I've been thinking a bit about thinkers who recognize teleology in nature but don't want to attribute this to a superpowerful and intelligent being. Here I have Thomas Nagel in mind, but it may be that Stephen L. Talbott also fits the description. Talbott is particularly interested in organismal holism, and this thought came to me:
If it appears that the parts of an organism do not work without the whole organism and that the whole organism does not work without its parts, or even that "parts" is an overly crude word for the dynamic relationship between, say, enzymes, proteins, or cells and an organism as a whole, this apparent holism argues not for some kind of immanent teleology which (in some unspecified manner) makes gradualist Darwinian explanations more plausible by making Darwinism itself (in some unspecified sense) teleological. Rather, it is evidence for a more radical degree of intervention (that bogey of the theistic evolutionists) even than some Intelligent Design theorists want to hold out for--namely, that an intelligent being made the whole organism at once.
In other words, recognition of the importance of organs as wholes and of the nearly insoluble chicken-and-the-egg problem of an issue like body plan development in the newly conceived embryo constitutes, whether people realize it or not, an argument for special creation of species.
Notice that by itself this says nothing about the age of the earth. Progressive creationism could also involve special creation at widely spaced intervals.