If you would please bear me with me, I would like to propose the following thought experiment and hear how you would react.
Imagine that you are an evolutionary microbiologist who is asked to review a research paper for a mainstream microbiology journal. The paper concerns a group of bacteria which have a specific molecular structure, which we will call Structure X. The exact nature of Structure X doesn’t matter to this thought experiment. However, the widespread consensus, shared by every researcher who has studied Structure X, is that it represents a case of “poor design”, because it lacks a specific feature, which we will call Feature Y.
Now, the paper you are asked to review makes the following argument: The author believes Structure X to be intelligently designed. He argues that for the designer to design life, they must be at least as intelligent as humans, and would therefore not have designed something which we would recognize as “poor design”. From this argument, the paper derives the prediction that Feature Y actually exists but hasn’t been discovered yet.
The paper then goes on to describe how the author tested his prediction and indeed found Feature Y, along with an explanation why previous researchers hasn’t found it.
The paper doesn’t argue that natural selection couldn’t have produced Structure X or Feature Y.
Other than the unusual source of inspiration, you find nothing objectionable about the paper. The finding is novel and interesting, the evidence for the existence of Feature Y is solid, and the experiment design is good.
Now for the question: Would you recommend this paper for publication? Why or why not?
A follow-up question: Would the concern that the Discovery Institute (a pro-ID think thank) might refer to the paper as an example of “peer reviewed ID research” influence your decision?