Blogger Bill Keezer comments on a recent piece on evolution and ID:
In fairness, there are some adherents of ID that believe in evolution, just not the start of it.
Certainly, Michael Behe has stated in his book, Darwin's Black Box, that he accepts the notion of common descent. His issue has to do with the molecular machinery within the cell; he claims it's too complicated to have arisen by the known mechanisms in evolution.
A big problem with Bill's statement lies in the definition of "the start of it". In other words, there are adherents of ID who believe life has evolved, but that evolution can't account for the emergence of the first living thing.
One of the most popular responses is that the study of evolution deals with how life has changed since the first living thing came to be. The study of how life came to exist in the first place is abiogenesis.
This misses the point because the adherents of ID, and those who question how "evolution" accounts for the beginning of life, aren't referring to the specifics of evolutionary theory.
What they're referring to is the larger notion that the origin of life can ever be pinned down to purely naturalistic causes. In essence, they doubt that any natural process can ever, without guidance, produce a living thing out of nonliving matter.
The claim Behe argues in his book is that evolutionary processes are incapable of putting together an intricate system like the bacterial flagellum, the blood clotting cascade, or any number of other systems found in living cells. Because he rules out evolution, he argues, the causitive agent must have been something else.
Since the argument against "evolution" so often morphs into an argument against "naturalistic causes", the only alternative remaining is the supernatural. This, by definition, is beyond the reach of science.
So, my challenge to the adherents of ID/IOT is: What supernatural process is required in the development of the first living thing, what positive evidence is there to support the existence of such a supernatural process, and how can we test for the existence of such a process?
If we can't test this supernatural process, it's not science and we can't teach it in science classes.