Rescher is a key figure in ‘new American pragmatist philosophy’. His work shares many commonalities with critical realism and engaging with it is always a rewarding experience. In this paper I set out the key features of his work on evolution and intelligent design, Productive Evolution: On Reconciling Evolution with Intelligent Design, and then address the weaknesses in the argument. The central strength of the argument is its innovative approach to the meaning of intelligent design in its relation to evolution. I use an analysis of the text to then consider what this suggests in terms of the nuance of immanent critique as realist concept.