David Berlinski Quotes

Enjoy the top 48 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by David Berlinski.

David Berlinski Quotes

More than sixty years ago, mathematical logicians, by defining precisely the concept of an algorithm, gave content to the ancient human idea of an effective calculation. Their definitions led to the creation of the digital computer, an interesting example of thought bending matter to its ends.
— David Berlinski —

Before you can ask 'Is Darwinian theory correct or not?', You have to ask the preliminary question 'Is it clear enough so that it could be correct?'. That's a very different question. One of my prevailing doctrines about Darwinian theory is 'Man, that thing is just a mess. It's like looking into a room full of smoke.' Nothing in the theory is precisely, clearly, carefully defined or delineated. It lacks all of the rigor one expects from mathematical physics, and mathematical physics lacks all the rigor one expects from mathematics. So we're talking about a gradual descent down the level of intelligibility until we reach evolutionary biology.

— David Berlinski

If moral statements are about something, then the universe is not quite as science suggests it is, since physical theories, having said nothing about God, say nothing about right or wrong, good or bad. To admit this would force philosophers to confront the possibility that the physical sciences offer a grossly inadequate view of reality. And since philosophers very much wish to think of themselves as scientists, this would offer them an unattractive choice between changing their allegiances or accepting their irrelevance.

— David Berlinski

Commentators who today talk of 'The Dark Ages' when faith instead of reason was said to ruthlessly rule, have for their animadversions only the excuse of perfect ignorance. Both Aquinas' intellectual gifts and his religious nature were of a kind that is no longer commonly seen in the Western world.

— David Berlinski

A defense [of religion] is needed because none has been forthcoming. The discussion has been ceded to men who regard religious belief with frivolous contempt. Their books have in recent years poured from every press, and although differing widely in their style, they are identical in their message: Because scientific theories are true, religious beliefs must be false.

— David Berlinski

Children of the Enlightenment do not, of course, dwell overly on the dreadful acts undertaken in its name when the Enlightenment first became a living historical force in France: all perished, all-/Friends, enemies, of all parties, ages, ranks, /Head after head, and never heads enough /For those that bade them fall.

— David Berlinski

The apes are, after all, behind the bars of their cages, and we are not. Eager for the experiments to begin, they are also impatient for their food to be served, and they seem impatient for little else. After undergoing years of punishing trials at the hands of determined clinicians, a few have been taught the rudiments of various primitive symbol systems. Having been given the gift of language, they have nothing to say. When two simian prodigies meet, they fling their placards at each other. (pg. 20)

— David Berlinski

But of all the human emotions, curiosity is the one least subject to the general proscription against gluttony, and once engaged, even if engaged initially in the service of religion, it has a tendency to grow relentlessly, until in the end the scholar becomes curious about the nature of revelation itself.

— David Berlinski

For all the great dreams profitlessly invested in the digital computer, it is nonetheless true that not since the framers of the American Constitution took seriously the idea that all men are created equal has an idea so transformed the material conditions of life, the expectations of the race.

— David Berlinski

"Young men wish always to dream of what they have lost."
"And old men?"
"Of what they have not found."

— David Berlinski

Arithmetic is where the content lies, and not logic; but logic prompts certainty, and not arithmetic.

— David Berlinski

The definition of a limit is essentially his [Cauchy's] creation and is as much of a miracle as those fantastic Swiss clocks of the period in which hundreds of gleaming cogs are made to celebrate not only the time and date but the phases of the moon.

— David Berlinski

More than sixty years ago, mathematical logicians, by defining precisely the concept of an algorithm, gave content to the ancient human idea of an effective calculation. Their definitions led to the creation of the digital computer, an interesting example of thought bending matter to its ends.

— David Berlinski

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