Vincent strikes me as a genuinely nice guy whose views are very different from mine on many issues. Possibly one of his most remarked-upon idiosyncracies is his tendency to publish exceedingly long posts at Uncommon Descent but (leaving Joseph of Cupertino in the air for a moment) lately Vincent has become a little more reflective on the merits of “Intelligent Design” as some sort of alternative or rival to mainstream biology. His latest post at Uncommon Descent came to my attention after it mysteriously (in the sense of so far without explanation) disappeared from the blog. Hat-tips to Seversky and REC at AtBC for spotting it before it disappeared. I then happened to see Vincent’s response to a question, providing a link to his Angelfire site and his article, before that comment too disappeared.
Vincent’s post, entitled Undeniable packs a powerful punch, but doesn’t land a knockout is a review of Douglas Axe’s book Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed published earlier this year. I have to say, I missed the event and have only just read the excerpt provided by Amazon’s Kindle bookstore. The snippet did not enthuse me to buy the book, so I can’t say if Vincent’s review is a fair one. It is certainly comprehensive (OK it’s long!).
He starts with fulsome praise:
When I first read Undeniable, I was greatly impressed by its limpid prose, the clarity of its exposition, and the passion with which the author makes his case. Seldom have I seen such an elegantly written book, which people from all walks of life can appreciate. I have no doubt that it will sell well for many years to come, and I have to say that it makes the best case for Intelligent Design at the popular level of any book I’ve ever seen.
But then has some forthright criticism to make:
Nevertheless – and I have to say this – the book contains numerous mathematical, scientific and philosophical blunders, which a sharp-eyed critic could easily spot.
then proceeds to specific points in some detail.
I find it refreshing and a little surprising that Vincent was so forthright in his public criticism and I find it not at all surprising that Barry Arrington has deleted the article at UD and all references to the original that appeared subsequently. There are two related issues here; Axe’s book, Undeniable – its merits and Vincent’s review – and the suppression of Vincent’s article by Barry Arrington but perhaps this thread will suffice to accommodate discussion on both. I’ll email Vincent to let him know about this thread as he may like to join in.
[This post was a bit rushed as I was short of time. Please point out errors and ommissions as needed]