I agree with R. Sean Baldwin’s letter to the Redlands Daily Facts calling Evolution a theory in that it has broad explanatory power. Evolution gives scientists a framework by which to understand life, though it is far from being “conclusively proven” as such. We see genetic mutations within species all the time. And the process of natural selection is in full swing as more species become extinct. However, I am not yet convinced that there is anything more than mere speculative evidence concerning intermediate species.
The idea that the earth was the center of the universe was also a widely accepted theory with broad explanatory power that was found to be false based on theretofore unknown scientific evidence.
Intelligent Design (ID) is a body of heretofore unknown scientific evidence. Its facts are not derived from any religion or religious texts. First, ID begins with observing that microscopic organisms are so complex they could not function if just one part was missing. They could not have evolved incrementally over time since they must have all their parts to survive. Therefore, the arrival of that species by evolutionary means is in question. Second, the parts of an organism are assembled according to a blueprint, DNA, which contains specific and complex information, much like this sentence is an arrangement of letters and words that convey a thought. No one reading this letter would attribute it to random chance, but to a writer. Third, it is a function of everyday, legitimate science to determine whether a cause was natural or purposeful. For example, crime scene investigators use forensic science to determine whether a person was murdered and, if so, by whom.
As fair-minded people we cannot discount this recent evidence, nor confuse the facts with their metaphysical implications. At least, ID calls evolution into question. At most, it allows for the possibility of a designer. It does not nominate a designer precisely because it is science and such knowledge is beyond its scope.