Well, I must say I didn’t expect to be honored by a 7500 word broadside by philosopher Dr. Vincent Torley, assisted by Dr. Josh Swamidass, Assistant Professor at Washington University. I guess they must have a lot of spare time. The reason for the post at Uncommon Descent? Both hold common descent to be absolutely, incontrovertibly, obviously true, and they apparently wish I would fall into line and stop embarrassing them by doubting common descent. They wish I would give up my “peculiar kind of intellectual obstinacy.”
The argument is in the end all about common descent. (There are a few accusations of poor reasoning, obscuring the issue, and even a little bad faith along the way.) Look, intelligent design is not wedded to common descent. Neither is it wedded to a denial of common descent. Intelligent design states that there is evidence of design in the universe. I think we are in agreement on this point. In terms of biology, how the designer instantiated that design is still subject to debate, based on the strength of the evidence for each position.
As a biologist, I see evidence on both sides of the debate. The evidence is equivocal — hence the fact that ID advocates take different positions on the subject. Yet common descent — the idea that organisms descend from one or a few common ancestors — is treated like a sacred cow by many scientists, and even, it appears, by some philosophers. Indignation arises that anyone would doubt it, would even have questions. Scientists take common descent as axiomatic, and accept evidence that is itself interpreted through a lens of common descent as proof of common descent. As a consequence, any evidence against common descent meets opposition and is explained away.More.
Background: Vincent Torley: Evidence for common descent: here