In the fifteenth proposition of John H. Walton’s The Lost World of Genesis One he states that debates over Intelligent Design concern purpose.
Since Walton argues that Genesis 1 is about functional origins and not material origins he doesn’t think it matters if God used various natural mechanisms and forms of evolution. How God created doesn’t determine whether or not God created.
As Christians Walton says we affirm,
“Nothing could be considered accidental. Nothing happens ‘by itself,’ and origins are not just found in the outworking of natural law. Nothing is really coincidence.’ (p. 124)
So God was involved in creation no matter how God did it.
When the debate arises between those who affirm Intelligent Design (ID) and those who affirm Neo-Darwinism Walton suggest that something it is misguided. ID advocates may be right to critique the idea of the universe blindly unfolding, but Walton says they don’t offer an alternative scientific paradigm. Scientist are right to avoid a “God-of-the-Gaps” approach because if the gave metaphysical solutions to all problems science would never progress, but ultimately that doesn’t give scientist the right to address the telos of creation.
So Walton seems comfortable with scientist seeking natural explanations for how things work, but he understands ID’s point that God is behind creation. What he doesn’t like about ID is that they would make a distinction between things that happened because of God and things that did not. When science explains “how” things work this will eventually squeeze God out of the picture. But if we assume that even when we can explain the naturalistic functions that God may be involved this creates a different discussion altogether.