Intelligent design is often equated with creationism. They are not the same, not even close. First, ID has no conection to the Genesis account of creation and it doesn't invoke the supernatural. Second, ID isn't anti-evolution.
Here is a quote from a prominent ID advocate that blows the assertion that ID is creationism right out of the water. William Dembski says:
ID is not an interventionist theory. It's only commitment is that the design in the world be empirically detectable. All the design could therefore have emerged through a cosmic evolutionary process that started with the Big Bang. What's more, the designer need not be a deity. It could be an extraterrestrial or a telic process inherent in the universe. ID has no doctrine of creation.
Intelligent design does not require organisms to emerge suddenly or be specially created from scratch by the intervention of a designing intelligence. To be sure, intelligent design is compatible with the creationist idea of organisms being suddenly created from scratch. But it is also perfectly compatible with the evolutionist idea of new organisms arising from old by a process of generation. What separates intelligent design from naturalistic evolution is not whether organisms evolved or the extent to which they evolved but what was responsible for their evolution.
According to Darwinian theory, evolution is a blind, undirected, purposeless process. In the words of Richard Dawkins:
Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view.
Stephen J. Gould has compared evolution to a drunk reeling back and forth between the bar room wall and the gutter (Gould 1996 page 149). He has also described intelligence as an evolutionary accident.
If one rejects this view is their only choice to be anti-evolution? No. One can view evolution as a teleological process, a process that was designed.
Evolutionary biologist Denis Lamoureux says:
I am a thoroughly committed and unapologetic evolutionary biologist trained to the PhD level... I find that the evidence for biological evolution is overwhelming...And, I believe in Intelligent Design. I see the creation "declaring the glory" of God's mind everyday... I believe that God created life, including humanity, through an ordained and sustained evolutionary process, which even reflects intelligent design...
To me, the evolution of life is similar to our creation in our mother's womb. No one thinks that God comes out of heaven to attach a nose or an ear. Rather, most believe that the Creator 'knit our fearfully and wonderfully made' bodies through His embryological natural processes...To be sure, intelligent design in nature is real.
So is evolution like a drunk reeling back and forth between the bar room wall and the gutter or is it like an embryological process? The former describes the Darwinian view of evolution and the latter is the intelligent design perspective. While the embryological process is entirely naturalistic and doesn't require an intelligent entity intervening to "attach a nose or an ear" it nevertheless is not a Darwinian process. The embryological process is teleological. In other words, it is a goal-directed, pre-programmed process. It doesn't depend on accidents (mutations) coincidentally linking together with random changes in the environment to produce a baby. So the issue before us isn't ID versus evolution. It's whether the evolutionary process is devoid of design, goal, or purpose.
Polls show that about half of those that believe in God also believe that God guided/directed the evolutionary process. This view is not compatible with Darwinian evolution which is a blind, undirected, purposeless process. The alternative? Cambridge Paleontologist Simon Conway Morris says:
Does evolution have a structure, an overall design, perhaps even a purpose? Orthodox opinion recoils from this prospect. Evolution, it is widely believed, is an effectively random process where almost any outcome is possible. If evolution is in some sense channeled, then this reopens the controversial prospect of a teleology; that is, the process is underpinned by a purpose.
There is no reason why a teleological approach can't run an investigation based on observations, logic, and testing. Evolution and design can co-exist. Things can be designed to evolve. Evolution can be designed. Evolution can be used by design.
The ID perspective allows one to investigate these evolutionary possibilities:
1. Evolution was front-loaded such that its unfolding was channeled.
2. Evolution was designed such that it could acquire new information over time.
3. Permutations of 1 and 2.
Does the educational system have an obligation to make sure that school children don't find out that scientists are investigating these possibilities?