A long time commenter at UncommonDescent gives his opinion on ID’s position with regard to common descent:
The design inference is compatible with common descent and with universal common descent; a certain Michael Behe is a case in point on this. Common descent all the way up to universal common descent, is compatible with intelligently directed configuration of first life and of major forms thereafter including our own.
Yet in all my time learning about ID it’s never been clear to me, if that’s the case why are there not specific predictions from ID about what we will find in the fossil record?
For example if we look at this depiction of the evolution of the horse at Wikipedia are any of those a “major form” requiring intelligent design intervention? If so, then that’s a gap we’d not expect to see filled with another type of horse, right?
If such a specific prediction were to be made then what of ID if an intermediary is then found in the gap that ID supporters say were bridged only by intelligent design, because that gap could only be bridged by ID?
Is ID disconfirmed when a specific claim that a transition between two “major forms” can only be done via ID is shown to be false by finding such an intermediary? Is this why no ID supporter seems to want to go on the record with such a specific prediction? Or even to say what a “major form” actually is? I can’t say I’ve seen it defined.
There is much talk from the ID camp as to why predicting where Tiktaalik could be found demonstrates nothing. Yet it seems to me that ID should be good at predicting the lack of certain fossils, once “major forms” are defined with specificity. A design problem is unlikely to always be solved, in every single case, with a minor tweak to existing functionality. If there are, as I believe the claim is, jumps that can only be made by ID then that should be sufficient for such predictions to be made surely?
We can go and dig, and if we find nothing then ID is confirmed. Or, at least, not disconfirmed. Do that enough and eventually the odds will start to stack in ID’s favour. Or we find A and C with no sign of B despite it being obvious from an unguided, incremental evolutionary point of view it should be present.
Or does Intelligent Design predict both a finely graduated chain of fossils and discontinuous jumps? It’s a criticism they often make of the other side, that both X and the lack of X are predicted by evolution, are they actually any better? I honestly don’t know. And searching for “major form” and “Intelligent design” shows no such clear definitions. Searching for “major form” at UD produces only challenges to evolutionists to demonstrate evolution from one major form to another. Perhaps if a definition can be provided and applied to what we know of the evolution of the horse….