A common complaint about ID is that is has no research program. But what would constitute such a research program? I can think of at least two areas that could qualify, design detection and design dynamics. While ID theorists like Michael Behe, William Dembski, and others have spoken to the issue of design detection, I would like to focus on the area of design dynamics.
In my view while it may be that design detection can be done without appealing to design dynamics, I think it can be a fruitful area that both supports detection and at the same time offers a scientific perspective that can be extremely fruitful and important today. We live in world where the manipulation of genetic material is a real possibility. Mike Gene, Krauze, and Deuce have been addressing this issue here. It is an extremely important issue because of both the potential for benefit but also the threat for disaster.
Who would question the phenomenal success of evolutionary processes in creating remarkable complexity in our world. Somehow those processes have navigated the circuitous path of creating remarkable change without wholesale destruction. While evolution certainly has its "victims" of the process, none the less, it has not imploded the process itself into oblivion. Today such an implosion is a real possibility if arrogance overcomes humility.
So what to do? Genetic engineering offers real possibilities to defeat disease and self create species hopefully toward some noble goal. The benefits may be high but the risks are also high. One moderating factor could be ID research into the design dynamics of "natural" evolution. If, for the sake of argument, it is assumed that there is an intentionality involved in the evolutionary process, how does it work? What are the design processes at work? Why has it been so successful?
Design dynamics is basically the interplay of intelligence and constraint towards some specification. In mission critical applications design dynamics insists on restraint. It recognizes the limitations of foresight and planning and develops contingency plans, bale outs, shut down processes, built in tests, self awareness, environment sensing, feed back loops, etc. While these are engineering factors one would expect similar features in any intelligently designed system. Because of the incredible complexity of biological systems and the far reaching consequences of change, it would behoove genetic engineers to investigate how biotic systems have been designed.