I had occasion the other night to spend the evening with a very bright group of people (my presence in the group was something of an anomaly) discussing issues related to the Intelligent Design controversy. One participant, a Darwinian and geneticist, objected to a question from another participant by replying that she doesn't talk about design in biology because to do so is unscientific.
It would have been rude to have interrupted the conversation, which didn't really involve me, but I was tempted. I wanted to say that there's nothing unscientific about noting design in living things; almost every biologist does it (except her, apparently), and the fact that living things are designed all the way down to the molecular level is not denied by anyone and is not in dispute. What's in dispute is the cause of the design.
Darwinians insist that the design evident to anyone who has ever studied sixth grade life science is the product solely of blind, unguided processes like mutation and natural selection. Intelligent Design theorists, on the other hand, wish to affirm that blind processes alone are inadequate mechanisms for engineering the degree of complexity and information we see in the biosphere. They argue that some degree of intelligent input is required to satisfactorily explain it.
Evolutionists must really be running scared if they're so afraid of handing their opponents a rhetorical advantage that they refuse to acknowledge the obvious fact that the natural world is full of designed structures and systems. Materialistic evolutionists seem to be nervous about using the word design because they don't wish to encourage the general public to think along those lines. The concern may be that the public might draw the conclusion that, given a choice between explaining complex design in terms of coincidence and blind luck and explaining it in terms of intention and purpose, the former suffers grievously in the comparison.
Speaking of ID, the reader might be interested in this column by Jeff Jacoby on why Intelligent Design is a legitimate topic for discusion in science classes. He gets it.