I’m an IDist and professing Young Earth Creationist, but I argue IDists and creationists should not make the claim there is a positive case or direct evidence for ID. I said as much in an radio interview long ago, and I say it even more forcefully today.
When in the court of law, when we say someone is making a case, it doesn’t necessarily mean their ultimate claim is true or false, it is that they are presenting arguments (either good or bad) where “a case” is the set of those arguments. When someone says, “you don’t have a case”, that means the set of arguments is unconvincing, but for the sake of this discussion, I will simply define “case” as a set of arguments without specifying whether the case is convincing or not.
Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact—like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly—i.e., without need for any additional evidence or inference.
In fact, I don’t see the phrase “positive case” used much in legal proceeding relative to “circumstantial” or “direct”. When some things are so self evident, like the presence of air in your lungs, there is not much point in debate when the case is so undeniably positive.
Some IDists think that arguing there is “direct evidence” of design or “positive evidence” makes their claim have more force, but in my opinion “they look the fool” when they get called on it because the common understanding would be that the arguments for ID and creation should be classified as circumstantial, not a direct or positive ones. The fact that ID and creation are based on circumstantial arguments is symbolized by the title Bill Dembski’s book, The Design Inference. IDists might mince words, but I don’t think in the common usage, the arguments for ID or special creation, when considered carefully should be classified as direct or positive.
Of course I’d like to claim direct evidence of creation and design, but I don’t think I would do the topic justice by making claims I can’t defend. We play the hand we are dealt. If God would speak from the heavens as described in the Books of Moses to us today, and thus provided direct testimony to us, if at the Dover Trial God appeared and incinerated Judge Jones as he rendered his verdict about God’s creation, that would count as direct and positive evidence for ID in my book. Short of such things happening, ID and creation can only be argued via circumstantial arguments for those of us in the present day.