The topic is Intelligent Design.
Now, rather than attempt to re-hash the arguments and discussions at these posts, I'd rather comment on what I consider to be the limited field all those involved seem to playing in. I've watched, and participated, in this debate for several years now, and one thing I've noticed is how predictable the paths of argumentation are. E.g., Intelligent Design (ID) is simply the concept of irreducible complexity (IC), ID is God of the gaps, Methodological Naturalism (MN) is science of the gaps, MN cannot produce increasing information, the fossil record provides evidence for MN, the fossil record provides evidence for ID, implied design is just that - implied. The debate can, believe me, go on and on.
Yet I can't help but wonder if most of those involved in such debates are somehow missing the bigger picture. Consider that many of those involved are engaged in work in the sciences, or perhaps scholars, etc. Since the topic is, essentially, design, how many of those involved are intimately familiar with the design process? And, by "design", I'm not necessarily referring to artistic design, although that too can be discussed in this context. What I'm referring to, by use of the word "design", is more akin to engineering design - that which occurs when one is designing and building a mechanical component of some sort.
In the world outside of science and academia, the act of engineering design is readily seen in many areas. One example is the design of an oil refinery. The basic process involved in an oil refinery is that a product comes in (crude oil) and a product, or several products, goes out (refined fuels). However, to get from the "in" to the "out" requires a multitude of apparatus such as pumps, air coolers, specialized refining vessels, rotating equipment, pipeways, steel structures, electrical transformers, control instruments, electrical wiring, foundations, etc. Each of these individual units are either custom designed, or are selected based on design parameters.
The term I just used, "design parameters", doesn't seem to come up much in ID / MN debates, yet no design project in the world would go forward were it not for design parameters. Design parameters are specifications which engineers and designers use to guide the type of design they come up with. These parameters essentially dictate the end result. An oil refinery project may have unique design parameters based on a variety of factors. For example, design and construction projects must be funded and, if cash flows are limited, the design and execution of the project may also be limited (a parameter)). The upstream product, what goes "in" to the refinery, may be of a certain quality or type that then dictates the type of refining equipment to be designed. The desired output product will dictate the type of process to be designed. The geographical location of a project will dictate the physical layout of the design. At the micro level, specific pieces of equipment may be designed based on availability, or even client preference. And, it should be noted, these design factors follow through into the actual construction of the equipment and refinery.
So, how does this apply to the ID / MN debate?
As we discover more about the biological realm, we find more complexity, both integrated and, as some would argue, irreducible. Regardless of whether or not the complexity is irreducible, though, the point is that we find structures and systems that exhibit the characteristics of design. As Joe Carter pointed out, this characteristic is essentially accepted by both camps (Intelligent Design vs. Bind Watchmaker Design). That fact alone, in my opinion, mandates that design principles and methodologies, in the world outside of academia, be addressed as to how they relate, or don't relate, to biological systems.
Despite the overwhelming prevalence of evolutionary teaching, in the U.S., over the past 50 years, the general population still has a difficult time accepting it as fact. Academia claims that such results simply justify the need for more education. Yet could it be that the general population simply sees something that the academics don't? Could it be that the general population has the common sense ability to correlate complex biological (and natural) systems with human designed systems?
Could it be academia that is missing the bigger picture?
When I began work, out of university, a joke was told to me about a Ph.D. graduate who had landed his first job at an engineering firm. After orientation, he was taken to his work station, introduced to his fellow co-workers, and then given a broom. "What's this for?", he asks. "We need the storeroom swept up," responds his boss. "But," the Ph.D. employee replies, "I've got a Ph.D.!" His boss thinks for a moment, and then says, "Oh, yes. I forgot." His boss then takes the broom from him and, as he sweeps back and forth, says, "This is how you sweep."
It seems to me that too many individuals in the ID / MN debate brush off references to human design as being non-applicable. Yet if design is what is being discussed, whether it is Intelligent Design or Blind Watchmaker Design, then we had better be about educating ourselves in how design occurs.