Sir, again, thank you for your thoughtful, thorough, and kind response. However, regarding the differences you noted between ID and SETI, I respectfully think the differences you noted to be "superficial", at least in relation to my core question about whether the endeavor itself - using science to discover evidence of intelligent agency - is or is not rightly considered science. I recognize (and to some extent share) your critiques against the current state of ID methodology, but my question at core is as to whether the search for intelligent design in biology (perhaps SIDB?) - in itself -can rightly called "science", not the question of how well the current ID movement lives up to ideal scientific methods.
The observation of something as being the result of intelligence should not - philosophically - turn on the assumptions some make about the identity of said intelligence.
If an archaeologist examined an ancient stone, and discovered part of the Ten Commandments written on them, he can safely (scientifically) conclude this was the result of an intelligent agent, no?. The question as to whether this was a copy carved by a man, or the original inscribed by God himself, seems irrelevant to the basic question of whether or not he is seeing the result of an intelligent agent.
Sure, but if this pattern of political activism were absent from current ID politcal goals, would the approach become thereby recognized as "scientific" just like SETI?
(Besides, does this make Galileo's methods unscientific since he found himself in significant political conflict with established scientific theories?)
. I to some extent concur with your critique of current ID methodology, from the little I have observed. but again, this does not speak to the core question of whether or not the pursuit itself is or is not "science".
(For instance, do I recall that some scientists some time ago were charged with fabricating data in a global warming study? If so, we could conclude only that they were bad scientists, or were doing their research very badly. This would not condemn the entire endeavor - the study of earth's global temperatures - as unscientific).
I think it is safe to say that the "BioLogos movement" or the "current scientific establishment" is not "looking for signs of evolution but do not know if they will actually find it", no? im not sure why having various assumptions or working hypotheses that one is testing (hopefully objectively) makes any such pursuit "unscientific".
To my knowledge, there aren't huge numbers of the scientific establishment accusing SETI of being unscientific, no? If it were, they may become so preoccupied.
Nonetheless, this is an interesting sociological observation, but again does not address the question as to whether or not the endeavor itself, considered apart from questions of sociology, is or is not scientific.
I must dispute your characterization of SETI here... the working assumption may be that they are physical, biological aliens, but that is hardly critical to the question of whether or not some such signal is or is not of intelligent origin. A SETI scientist would, I imagine, acknowledge the possibility that the signal could come from some sort of non-corporeal intelligence, and even in theory could be of some kind of divine origin.
I would imagine that SETI maintains it is most certainly possible to detect intelligence/design/purpose while making no assumptions whatsoever as to the nature of that intelligence.
I would sssume they must be different, that seems self-evident: DNA code is a totally different medium than electromagnetic radiation. But again, this is methodological, not to my core question of the propriety of calling the endeavor itself to detect intelligent agency in biology....
But in my limited understanding, at least some of this is done in ID circles. Behe for instance seems to believe in large amounts of biological development and change through the natural forces of evolution alone (I.e., "disproving" signals that may at first appear designed).... though he seems to view some of the biological data, though, as significant enough to demand intelligent agency.
Let me make a comparison to wrap up my perspective: I cheerfully grant that current ID proponents may be doing science very badly. but for comparison: I have heard many people make similar critiques about global warming activists: they are politically motivated, they start with a foregone conclusion, their science is bad, they don't retract bad data, etc., etc., now even if every critique against them were true, it would only prove that they were bad scientists, not that the endeavor itself (to catalog and determine cause of earth's changing temperatures) was itself, inherently, "unscientific."
You have carefully laid out for me, here and and elsewhere, various reasons why you find the ID movement and its proponents to be doing bad science - and I don't significantly disagree. But it also sounds like you are arguing that the endeavor itself - of trying to detect intelligent agency in biological systems - is itself - inherently an "unscientific" (or non-scientific) pursuit. This simply doesn't follow from a critique of their methods. And that is my core contention with the BioLogos perspective that I am trying to better grasp and understand.