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I think it would be a disaster if we abandon the idea of design in nature, leaving it to creationism, just because creationism has corrupted it by turning it into pseudoscience and confusing it with religious, cultural and political agendas.The idea has originally nothing to do with creationism; it is in essence a philosophical idea that we in no way can afford to lose.We have no ethical obligations to products of meaningless processes and random events.
The efforts of the so-called intelligent design community in USA over the last 10 to 15 years to rehabilitate the idea of intelligent design in nature have rightly been rejected by the academic world at large, because it is introduced as a scientific theory, which it is not.
But the idea is not religion either, because it does not presuppose any specific religious belief. It is the religious concept of creation that is based on the experience of design in nature, rather than this kind of experience is based on a religious belief in a Creator.
Our apprehension of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles as our apprehension of the jungle trap: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components. Accordingly nobody who teaches biology can do without references and analogies to artefacts.
Proteins are called nano-machines, the muscle-cell is compared to a combustion engine, the amino acid sequences in DNA are compared with human codes and language, the brain is compared with a computer and so on.
It appears as though the parts that constitute the organism have been purposively arranged in a way that enables it to perform a given function.
The term “purposively” suggests intelligent conscious directedness.
You could say it is situated between science and religion.
In that respect phenomenology is the modern heir of what was former called natural philosophy.
The lead explorer is pulled up and left dangling from a tree by a vine wrapped around his foot, and has been skewered by wooden spikes aimed precisely at the position in the air where the vines pulled him.
A companion turns to another and confides, “That´s why I never walk in front.” Now every person who sees the cartoon knows immediately that the trap was designed. How does the audience apprehend that the trap was designed? Probably not.) One can tell that the trap was designed because of the way the parts interact with great specificity to perform a function …