of modern science as flowing from the idea of two books -- the book of God's words and the book of God's works.

Scientists, of course, devoted themselves to studying the latter of the two, and this inevitably kicked off a struggle for power between two priesthoods, each drawing authority from their respective book.

Without for a moment denying the great achievements of physics and astronomy, Berlinski eloquently made the simple point that these accomplishments do not speak in any direct way to the existence of God. He therefore derided attempts to explain God away -- by, for example, conjuring up a physical explanation for the Big Bang -- as obvious overreaching.

Berlinski drew his conclusion from the book of Daniel, where the message written on the wall by the disembodied hand was, "You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting." The priesthood of scientific atheists has, in effect, sent this message to masses. Berlinski thinks it's time for the masses to send it back to them.