If the main thing is that *things* look like they were designed by an intelligence, what are the options: a creator God or extraterrestrials? Anything else? I don't see how you can avoid the Creator God myself and doesn't that automatically raise the specter of religion?
So those IDers who accept evolution merely postulate the Intelligent Designer as the initiator of the process?
I guess they could have an intelligent designer that ISN'T the God of the Bible but it's not clear what that is.
Beyond affirming that the God of the Bible is our starting point, and some of the information the Bible gives, most YECs focus on the physical evidence just as the IDers say they do. The Bible is the launching point but beyond that there's no way to talk about the world except through the facts we know ONLY through the world.
Yes of course but there's no place else to start. It's quite clear that if you just start by observing nature you can avoid God completely.
Actually many would say that's a self deception because the nature of the facts themselves demands a creator or an intelligent designer. If this is more or less the position of ID I think it's an argument that can be made, and I agree with it myself. But before I was a Christian I couldn't have made the case for it so I have to admit we're all subject to that particular self deception.
So no matter how complex and finely organized reality is most people persuade themselves all that really could have happened by chemicals just mindlessly bashing around.
Anyway, once you believe in the God of the Bible that's where you have to start, there's no other rational place to start. And then you have the job of showing that the observed world fits the outline the Bible gives.
I don't think it's fair to accuse them of pretending not to have a religious view of the intelligent designer. I think they really don't have such a view, all they are trying to say is that phenomena exhibit the marks of intelligent design. That implies an intelligence to bring about the design for sure, but it doesn't necessarily imply a particular intelligence.
I'm not really sure why they want to insist on this though unless it's to avoid the secondary problems of trying to specify how the design came about which apparently they don't consider essential to the main idea: that the phenomena exhibit the marks of intelligent design. If that's all they want to claim why aren't they allowed to claim that without you telling them they mean something other than they say they mean?
Isn't that their task: to demonstrate what they mean by intelligent design? We don't need to get into the nature of the designer at all. It's hard enough to convince anyone of the marks of design. I think they're obvious. You don't. Most here don't.
OK, everything is designed. Now what? The answer to all questions is "the Designer dunnit, we cannot have any idea how or by whom".
Hm, you may be right. Where CAN you go with the concept of everything's appearing to be designed? If they could prove it then I guess they could say it disproves any theory that life has come about by purely mechanical processes, and that would be a huge coup; but once it's done it's done. I guess THEN we talk about the nature of the Designer?
I think that a lot of that confusion is due to YECs having replaced their young-earth claims with ID claims and arguments after Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) blew "creation science's" cover and exposed it as religious in nature
You may be right about the historical facts involved, but....
-- remember that the purpose of "creation science" was to fool the courts and the public by pretending that their objections to evolution were for "purely scientific reasons, nothing religious about it."
But the questions YEC addresses are not "religious" and the methods used have to do with the actual phenomena, not religious principles, so it's not quite fair to accuse them of trying to "fool" anyone by "pretending" something. If they address the stuff of science without reference to the biblical text, it's not establishment science we know that, but it isn't religion either.
What bothers me most is accusing them of "hiding" the truth. If they focus on the facts without reference to any religious texts they aren't hiding anything when they call it science, even if there are problems with that term. YEC STARTS FROM the Bible but by exploring the external facts comes up with all kinds of stuff that may or may not be compatible with the Bible, so I can't impute any of it to God or the Bible and it's a big mistake to try to do that. I may think it's compatible but even that much can't be claimed for sure.
The open-minded skeptic will say it may look like design, but how can we be sure? If it can be explained by natural processes, then it can't be design.
There is no way to prove such a thing one way or the other; it's a subjective judgment. You can make up a string of supposed natural processes and convince yourself that's enough to disprove design but to someone else, like me for instance, it looks like a flimflam. All sorts of such sequences have been invented to explain how, say, the eye could have evolved, although the different eyes in the sequence come from all over the taxonomic tree in no particular relation to each other. Just the fact that you can imagine a sequence out of them is enough to persuade some despite the complete lack of any evidence that an evolutionary track from one to another ever happened.\
Again, it can never be objectively established I suppose, but design always looks to me open and shut: there is no way natural processes could bring it about no matter how cleverly different variations may be arranged to suggest the possibility. The bug that has a complex rotating part has no known genetic relationship to another bug that has some but not all of the elements of that rotating part, nor that one to another with a few of those elements and so on, but just their existence convinces some that the insect with the rotating part evolved rather than being designed.
But have you in fact "explained" the appearance of design by these purely imagined sequences of natural processes? Is this science? Really?
Oh I don't think the standard explanation is all that supported, I think it's mostly a tissue of "likely stories" that have little real evidentiary support, just a lot of seeming plausibility and little more than that. Just an elaborate delusion.