Most in the science world wouldn’t have the guts or the generosity or the adventurousness to praise a book about intelligent design that way.
An “engineering theory of evolution” might be one way of expressing what the ID proponents who participated in the CELS event were seeking.
Yes, he doesn’t call it “intelligent design,” of course, and I’m confident he would deny the cell is designed.
Literary critic M. D. Aeschliman sketches the intellectual evolution that connects Barzun with later Darwin critics. The latest is Stephen Meyer.
Every cosmology either has theistic implications, or ends up wrecking the basis for rational scientific investigation of nature.