DesCartes, the 17th century philosopher was a dualist, proposing that our consciousness/mind has a separate reality from our body.6 Is there a God-created soul and spirit and consciousness which exists apart from the body? This is a scientific a philosophical and a religious question. If there is a non-physical soul and spirit, then it might not be detectable by any direct physical measurement, and therefore, it might be, by definition, supernatural. I agree on dualism , based on clinical experiments and testimonies 2 , and philosophy of the mind 3 . Since the mind cannot be detected physically, it is a non-physical entity, and does not belong to the realm of the physical world, and is supernatural.
1. The mind is supernatural
2 The effects of the mind are natural, physical, tangible, visible, and can be tested scientifically.
Popper argued that the central property of science is falsifiability. That is, every genuinely scientific claim is capable of being proven false, at least in principle.
So can the substance of the mind be subject to scientific scrutiny and inquiry ? No.
Can the effects of the mind subject to scientific scrutiny and testing ? yes.
According to Discovery, the theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. 4 ID is a scientific theory that employs the methods commonly used by other historical sciences to conclude that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. ID theorists argue that design can be inferred by studying the informational properties of natural objects to determine if they bear the type of information that in our experience arise from an intelligent cause. The form of information which we observe is produced by intelligent action, and thus reliably indicates design, is generally called “specified complexity” or “complex and specified information” (CSI). An object or event is complex if it is unlikely, and specified if it matches some independent pattern.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has however stated that "creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science." 5
So they question the fact , that the action of a supernatural agent cannot be tested by the methods of science. There is however a shift of terminology, while Discovery points to the effects of intelligence, and how features in nature point to a intelligent agent, the academy of sciences requires that the intervention , the act per se of creation, should be possible of observation, and testing. And if it does not meet that critecia, its not science. Is that true?
The distinction is basically operational x historical sciences. While through operational sciences following questions can be answered :
1. What is X ( Elucidating the components and structure )
2. What does X ( the action, how it works, functions, and operates )
3. What is the performance of X ( what is the efficiency etc. )
4. What is the result of the performance of X ( the result of the action. )
historical sciences ask:
5. What is the origin of X ( how did X arise )
The action of X can be observed and tested in operational sciences. The action of X however cannot be observed directly in historical sciences, since events in the past are in question.
Proponents of ID are acused of making a false distinction, and there is no such thing as operational x historical science. But Jeff Dodick writes: 7
Despite the still-regnant concept of science proceeding by a monolithic “Scientific Method”, philosophers and historians of science are increasingly recognizing that the scientific methodologies of the historical sciences (e.g., geology, paleontology) differ fundamentally from those of the experimental sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry). This new understanding promises to aid education, where currently students are usually limited to the dominant paradigm of the experimental sciences, with little chance to experience the unique retrospective logic of the historical sciences. A clear understanding of these methodological differences and how they are expressed in the practice of the earth sciences is thus essential to developing effective educational curricula that cover the diversity of scientific methods.
And Ann Gauger uses the same line of reasoning, when she writes:
Defenders of methodological naturalism often invoke definitional or "demarcation criteria" that say that all science must be observable, testable, falsifiable, predictive, and repeatable. Most philosophers of science now dismiss these criteria because there are too many exceptions to the rules they establish in the actual practice of science. Not all science involves observable entities or repeatable phenomena, for example --you can't watch all causes at work or witness all events happen again and again, yet you can still make inferences about what caused unique or singular events based on the evidence available to you. Historical sciences such as archeology, geology, forensics, and evolutionary biology all infer causal events in the past to explain the occurrence of other events or to explain the evidence we have left behind in the present. For such inference to work, the cause invoked must now be known to produce the effect in question. It's no good proposing flying squirrels as the cause of the Grand Canyon, or a silt deposit as the cause of the Pyramids. Squirrels don't dig giant canyons or even small ones, and silt doesn't move heavy stone blocks into an ordered three-dimensional array. However, we know from our experience that erosion by running water can and does produce gullies, then arroyos, and by extension, canyons. We know that intelligent agents have the necessary design capabilities to envision and build a pyramid. No natural force does. These are inferences based on our present knowledge of cause and effect or "causes now in operation." The theory of intelligent design also qualifies as historical science. We cannot directly observe the cause of the origin of life or repeat the events we study in the history of life, but we can infer what cause is most likely to be responsible, as Stephen Meyer likes to say, "from our repeated and uniform experience." In our experience the only thing capable of causing the origin of digital code or functional information or causal circularity is intelligence and we know that the origin of life and the origin of animal life, for example, required the production of just such things in living systems. Even though other demarcation criteria for distinguishing science from non-science are no longer considered normative for all branches of science, it is worth checking to see how well intelligent design fares using criteria that are relevant for an historical science. Briefly, although the designing agent posited by the theory of intelligent design is not directly observable (as most causal entities posited by historical scientists are not), the theory is testable and makes many discriminating predictions. Steve Meyer's book Signature in the Cell, Chapters 18 and 19 and Appendix A, discusses this thoroughly. 8
We can detect and make a distinction between the patterns and effects of a mind , and compare to the effects of natural causal agencies , physical and chemical reactions and interactions, and draw conclusions upon the results. Thats where ID kicks in, detecting design patterns, and test what is observed in the natural world, to see if they have signs of a intelligent causal agency, and compare the evidence with the efficiency of natural causes, to then, at the end, infer which explanation makes most sense, and fits best the evidence. So intelligent design does not try to test or to detect or to identify the designer, nor try to detect and test the action of creation, and neither is that required to detect design and infer it as the best explanation of origins, but examine the natural effects , and upon the results, draw inferences that can provide conclusions of the best explanation model for the most probable origin and cause of the physical parts. So the mere fact that a supernatural agent and its action cannot be scrutinized and observed directly and scientifically, does not disqualify ID as a scientific theory.
1) On the definition of the concepts thinking, consciousness, and conscience, http://www.pnas.org/content/89/13/5774.full.pdf