Thanks, T.a. Glad my second attempt was more successful.
Regarding the misuse of teleology, I think it has been common, especially when religious apologetic motives come into play. Michael Behe, in discussing design in nature (in ID writers, teleological thinking is expressed in terms of arguments for design), makes a distinction between better and weaker design arguments in writers like Paley. Behe thinks that the core idea in Paley is sound because it is based on something “objective” (to use your term; not sure if Behe uses the word), i.e., the clearly functional relationship between well-matched parts in an organism, but he thinks that Paley, and many others, often employ arguments which are which are more “subjective” (again to use your term), e.g., the “providential” way that God made the nose, to enable it serve as a resting-place for eyeglasses. Apologetic literature is often rife with examples of “design” of the latter type. Behe does not regard the latter sort of arguments for design as scientific, but he thinks the “complex arrangement of parts for demonstrable function” argument is scientific. (And of course, Darwin himself as a young man accepted Paley’s core argument as adequate, until he came up with variation plus natural selection as a designer-substitute, which in his view had superior explanatory power.)
I’m not here trying to sell Behe to you, but merely to point out that even among ID folks not any old claim that nature displays teleology is accepted. They are looking not for fortunate coincidences such as the use of the nose to support eyeglasses, but deep structures of complexity and subtlety which give the impression of being impossible or at least very difficult to produce by stochastic processes. So in that sense, while ID can be said to be in the long tradition of design arguments, teleological thinking, and in some cases natural theology, being an ID proponent doesn’t commit one to accepting any old sloppy argument for design, and is compatible with rejecting the bulk of the arguments for design offered by religious apologists.
Of course, if one is writing as a theologian, one is free to argue that God created weather patterns knowing how useful they would be to push boats across the ocean, and that may even be theologically correct, if one accepts an omnipotent and omniscient and providential God, but that sort of theological reasoning isn’t what Behe employs in his books, and isn’t what ID folks are talking about when they discuss methods of design detection, draw design inferences, and so on. But naturally, religious folks who latch onto ID for their own reasons (e.g., the Dover school board trustees) aren’t going to make the sort of clear distinctions I’m trying to make here, or that the ID leaders make when they are in operating their non-apologetic, theoretically most careful mode.