UK journo Melanie Phillips has made a fool of herself with this article, in which she whines that intelligent design is different to creationism. It is different, actually, but she gets the reason why completely ass-backwards. Here's what she says:
[Ken Miller said] that Intelligent Design was nothing more than an attempt to repackage good old-fashioned Creationism and make it more palatable. But this is totally untrue. Miller referred to a landmark US court case in 2005, Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District, which did indeed uphold the argument that Intelligent Design was a form of Creationism in its ruling that teaching Intelligent Design violated the constitutional ban against teaching religion in public schools. But the court was simply wrong, doubtless because it had heard muddled testimony from the likes of Prof Miller.
The court heard from a wide variety of experts on both sides of the controversy, including Professor Miller, an evolutionary biologist and Christian who has written several books on the subject. During the court case it was established that the main intelligent design textbook was a carbon copy of an older book on creationism, with the word "creationists" sloppily replaced with "design proponents" throughout. But according to Melanie, intelligent design is real science, and has nothing to do with religion:
The fact is that Intelligent Design not only does not come out of Creationism but stands against it. This is because Creationism comes out of religion while Intelligent Design comes out of science. Creationism, whose proponents are Bible literalists, is a specific doctrine which holds that the earth was literally created in six days. Intelligent Design, whose proponents are mainly scientists, holds that the complexity of science suggests that there must have been a governing intelligence behind the origin of matter, which could not have developed spontaneously from nothing.
Actually, Melanie, biblical creationism is far more scientific than intelligent design. Let me explain why.
Like real science, biblical creationism is based on evidence*. Intelligent design is based purely on the gaps in our knowledge, gaps that are constantly shrinking. Thus the amount of information "supporting" intelligent design is actually decreasing with time.
Like real science, biblical creationism makes very specific predictions**. Intelligent design does postulate the existence of objects that couldn't have evolved by natural means, but it offers no theoretical framework that could be used to predict what these might be, or where they might be found.
Like real science, biblical creationism is falsifiable***. Since intelligent design makes no positive assertions, no piece of evidence can be envisaged that could refute it.
None of this means that creationism is good science, of course. The failing of creationism as a science is ultimately the same failing of intelligent design; that is they are both founded on immovable religious ideas which themselves have no scientific basis.
And it takes some gall to deny that intelligent design is religion in disguise. Please. Intelligent design advocates may go to great pains to assert that the designer could be an alien, but when they wrap up their case they'll almost always finish by saying something like "...and we believe that this intelligent designer is the Christian God. Praise Jesus!".
At least biblical creationists have the self-confidence to stick to their founding beliefs (no matter how crazy those beliefs are) instead of cowardly dressing them up as something else entirely.
*The evidence being the Bible. I didn't say it was reliable evidence.
**Predictions like "the Earth is six thousand years old". I didn't say the predictions had to turn out to be true.
***And indeed it has been falsified countless times.