from the propositions of Scripture.
However, the ID approach (as it is
with Undeniable), operates solely on
the shaky epistemic foundation of
induction/inference. Thus, it has an
epistemologically unstable foundation.
Axe declares that
“… we must accept that objective
truths exist, as we all naturally do.
Then we must accept that some of
these truths pertain to the physical
world, and that some of those can be
discovered through human observation
and reasoning” (p. 48).
But how can we know that what
we claim to be true is indeed true? How
can we know that logical thinking is
trustworthy as a means of obtaining
truth; or that what we call Logic is
not merely an approach that provides
a selective advantage? The sense one
gets from reading the book is that the
author thinks that the evidence speaks
for itself and this is the basis for what
he later calls ‘common science’, and
‘design intuition’. There is hardly any
discussion on how presuppositions
shape the way one interprets the
Throughout the book, Axe repeatedly appeals to how we know there
is a designer based on what he calls
a “universal design intuition” [sic].
Axe’s rejection of scriptural presuppositions means that he cannot appeal
to passages like Romans 1: 18–20 for
an epistemic foundation. Thus, he is
left with an argument ‘from intuition’.
As an epistemic foundation, this
comes across as philosophically naive.
Fortunately, the science in the
book is excellent. If there is anything
I dislike about the science, it would
be that some of its analogies are over
simplistic; but this is understandable since one of the objectives of
Undeniable is to explain complex
scientific concepts to the lay reader.
After a brief introduction in chapter
1 of how he came to be involved in ID
research and some personal anecdotes
on the persecutions he has experienced
for doubting evolution, Axe introduces
his design intuition in chapter 2.
Imagine filling a large pot with
alphabet-shaped pasta and boiling it
into a soup. Would we expect to see
the pasta letters forming complete
instructions for building something
new and useful that is worthy of a
patent? Of course no one would believe
this can happen. This is what Axe calls
the universal design intuition. We
all recognise that “tasks that would
need knowledge to accomplish can be
accomplished only by someone who
has that knowledge” (p. 20).
Chapter 3 and 4
Axe distances the ID movement
from the creationist movement. He
argues that science does not require
scientism/materialism. Axe rejects
creationism because it presupposes a
particular understanding of Genesis
and then seeks to reconcile science
with it. On the other hand, ID starts
with science alone and follows its
conclusion to an intelligent designer
because of what we know from
scientific principles. He emphasizes
that we cannot jump from an
intelligent designer to God because
that requires us to go beyond science.
In other words, Axe rejects the
possibility of ID leading us to any
theological conclusion. Instead, Axe
argues for the intelligent designer
based on intuition. To be fair,
when Axe speaks of intuition, he
usually first discusses mathematical
improbabilities, and from there,
intuits that there must be an intelligent
designer. Axe clearly rejects the
presuppositional approach of the crea-
tionist movement. Unfortunately, later
in the book, Axe inconsistently does
what he claims we should not do—he
claims that God is the best explanation
for the intelligent designer.
Axe compares the alphabet soup
analogy in the earlier chapter with
gene sequences and proteins. He uses
the analogy of a car: the proteins are
the mechanical parts of the car and
are essential to life. The information
for making these proteins are written
in the DNA based on a four-letter
genetic code. These are too complex
to be accounted for without an
Axe then narrates how his involvement in ID resulted in him eventually
losing his job. The real problem,
according to Axe, is not about having
agendas, but the institutionalization
of agendas, where those who hold to
minority views are actively suppressed.
Axe recalls how Michael Denton
wrote that accidental processes would
be incapable of forming new functional proteins if their amino-acid
sequences were rarer than one in 1040.
Axe’s research showed that one such
protein sequence would appear for
every 1074 wrong ones— 1034-fold rarer
than Denton’s criterion. This deals
a decisive blow to the idea that proteins arose by accidental causes.
Axe introduces the phrase “
common science”: everyone validates
their design intuition through firsthand experience. This experience is
scientific in nature because we all
make mental notes of what we observe,
and then build conceptual models of
how things work. Hence, since this
is broadly defined as ;science;, all
humans are in this sense ‘scientists’.
Aside from technical issues, “people
who lack formal scientific credentials
are nonetheless qualified to speak with
authority on matters” of the world
around them. This is what Axe calls
common science (p. 64).