Over at the self-styled Intelligent Reasoning, we have Joe G saying in this post that there really is a scientific statement lurking somewhere in ID, based upon Behe's statement
Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.
He also offers this note:
To test the design inference specific criteria must be met. Criteria such as irreducible complexity, complex specified information and/ or the mere presence of counterflow.
To falsify the design inference all one has to do is to demonstrate that the object/ event in question can arise via nature, operating freely- ie it is reducible to matter, energy, chance and necessity.
However, Joe G misses a couple of basic problems with his arguments. First of all, the effects of design can exactly resemble the effects of nature. In fact, design uses naturally occurring elements to make changes. If I come across a few pebbles that have fallen onto some solid rock, and i move one or two pebbles into a configuration that I find pleasing, and leave the other 8-10 alone, there is no evidence that the resulting configuration is designed. Outside of finding actual fingerprints, or recognizing the configuration himself, Joe G would not even suspect design. Secondly, Behe's entire characterization is full of weasel-words, as any naturally generated ordering of separated components can be deemed 'not sharply dependent' or 'not truly identifiable' at need.
A post in the August 2009 archive of Intelligently Sequenced
titled "Commonly Employed Arguments Against ID", we see the attempted response:
39] ID is Nothing More Than a “God of the Gaps” Hypothesis may be the most common anti-ID argument.
ID is not proposing “God” to paper over a gap in current scientific explanation. Instead ID theorists start from empirically observed, reliable, known facts and generally accepted principles of scientific reasoning:
(a) Intelligent designers exist and act in the world.
(b) When they do so, as a rule, they leave reliable signs of such intelligent action behind.
(c) Indeed, for many of the signs in question such as CSI and IC, intelligent agents are the only observed cause of such effects, and chance + necessity (the alternative) is not a plausible source, because the islands of function are far too sparse in the space of possible relevant configurations.
(d) On the general principle of science, that “like causes like,” we are therefore entitled to infer from sign to the signified: intelligent action.
(e) This conclusion is, of course, subject to falsification if it can be shown that undirected chance + mechanical forces do give rise to CSI or IC. Thus, ID is falsifiable in principle but well supported in fact.
Of course, this is swallowed whole, despite that:
(a) I agree here.
(b) There are no reliable, scientific signs of designers.
We infer design by analogy top known human designers.
(c) There are no "islands of function" in the significantly multi-variate space described by typical protein construction. Function at a point (w', x', y', z') that, on a local level, ends quickly in direction w will often be unchanged in direction x and changed only mildly in directions y and z. Now, replace that four-dimensional model with a more common 100-dimensional model, and the notion of islands of function is easily seen to be preposterous. Further, the whole notion of "plausible source" is a direct invocation of a 'designer of the gaps'.
(d) Generally, the principle of "like causes like" comes from magic, not science.
(e) Every testable formulation of CSI and IC has been been falsified. This has resulted in definition changes to the concepts, especially IC, to the point they are identified post hoc instead by prior standards. That is, first they look at a sequence/construct, check to see if there is an origin, and only proclaim it CSI/IC after no origin exists. This a manifestly non-science.