Here are two common objections to intelligent design theory:
i) Design flaws are counterevidence
ii) Design detection presumes knowing the intentions of the agent.
I think both these objections are bad objections in their own right, but for now I’m primarily interested in how they cohere (or not). For doesn’t (ii) cancel out (i)? If (arguendo) we lack access to the intentions of the designer, then how can we know if something is poorly designed?
For instance, planned obsolescence might appear to be a design flaw. But that serves an economic purpose.
Also, doesn’t (ii) sabotage the argument from evil? If we lack access to God's intentions, how can atheists say any particular evil is gratuitous or lacking a morally sufficient rationale? If they raised that objection to intelligent design, doesn’t that boomerang on the argument from evil?