Stephen Meyer on whether or not it can be valid to infer a mind as an explanation of causation, from a recent dialogue on Unbelievable:
Making reference to the activity of mind can be explanatory because we know that minds have causal powers. They can do things. And there are specific kinds of things that minds do that we can pick out and recognize from their effects. And information is one of the things that invariably leads us back to the activity of mind. So when we see information in the cell, we can justifiably infer that a mind acted….
We don't think of the action of an agent—whether it be God or someone else—as violating the laws of nature. The laws of nature tell you what ordinarily happens…, provided there's no interference. If an agent acts, if I lift up the book off the table, I'm not violating the law of gravity, I'm initiating…a new line of causation within the matrix of natural law.
If you look at the words on the printed page there in front of you…and you say, "Well, what caused those words to originate?" if we only talk about the chemistry and physics of the ink on the paper, we're missing an important aspect of the cause that produced those words….
We want to open people's minds to the whole of reality. The activity of mind acting on nature is part of reality, and the narrow definition of science that says that it's only a scientific explanation if you refer to a materialistic, or naturalistic, or physical cause, is missing an important aspect of reality. And intelligent design is saying mind is real, minds have causal powers, and we can detect the activity of mind….
We're simply inferring the cause that is known from our experience to produce the effect in question, rather than causes that are not known from our experience to produce the effect in question.