I don't typically use comments as a spring board for a new topic, but sometimes significant developments occur. In the thread on Gaps, ID, and the OOL, I noted:
The only way for [skeptics] to break out of this mindset is for someone to provide powerful, independent evidence of the designer(s), even though the design of life does not entail that such independent information should be available to us now.
This led TT member Aagcobb to comment that he would accept a message in the genome as evidence for ID, where the message could be "something that would be universally recognizable, perhaps prime numbers." TT member Salim agreed, arguing, "If ID proponents could find and decode a message from the designer, that would be an exquisite validation of their own theory."
In one fell swoop, the critics have corroborated two of my arguments. First, the designer-centric approach is not necessary. It turns out the critics really don't need independent information about the existence, nature, identity, and motivations of the designer. They don't need independent information about the technical abilities of the designer. They don't need the actual mechanism by which the message was implanted in the genome. So they don't need the answers to who? when? where? and how? in order to infer design after all. The message alone will suffice.
Second, what happened to the "who designed the designer?" argument. It has completely vanished! The critics would recognize a message as the product of design even though they could not explain the origin of the message's designer.
Thus, we have a brief moment of clarity here, showing that the demands for information about the designer, along with the demands that the designer's origin must come into play, have all been rhetorical smokescreens.
Either a message in the genome constitutes evidence for ID or it does not. If it does, then one does not need to first acquire a significant amount of information about the designers to detect design. Such information may be helpful, but it would not always be necessary. If it does not, then my original point stands: "The only way for skeptics to break out of this mindset is for someone to provide powerful, independent evidence of the designer(s), even though the design of life does not entail that such independent information should be available to us now."