The specific term ‘design’ is rarely used in most English language translations of the Bible. It is quite considerably less common than ‘create’ and ‘creation’. ‘Design’ is used mainly in an artistic sense (e.g. ‘designer of objects’, wood, gold, silver, etc.) to refer to human-made creations (manufactures), while a rare few times and only unusually in some translations (e.g. DRA) it refers to ‘divine Design’ (i.e. in the sense ‘capitalised on’ financially but intentionally not capitalised linguistically by most IDTheories). The term ‘designate’ is also used biblically almost strictly referring to that which is human-made.
Your question spurred some quick research on the terms ‘design’ and ‘creat-’ – 7 English Translations (via BibleGateway):
KJ21 (design) = 6 times (4 = designate) vs. creat- = 90 times; Darby = 0 times vs. creat- = 104 times; ESV = 18 times vs. creat- = 141 times; KJV = 0 times vs. creat- = 90 times; NASB = 25 times vs. creat- = 125 times; NIV = 27 times vs. creat- = 191 times; WYC = 2 times vs. creat- = 85 times
Be welcome to report how ‘design’ and ‘creat-e/ion’ are used in the Bible translation you are most familiar with. As for the term ‘evolution’, so far I’ve only found it in French translations referring to infectious diseases in the OT. It was used non-biblically by the theistic Cambridge Platonists in the pre-Darwinian era, about which IDists are mostly silent.
The Discovery Institute (DI) in Seattle aims to politically agitate (a careful choice of words) a new ‘scientific revolution’ à la Thomas Kuhn based on the terms ‘design’ + ‘intelligence’, which it deviously (meaning, their intentional usage by a paid PR department) double-talks to confuse people with the classical ‘design argument’ of natural theology. Yet it maintains IDT is meant biologically, not theologically.
One example of such double talk is the DI’s ‘sourcebook’ called “Design in the Bible and the Early Church Fathers”. http://www.discovery.org/a/9691 They introduce it by proclaiming that “Plato and Cicero both espoused early versions of intelligent design”. What they fail to acknowledge, though they’ve been told about it many times, is that their IDT differs substantially and significantly from traditional theistic ‘design arguments’ (Dembski tries to clarify this, but fails, in “The Design Revolution,” 2004).
Nota Bene: All Christians and all Abrahamic theists accept the so-called ‘intelligent design’ of the universe, i.e. that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth”, without necessarily being compelled to accept the specific late-20th c. Charles Thaxton et al. IDT of the DI. Falk and Haarsma have said this clearly already at BioLogos, but for IDists, this is still not enough (is anything?) for them.
I suggest you download the DI’s document and do a ctrl-f search for the term ‘design’. You’ll find that it is not actually used in their Bible quotes at all (!). They merely project the specific term ‘design’ onto the Bible for PR purposes (“it’s not actually there, but just imagine that it is”). The two authors who use the term ‘design’ in translation are Dionysius and Lactantius, recruited as ‘design authorities’ by the DI. All the while, the DI is trying its very hardest to change natural science and the Bible into the image of its ‘strictly scientific’ late-20th/early 21st c. ideology. Many mature and intelligent, scholarly, contemplative and busy scientist Christians have seen through their activist façade.
I think you’re asking some good questions here Timothy and responding with careful balance and attention based on what you’ve read and researched. It doesn’t seem you will be trapped either into YECism or IDism unaware. Let me just warn you, as someone who’s actually seen the inside of the DI and met many of the IDM’s leaders, not to be persuaded by those persons who are both highly and often angrily (with nice enough sounding words) polemical (e.g. how they so poorly and condescendingly treat Christians, including scholars, who accept limited evolutionary biology as a credible, well-studied theme in science, philosophy and theology/worldview discourse) and who claim to be neutrally ‘religious’ under the guise of sophisticated ‘academic theology’.
People who admonish Christians to embrace IDT and who highlight their preferred dichotomy between ‘design’ and ‘chance’ as if it is really so important (the most important topic!) in contemporary science, philosophy and theology/worldview discourse seem to misunderstand what youth are confronted with in the electronic-information age. That’s a big generation gap. As a man younger than most of the posters here, it seems clear to me that we actually can study both ‘design processes’ and ‘designers’, though the IDM says this is categorically impossible. Indeed, we do design, program and code many things ourselves, as concurrent ‘co-creators.’ Let us therefore not blind ourselves to this in deference to the IDM’s hyperbolic ‘minimalist revolution,’ ok?
So, my advice to you, Timothy: Be very careful, supported in prayer, of people who loudly proclaim ‘Design/design’ as a ‘strictly scientific’ inference for biology. Likewise, beware of and guard yourself from the few but very aggressive card-carrying IDists who have received money from the DI to foment a ‘revolution!’ in the name of ‘design’, even in anti-ID venues such as BioLogos. They want both to flatter and build you up in their ideology. At the same time, they say you should feel just as ‘expelled’ as they so sadly do and also ignore the vast majority of Christians who responsibly accept limited biological evolutionary theories in a science, philosophy, theology/worldview synthesis. As for the last part, at least for me, it’s most dishonourable and unfortunate that some people, some ‘Christians’ perpetuate it.