There's an interesting article in the New York Times on the great clash between the magisteria of religion and science at the first Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowships in Science and Religion.
Whatever the arguments may be for rejecting evidence of intentional design in the biosphere, it seems that one must be not only unable but a forteriori unwilling, to see the evidence that the cosmos itself is the product of purpose and intelligence. Even if only half of what Michael Denton says in Nature's Destiny or Stephen Barr writes in Modern Physics and Ancient Faith is true, the evidence for a telic universe is simply astounding.
The atheist, I suppose, can always fall back on the old chestnut that no amount of evidence is sufficient to constitute proof that the universe was created by a mind and that it is incumbent upon the one who asserts the existence of something to prove that the entity exists.
What this ignores, however, is the fact that proof is person-relative. What constitutes proof for one who is willing to be persuaded will not constitute proof for the man who is unwilling to be moved by it. There is, as Pascal said, enough evidence to convince any man who is not dead set against it, and Denton and Barr have written books which bring that evidence into bold relief. There is indeed sufficient evidence to convince all but the most obdurate that something besides randomness and coincidence were at work in the crafting of this universe.
The writer of the Times article, George Johnson, states that "If the God hypothesis [i.e. the Designer hypothesis] is meaningful, it should be subject to a test. But the theistic gloss Dr. Polkinghorne and others give to science is immune to this kind of scrutiny. It has, by design, no observable consequences."
Whether this is true for Polkinghorne's work or not we cannot say, but it is hardly true for the work of others. Denton, for example offers this test:
If any fundamental force or physical law or chemical property were found which could have been other than what it is and not make the existence of higher life forms impossible then the teleological interpretation of the world would be discredited. If higher forms of life were to be discovered elsewhere in the universe thriving in environments significantly different from our own, there would be no grounds for maintaining the opinion that our world is uniquely suited for life. The argument from cosmic design rests on the conviction that our world is so exquisitely fine-tuned for life that if it were structured just a little bit differently than it is life would be impossible. If that conviction were to be falsified the argument from cosmic design would lose its force.
Having said that, it should be pointed out that the criterion of testability as a measure of meaningfulness is a two-edged sword. If an assertion must be testable to be scientifically meaningful then what are we to make of the Darwinist claim that life arose and evolved to its present state through purely mechanistic, blind, and unguided processes acting over long periods of time? The task of contriving a test of this assertion would baffle the finest minds in science, yet it's considered by all hands to be a perfectly meaningful claim.
There are many similar claims in science that defy testing, but which are considered meaningful propositions. If we are to dismiss the claim that the universe is the product of intentional design because of an alleged inability to be tested then we're going to have to also throw out a great deal of evolutionary biology and modern physics.