Recently I said that origin of life questions fall outside of the authority of science, because science can only speak on that which is observed and repeated. Which life’s origin cannot be. I have also been re-reading Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis (we gave the book for gifts this Christmas), and was delighted to see that Lewis makes the same argument about science!
And note this too. You cannot find out which view [either materialism, the view that matter and space is all there is, and can itself be explained by matter and space, or creationism, the view that matter and space is not all there is, and that matter and space can only be explained by an intelligence outside of either of them] is the right one by science in the ordinary sense. Science works by experiments. It watches how things behave. Every scientific statement in the long run, however complicated it looks, really means something like, ‘I pointed the telescope to such and such part of the sky at 2:20 a.m. on January 15th and saw so-and-so,’ or, ‘I put some of this stuff in a pot and heated it to such and such a temperature and it did so-and-so.’ Do not think I am saying anything against science: I am only saying what its job is. And the more scientific a man is, the more (I believe) he would agree with me that this is the job of science–and a very useful and necessary job it is too. But why anything comes to be there at all, and whether there is anything behind the things science observes–something of a different kind–this is not a scientific question. If there is ‘Something Behind’, then either it will have to remain altogether unknown to men or else make itself known in some different way. The statement that there is any such thing, and the statement that there is no such thing, are neither of them statements that science can make. And real scientists do not usually make them. … After all, it is really a matter of common sense. Supposing science ever became complete so that it knew every single thing in the whole universe. Is it not plain that the questions, ‘Why is there a universe?’ ‘Why does it go on as it does?’ ‘Has it any meaning?’ would remain just as they were?
C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, chapter 4: What Lies Behind the Law
He then goes on to say that those questions are not hopelessly unanswerable, but that they are answerable by means other than science. Really, ID ought not to be taught in schools any more than darwinism* should. The questions of the origin of life are questions of philosophy and theology, and by the time students are studying those–i.e., college–they are, or ought to be, equipped enough to discern truth from error.
* For clarification purposes, I use the term darwinism to mean that theory in which life is explained by non-living chemicals organizing themselves, at some time in the distant past, into self-reproducing organisms. I am not speaking of natural selection, for which there is abundant scientific evidence, when I use the term darwinism.