Well, I'm not a scientist--not by a long shot--but let me add 1 1/2 cents here. That we exist and can think seems to point towards there being life on earth. We don't know for sure how life came to be originally, but we have a pretty good idea how life went from point A to point B as far as biological life goes; it's called the theory of evolution. It's a theory in the scientific sense
(not the everyday sense), meaning that it's an idea that seeks to make sense of various different (and even disparate) facts. A scientist cannot "prove" (ie. demonstrate infallibly and with 100% assurance) evolution, nor would he claim to be able to do so. That's why scientists use words like tentative when speaking of their beliefs. But there are certainly different degrees of evidence, and with that comes different degrees of assurance.
I don't really see how a scientist getting a signal from SETI would react any differently than getting a sign of life on earth. In both cases, he'd assume some type of evolutionary process, because that's the current idea which has the most verifiable, testable, repeatable evidence supporting it. I guess the reason that I wasn't understanding your point is that you seemed to be mixing apples and oranges, and I didn't quite see the connection. I'm still not sure that I have, so I'm sorry if I've misread you. You'll just have to forgive a "truly blind" guy like me
Regarding the original question, I'm fine with however people wanted to take it, and however people want to discuss it. I guess what I was looking for was something like this.
1) In what way is ID different than Old Earth Creationism? They both seem to allow for an old earth/universe, but include God in an evolutionary process every step of the way (unlike, say, Deism). It's just that they replace natural selection with divine selection as the mechanism. If ID really is the same as old earth creationism--apart from more sophisticated arguments--then what is the reason for the name change? I think I know the answer, but rather than assume I'm right, I'm looking for alternatives.
2) Some say that the difference between ID and OE Creationism is that the former doesn't require
that the ID be a god. So... what would this ID be, then? Specifically, what ID other than a god could create the universe, the laws of the universe, etc.?
EDIT--Fixed a typo