I found this Warwick University podcast of a discussion between Steve Fuller and Jack Cohen, which may be of interest if anyone wants some background on Prof Fuller
I hadn't quite realised the extent to which Prof Fuller differs from the standard Creationist stance. It took me a while to "tune in" to his arguments.. at first I was completely floored because I just didn't understand where he was coming from.
Maybe all the experienced Skeptics already understand this, but if not, there is a danger that we end up arguing at cross-purposes to each other.
It's not about how many animals you can feed on an ark.. it's about viewing things from a different philosophical perspective. I think it also involves being slightly cavalier about objective truth.
His rationale for supporting ID is rather unusual (unique?). He is not a theist, and is not actually arguing that the evidence for ID is better than the evidence for evolution. His argument is not that ID is true, but that it is useful.
His central motivation seems to be a fascincation with some sort of over-arching concept of design which embraces human-manufactured objects and also natural objects. His PhD (in Philosophy of Science) was in this area.
He says that the scientists of the 17th and 18th century were motivated by their monotheism; their belief in a single intelligent deity with a plan motivated them to look for the patterns of nature, to understand things from God's point of view. He argues that viewing things from the perspective of a designer ("how would I design that if I were the designer") will have a similarly intellectually liberating effect on modern day scientists, allowing them to discover everything anew, unconfined by the scientific orthodoxy.
It all seems a bit vague. It may just be because we were only given a quick summary, but my suspicion is that the actual concepts are vague and do not bear close examination. For example, you can't possibly as an individual start again and discover science afresh. You should certainly encourage children to have a "discovery" approach to science (anyone else remember Nuffield Physics?), but you have to accept that what they are discovering is already mainstream science.
And, even if the early scientists really were motivated by their monotheism, and not merely expressing their search for truth in terms of their monotheism, I still do not think it follows that modern-day scientists will be helped by considering nature through the eyes of a designer who might not exist.
In fact, it seems to me the reverse: the scientists of the Enlightenment were inspired by reason and order. The scientists of ID seem to be saying "God acted in a personal and arbitrary way", which would seem to me to be stultifying rather than inspiring. (in fact, what concerned me about the the Layfield essay, more than the creationism, was this idea of teaching kids there were some things we humans will never understand, because of our human limitations).
At best, it seems to be an interesting philosophical game.
But...I'd be interested to hear another skeptic's view on this.. preferably one who doesn't have to look up the word "heuristic" in a dictionary (he used this word a lot, and actually I still don't really understand it.)