I am skeptical of the Darwinian theory of evolution and support Intelligent Design theory for purely scientific and metaphysical (but not religious) reasons. I embrace Intelligent Design theory as a valid scientific research paradigm that has decisively refuted Neodarwinism, which was the only conceivable option for a purely mechanistic explanation for the origin of biological complexity. As intelligent agency is the only known source for specified information, the infusion of information by an intelligent agent from outside of the system is the best explanation for biological complexity and diversity. Because of independent arguments for the truth of philosophical theism, I am convinced that the intelligent designer is God. Even though, Intelligent Design theory is in principle compatible with universal common descent and guided evolution, I personally have come to reject universal common descent in favor of a sophisticated version of progressive (Old Earth) special creation in terms of non-random adaptive macromutations in the "womb" of parental organisms (analogous to Schindewolf's and Goldschmidt's "hopeful monsters", recently endorsed by Rieppel 2017), combined with the exemplificstion of a new platonic form as template in the mind of God ("special transformism" sensu Chaberek 2017). However, I do affirm that every organism (apart from the first living cell) was produced / born from a biological mother organism and thus did not pop into being ex nihilo, and I also do affirm naturalistic micro-evolutionary speciation within biological kinds (kind = metaphysical species. These two affirmations together may qualify as affirmation of common ancestry in the eyes of many evolutionary biologists. I see neither any scientific nor compelling theological reasons to dispute the conventional dating of the age of the universe and Earth, or the conventional explanations for the origin of the geological column and the fossil record.
As a scientist, who should follow the evidence wherever it leads, I came to doubt the naturalistic Neodarwinian paradigm of unguided evolution via a purely mechanistic process of chance (random mutation, sexual recombination, genetic drift) and necessity (natural and sexual selection), even when supplemented with more modern concepts like symbiogenesis, multilevel (group) selection, epigenetic inheritance, evolvability, natural genetic engineering, phenotypic plasticity, and niche construction, as suggested by the proponents of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (Third Way, Evolution 2.0). None of these phenomena can explain the origin of complex biological novelty, and some (e.g., natural genetic engineering, phenotypic plasticity, and evolvability) require intelligent design themselves. Therefore, I signed the "Scientific Dissent from Darwinism" list.
Even before my conversion to theism, I became convinced that only a goal-directed (teleological) process, either with laws of biological form (structuralism) or with non-random adaptive macro-mutations, can explain the evidence. This assumption is also compatible with and supported by the discontinuous fossil record, which strongly suggests saltational origins. Therefore, I totally agree with the views in Stephen C. Meyer's book "Darwin's Doubt".
My rejection of unguided evolution was not motivated by religion, but by some very convincing and still unrefuted scientific arguments from Intelligent Design proponents, based on population genetics (Richard Sternberg), microbiology (Michael Behe), and molecular biology (Douglas Axe). These arguments emphasize the waiting time for coordinated mutations, or the isolated islands of functionality in a vast search space, which strongly limit the capability of a Neodarwinian process.
Concerning the origin of life and the first replicator I consider all naturalistic explanations as wanting and inadequate, and strongly support the conclusions in favor of design presented by Stephen C. Meyer in his excellent book "Signature in the Cell".
No, Intelligent Design theory is not creationism in a cheap tuxedo, but purely an empirical scientific method to detect the traces of intelligent agency in biological organisms. I concur with the atheist philosopher Bradley Monton that Intelligent Design is not religion but a valid scientific approach.
The term Theistic Evolution is not clearly defined, and often rather represents an euphemism for Neodarwinism with a gratuitous God, implying a kind of Deistic Evolution, in which God creates the diversity of life by establishing an unguided process. I consider this as scientifically and theologically problematic, and incompatible with scripture.
I strictly separated all my activities in favor of Intelligent Design and natural theology from my professional work as paleontologist when I still worked as a museum scientist at SMNS.
My endorsement of Intelligent Design and philosophical theism is exclusively my private point of view and is neither shared by my former colleagues at SMNS nor by the co-authors of my paleontological publications, who to my best knowledge generally subscribe to the mainstream evolutionary paradigm of Neodarwinism or the New Synthesis!
After resigning from my job at SMNS in December 2016 I am still actively working as a paleontologist and publish my research in peer-reviewed scientific journals. My ID-related work is published in appropriate journals and books that are open to design conclusions.