Michael Flannery points out that the lack of fit between Darwinism and modern genetics and molecular biology, for example, while often cited, would be just as compatible with the Third Way movement in biology—that is, non-Darwinian biologists who are not ID sympathizers.
He offers three events that he thinks boosted ID specifically: You can read about the first two for yourself at the link but you may not even have ever heard of the third:
Finally, the complete discrediting of the Vienna Circle and the logical positivists. Their principle of hard verificationism made them, in Nicholas Fotion’s words, “science-intoxicated.” As the disabilities of their extreme scientism became more manifest, being pointed out by philosophers like Willard Van Orman Quine, J. L. Austin, Michael Polanyi, and Hilary Putnam, a richer and more dynamic array of philosophical alternatives were offered. I’m not saying these thinkers were in any sense ID proponents, but I am saying they rejected the reductionist scientism that started with Comte and carried through to the 1930s and ‘40s with the logical positivist.Michael Flannery, “What Precipitated the Intelligent Design Movement?” at Evolution News and Science Today:
In street terms, “reductionist scientism” is the sort of thing that causes people to splinter lecterns proclaiming stuff like: If we just throw enough pure Darwinism at the origin of life, we’ll crack it. And we’ll find the organ to produces consciousness while we are at it!
That sort of thing probably slows science down because it prevents people from asking orienting questions like “How do we know, apart from our belief that it ought to be so, that our assumed account of the phenomenon is a correct one?” It’s hard to solve problems that our philosophy of life prevents us from trying to really understand.