Somewhere up there it was discussed whether or not ID is science or not. I’m curious what you think of the mediating position of Robin Collins. It seems to make very good sense to me, and addresses problems on both sides.
"On the other hand, the major problem I see with ID’s claim that we should include the hypothesis of a transcendent or generic designer as part of science is that it is not what I have called scientifically tractable. Typically, when scientists propose an explanation of some set of phenomena, that explanation can be filled in using other branches of science. For example, consider the big bang theory. The postulated “fireball” that resulted in our current universe provides a detailed explanation of such things as the microwave background radiation and the abundance of elements because we can use current particle physics to elaborate this fireball’s internal dynamics. If its internal workings were forever beyond the realm of current science to investigate, it is doubtful such an hypothesis would be of much scientific interest. Ditto for the theory of evolution and other scientific theories.
Insofar as the hypothesis of ID invokes a transcendent or generic designer, it lacks this characteristic. One cannot use current science to elaborate the internal dynamics of a transcendent or generic designer (though one might for a specific sort of non-transcendent designer, such as an extraterrestrial intelligence). Yet, lacking this characteristic is no small matter, since it is what allows scientific hypotheses to provide detailed explanations and predictions, and it gives scientists something to work with. It is not sufficient for advocates of ID to reply that intelligent design is the best explanation of various features of the natural world: many theists argue that God is the best explanation of the big bang and the laws of nature and many platonists argue that the existence of an immaterial realm of mathematical truths is the best explanation of the success of mathematics in science, but clearly this is insufficient to make the God hypothesis or platonic hypothesis part of science. So, whether or not one wants to consider ID as part of science, this significant and relevant difference between it and regular scientific hypotheses should be acknowledged.
Instead of treating the hypothesis of an intelligent designer as part of science, what I propose is that we treat the hypothesis of design, particularly design by God, as not itself a part of science, but an hypothesis that could potentially influence the practice of science. I call such an hypothesis a metascientific hypothesis. Such an hypothesis can influence science by affecting how we think the world is likely to be structured. Taking seriously the possibility of design opens science up to investigate, instead of simply dismissing, various hypotheses about the nature of the physical world that postulate “designlike” patterns at a fundamental level. Hypotheses falling in this category include those advocating biocentric laws and higher-level patterns of teleology in evolution, such as explored by Teilhard Chardan, Rupert Sheldrake, Simon Conway Morris, and others. I thus applaud the kind of work being engaged in by some of supporters of ID at the Seattle based Biologic Institute in which they look for design-like patterns in nature that seemingly cannot be explained by neo-Darwinian evolution. Although such patterns themselves are purely naturalistic, one would probably not look for and discover such patterns (given that they exist) if one rejected any sort of design hypothesis. In contrast, those who subscribe to a purely naturalistic view of the world favor hypotheses that minimize the appearance of design."