How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed

Book - 2016
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Named A Best Book of the Year by World Magazine

Throughout his distinguished and unconventional career, engineer-turned-molecular-biologist Douglas Axe has been asking the questions that much of the scientific community would rather silence. Now, he presents his conclusions in this brave and pioneering book. Axe argues that the key to understanding our origin is the "design intuition"--the innate belief held by all humans that tasks we would need knowledge to accomplish can only be accomplished by someone who has that knowledge. For the ingenious task of inventing life, this knower can only be God.

Starting with the hallowed halls of academic science, Axe dismantles the widespread belief that Darwin's theory of evolution is indisputably true, showing instead that a gaping hole has been at its center from the beginning. He then explains in plain English the science that proves our design intuition scientifically valid. Lastly, he uses everyday experience to empower ordinary people to defend their design intuition, giving them the confidence and courage to explain why it has to be true and the vision to imagine what biology will become when people stand up for this truth.

Armed with that confidence, readers will affirm what once seemed obvious to all of us--that living creatures, from single-celled cyanobacteria to orca whales and human beings, are brilliantly conceived, utterly beyond the reach of accident.

Our intuition was right all along.

Publisher: New York, New York :, HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, 2016, ©2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062349583
Branch Call Number: 213 AXE
Characteristics: 298 pages : illustrations (some colour) ; 24 cm


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Jan 14, 2021

Leo says 5 stars

I have to admire 'fledge' below, who says that an argument by analogy can be "devastating". Suggestive, perhaps, but never devastating. You have to be careful not to fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.

Apr 03, 2017

Darwin’s belief that natural selection could create/invent things is physically impossible. Axe ably demonstrates this and, in doing so, opens the way for common folks to participate in science without fear of modern-day experts who preach jackbooted scientism. Axe’s analogies are devastating. The tide is turning, and sclerotic Darwinism is in the first stages of its death spasms. Even the atheists are beginning to apprehend this (see: Thomas Nagel’s “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False”). Recommended.

Oct 19, 2016

This breakthrough book has been a great read. It explores how our design intuition when applied to nature is valid and how everyone can feel confident that those intuitions (having been sharpened you the points enumerated in the book) are correct. He shows us examples of design in nature and helps us to understand why.

Can alphabet soup, when the lid is removed from the pot, reveal complete instructions for building something new and useful? Clearly no. Well that illustrates the problem of the Neo-Darwinian explanation for the emergence of life from a primordial soup (or really any proposal of how the first life could've come about). This brings Axe to the principle of the Universal Design Intuition: "Tasks that we would need knowledge to accomplish can be accomplished only by someone who has that knowledge." This, he asserts, "...[is] the common human faculty by which we intuit design." His purpose thenceforth is to show that this intuition is reliable and provides a solid refutation to Darwinian explanations for life.

Axe shows us that the are many more possibilities than are likely to play out in reality. Why? Because our universe is bound by finite probabilistic resources. Darwinism appeals to blind searches to achieve certain outcomes. But he shows that appeals to chance severely downplay the likelihood of such a outcome taking place in reality.

Living things are exquisite wholes - an intricate interplay of overlapping levels of function - they are functionally coherent. Axe uses this fact to show why blind processes (required by Darwinism) fail in achieving the level of complexity present in living systems. "What enables human inventions to perform so seamlessly?" Axe asks. It is a thing called "functional coherence" - which, as Axe writes, is "the hierarchical arrangement of parts needed for anything to produce a high-level function - each part contributing in a coordinated way to the whole." He then goes on to show how this functional coherence "makes accidental invention fantastically improbable and therefore physically impossible."

He provides fascinating examples of biological systems, such as the Cyanobacteria & the Mammalian eye and shows us a basic overview (to go much deeper would require a book length treatments) of their intricate functional hierarchy. Axe writes, "unlike human inventions, living inventions are all-or-nothing wholes. Every cell in every body sustains both the body and is sustained by the body. Life is never anything but whole." Truly, this is mind boggling complexity.

This point I loved, to quote Axe, "each new form of life amounts to a new high-level invention, the origin of the thousandth new life form is no more explicable in Darwinian terms as the origin of the first." As an example, even if we were to suppose the first insect has been formed by chance, all the countless insects that differ substantially from the first would still be new top-level inventions - a great many of these components would have to be reworked to suit each new insect. This would have to be a "staggering feat of re-engineering in itself, to say nothing of that great new variety of new components that would have to be invented by scratch." A point downplayed by Darwinists.

Axe also shows us how we can use a practical tool, a "magicians hat" for analysing some of the fantastic claims made by Darwinists.

He shows how we can attribute this complexity, our design intuition, to an intelligent designer! In all, a great book! Highly recommended!

Sep 16, 2016

I've seen intimations that even Darwin had thought his theory wasn't the last word, that other factors were at work, but that he didn't mention that, because, quite reasonably, thought that any mention of such would be seen as fatal self-doubt.
So i wanted to see if this fellow had identified any evolution-expanding factors [NOT disproving factors].
It was my fault for being let down by this book because he admits up front that he thinks evolution is flat-out *wrong*.

Fair enough- if he supplies proof. Problem is, he skirts proofs, then retreats into ad-hominen like arguments - emotional appeals [i.e. individual species are just too magnificent to be mere temporary stopping points amid never-ending change].
I.e. Evolution can't be right because it depresses me. Huh?
If he could just have resisted the temptation to move his emotional arguments into a separate section, some of us would read his appeals to logic. As is, i admit that i too couldn't finish this book.
He might be right in his case, and he IS right about scientists not being half as objective as they think they are, but he's his own worst enemy in not being able stop being defensive and appealing to emotionalism. He's one lousy writer.

Sep 11, 2016

I admit I only skimmed, and didn't finish this book, as with Thomas Aquinas [about whom I forever read was brilliant?!?!?], some form of logic has to be cited correctly, otherwise, I still believe Fantastic Four, issues #41 to 43, Subatomica, called it correctly: our universe is actually a neuron in some - - hopefully - - thinking person's brain, while the neurons in our brains represent countless universes, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum.

May 18, 2016

superstitious nonsense ...
to clarify BiblioCommons Subject headings in this case:
"Biology — Religious Aspects — Christianity.",
there are no "religious aspects - Christianity" to "biology" (evolutionary biology)
about the author at Rational Wiki:
this author included in ...
“Claims of Peer Review for Intelligent Design examined … and debunked”
from Skeptical Science, October 7, 2012,
“A Review of Undeniable, by Douglas Axe”
by Jason Rosenhouse, posted September 23, 2016, at Evolution Blog, Science Blogs
“Undeniably Stupid!”
posted by Bill Needle, July 15, 2016, at Marmotism
and, famously,
#8 in the Encyclopedia of American Loons
references debunking the Discovery Institute:
at RationalWiki: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Discovery_Institute
“Miller debunks the Discovery Institute again” (Kenneth R. Miller)
by Glenn Branch 01-09-2009, at National Center for Science Education
“The Discovery Institute's Hidden Religious Agenda”
by Lenny Flank, 2005, http://www.huecotanks.com/debunk/diagenda.html
“Claims of Peer Review for Intelligent Design examined … and debunked”
posted October 7, 2012, at Skeptical Science
“More lies from the Discovery Institute”
at Pharyngula, Freethought Blogs
“Discovery Institute” references at Media Matters For America

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