Rod Dreher

Not much, either for science or religion, says physicist Stephen Barr. Excerpt:

None of this is to say that the conclusions the ID movement draws about how life came to be and how it evolves are intrinsically unreasonable or necessarily wrong. Nor is it to deny that the ID movement has been treated atrociously and that it has been lied about by many scientists. The question I am raising is whether this quixotic attempt by a small and lightly armed band to overthrow “Darwinism” and bring about a new scientific revolution has accomplished anything good. It has had no effect on scientific thought. Its main consequence has been to strengthen the general perception that science and religion are at war.
Cui bono? Only those people whose religious doctrines entail either Young Earth creationism or a rejection of common descent. Such people already and necessarily were in a state of war with modern science and have no choice but to fight that war to the bitter end. Many of them see in the ID movement a useful ally in that war (as the Dover trial illustrated), despite the fact that the ID movement does not deny common descent or the age of the earth. Other religious people, however, have nothing to gain and a great deal to lose by the ID movement’s frontal assault on well-defended redoubts of modern science–an assault that has come to resemble the Charge of the Light Brigade.
I suspect that some religious people have embraced the ID movement’s arguments because they want “scientific” answers to the scientific atheists, and they know of no others. But there are plenty of ways to make a case for the reasonableness of religious belief that can be persuasive to many in the scientific world. Such a case has been made by a growing number of research scientists who are Christian believers, such as John Polkinghorne, Owen Gingerich, Francis Collins, Peter E. Hodgson, Michal Heller, Kenneth R. Miller, and Marco Bersanelli. I have addressed many audiences myself using arguments similar to theirs and have had scientists whom I know to be of firm atheist convictions tell me that they came away with more respect for the religious position. Religion has a significant number of friends (and potential friends) in the scientific world. The ID movement is not creating new ones.

You should read the lengthy comments thread under the Barr essay, in which Barr and his critics mix it up. Great stuff.
Some people are under the impression that the Templeton Foundation (for whom I work) supports ID. Well, let the words of leading ID proponent William Dembski, responding to Barr’s essay, clear that up for you:

By contrast, the Templeton-sponsored theistic evolutionary community, which Barr has now fully embraced, is welcome to the respect that have so richly earned and which buys them nothing in the eternal scheme of things.

Do read Dembski’s entire response, not only because he deserves his reply, but also because it’s unusually personal; he’s basically saying that his old (former?) friend Steve Barr is selling his soul for respectability.

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