0001 In 2009, Robert Pennock wants to clear the fog of intellectual warfare, by publishing an article in Synthese (DOI 10.1007/s11229-009-9547-3). The full title is, “Can’t Philosophers Tell the Difference Between Science and Religion?: Demarcation Revisited”. Of course, a recitation of this title should be accompanied by a pouring of the Balvenie, matured in rum casks and aged 14 years. After all, that is nearly the length of time that the words in Pennock’s paper have matured, in the cask of the Synthese.
Pennock’s abstract puts the headline question into context. The 2005 decision, Kitzmiller versus Dover Area School Board, rules that Intelligent Design (ID) cannot be taught as a science. This suggests that it cannot be taught at all, because the flip side of science is religion. Public schools cannot teach religion. That would violate the separation of church and state.
0002 The ruling follows a prior legal defeat, the 1981, McLean versus Arkansas decision against teaching creationism as science. Afterwards, creationists contend that religion and science cannot be distinguished. They cite a philosopher who claims that there are not sufficient criteria for demarcation, especially when considering method.
In contrast, Pennock argues that the word, “sufficient”, should be replaced by the word, “ballpark”. Rules of thumb are capable of distinguishing between science and religion. One rule of thumb is methodical naturalism. Science relies on it. Religion does not.
Does Pennock influence the 2005 Kitzmiller vs Dover trial?
Of course, why would Pennock write about the incident years later?
The text itself, is not clear.
What is clear?
Judge John E. Jones III rules that ID pretends to be a science. ID is really an apparatus of a sectarian religion. Teaching ID in public schools would be the establishment of a religion, in violation of the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
Both sides of the case ask the judge to rule on this point.
0003 The ruling comes as a victory for Big Government (il)Liberals (BG(il)L), who portray the contest as follows.
The “villains” are the Board of Directors of the Public Schools of Dover, Pennsylvania. Creationists gain enough seats to vote to make the ID textbook, Of Pandas and People, available as biology curricula. In this book, natural selection becomes “Darwin’s theory”, which is not a fact, but a theory.
The “heroes” are several parents who sue the district. They all fall under the label, “Kitzmiller”.
Curiously, “kitze” is a neuter noun for a kid goat. “Miller” is a person who grinds grain in a mill. Perhaps, the concatenation carries a symbolic message.
The “villainous” school district is defended by the Thomas More Law Center, which does not realize that they are about to have their heads handed back to them. This becomes clear after they call key leaders of the ID movement to testify.
The lawyers at the Thomas More Center think that this trial will provide a platform for these players. But, as the media circus tent goes up, many ID players withdraw. What a disaster for the Dover Board lawyers!
0004 The BG(il)L corporate media portray the legal drama as a replay of the 1925 Scopes Trial.
To Pennock, the trial is more like the 1981 McLean vs Arkansas trial. The McClean decision concludes that so called “creation science” is not science, but religion. Here, “religion” means “a Christian faction”.
Such a ruling seems simple enough. But, the judge, William Overton, relies on a philosopher of science, Michael Ruse, who offers criteria to distinguish science from non-science.
0005 What are the criteria (A-E)?
Science (A) must be guided by natural law.
Science (B) explains by reference to natural law.
Science (C) is tested against the empirical world.
The conclusions of science (D) are tentative, and not necessarily the final word, because…
Science (E) is falsifiable.
0006 After the 1981 Overton decision, two philosophers, Larry Laudan and Philip Quinn, take issue with Ruse’s criteria. Do they write on behalf of the ID movement? Is this damage control? Pennock is drawn into the debate after he contributes expert testimony on the question whether ID is science or whether ID is religion.
Is this the trauma giving rise to Pennock’s article?
Hard to say.
0007 Pennock reflects upon the question posed in the title.
He wants to offer a more acceptable path for distinguishing science and religion.
0008 Can one differentiate science from non-science?
Why is this question relevant?
The first amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that the federal government shall not establish a religion.
Is that the same as establishing a non-science?
So, the first question twists. Is religion a non-science?
It turns away from an old relevance, where the word “religion” means “a Christian faction”.
It twists towards a new relevance, where “religion” is defined by an underlying meaning, presence and message. This is the topic of the masterwork, How To Define the Word, Religion.
0009 Why is this twist relevant?
What if the U.S. federal government establishes a religion?
What would be the nature of this religion?
Clearly, this religion is not a Christian faction.
Rather, it consists of diverse movements, a thousand points of light, that (F) claim to be “not religious” and (G) demand sovereign power in order to implement their organizational objectives. Since each objective arises from the potential of righteousness, these diverse religions constantly signal their virtues. They are keen on making sure that their organizational objectives get the government funds that they deserve. Righteousness wins power and money.
Does the legal debate that Pennock addresses concern a single point of light, among thousands?
No. Public education is… um… a big fish.
Yes, it’s a gigantic fish with sharp teeth.
0010 So, the question turns full circle.
Can science be taught as a religion?
The world is upside down. The ocean is where the sky should be. The sky is where the sea should be. The demarcation problem rests on the surface of this upside-down ocean. In this world, whales fly in the waters above.
The Story of Creation floats as a little boat that draws the leviathan of public education down from the heights, in a re-enactment of an orientation-challenged Moby Dick. The Captain Ahab of Creation Science wants to kill the leviathan, directly. In doing so, he would bring the celestial waters of the deep state into consciousness. The highly elevated deep state contains a thousand institutions, whose points of light orient Big Government (il)Liberals. Plus, this heavenly sea holds some really big fish.
Because these institutions3aC, both lights and fish, have organizational objectives2aC that emerge from (and situate) the potential of righteousness1aC, they are religions.
They appear to be stars dwelling high in a fish-filled celestial ocean of righteousness.
Ah, the relevant question becomes, “How does one distinguish religion from non-religion?”
0011 Here is how this fully twisted vision appears.
0012 Does this explain why the dismissal of the demarcation problem is premature?
If the world is upside down, then The Creation Science aims to lance a leviathan that dwells deep in the narratives of the heavenly waters of Big Government (il)Liberalism.
0013 Okay. I must hold, in my mind, the upside-down celestial waters.
Within these waters, a leviathan swims, asking the questions, “Can Intelligent Design be taught as a science? How do we demark science and non-science (that is, religion)?”
But, those on the surface, the sailors on the ship, The Creation Science, suspect that the leviathan is really asking, “Can we teach science as a religion?”
Of course, it all depends on how one defines the word, “religion”.
0014 In section 3, Pennock considers the philosophy behind the 2005 Kitzmiller vs Dover decision and establishes five points (H-L).
First (H), Kitzmiller does not follow the criteria used in the McLean case (points A-E).
Second (I), Kitzmiller relies on a ballpark demarcation (a ground rule, so to speak). Creationism violates this ground rule.
Third (J), the ground rule is methodological naturalism. This rule says, “Metaphysics is not allowed.”
The word, “metaphysics”, is rooted in two terms, meta- (to cross over) and -physics (the physical). Naturalism does not allow its followers to pass out of the realm of phenomena. Phenomena consists in that which is observable and measurable.
0015 Pennock dwells on this point (J) at length.
To me, he describes the Naturalist’s judgment.
Allow me to elaborate.
A judgment is a primal triadic relation, consisting in three elements: relation, what is and what ought to be.
0016 The relation is the naturalist intellect, which rules out metaphysics. This relation is imbued with Peirce’s category of thirdness. Thirdness associates with a normal context3, as described in A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form.
0017 What is consists of phenomena. Phenomena are observable and measurable features of a thing or event.
There is a certain philosophical emptiness to phenomena. After all, phenomena do not constitute the thing itself, even though some may imagine that this is the case. The thing itself cannot be objectified as its phenomena. So, there is a word for the thing itself: “noumenon”.
What does this imply?
What is may be expressed as a continuity between two real elements, a noumenon and its phenomena. That continuity is placed in brackets for notational clarity. What is consists of a noumenon [cannot be objectified as] its phenomena.
This dyad belongs to the category of firstness. Firstness is the monadic realm of possibility. Phenomena have the potential to be observed and measured. A noumenon has the potential of capturing the attention of the naturalist intellect.
0018 What ought to be consists of another judgment, where disciplinary language (relation, thirdness) brings together mechanical and mathematical models (what ought to be, secondness) with observations and measurements (what is, firstness). This triadic relation is called “the empirio-schematic judgment” and first appears in Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy.
The empirio-schematic judgment, what ought to be, in the Naturalist’s judgment, is imbued with secondness, the character of actuality.
Here is a diagram.
0019 Fourth (K), the ground rule of “no metaphysics” does not appeal to the criterion of falsifiability (E).
At this point, I can see that the criteria espoused by Michael Ruse applies to portions of the Naturalist’s judgment. A and B cohere to the naturalist intellect (relation) and the selection of noumena (what is). Noumena must be things that have observable and measurable facets to their forms. C, D and E pertain to the connection between the empirio-schematic judgment (what ought to be) and phenomena (what is).
In terms of the metaphor of inversion, Michael Ruse’s criteria keep us firmly fixed in the celestial waters, where the leviathan of the “not religious” sciences swims.
0020 In order to appreciate this whale of a topic, swimming in the heights of state-funded liquidity, I unfold the Naturalist’s and the empirio-schematic judgments into category-based nested forms, based on their assigned categories. The result is a two-level interscope
The interscope is introduced in A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.
Here is the diagram.
0021 Methodologicala naturalismb may be depicted as a two-level interscope. Method goes with the empirio-schematic judgment. Naturalism goes with the Naturalist’s judgment.
The naturalist intellect3b rules out metaphysics. This rule is Pennock’s last point (L). The rule, “no metaphysics”, comes from an occluded perspective level. The rule does not reveal what is in the perspective level. Indeed, the naturalist views the rule as coming from the content level.
Disciplinary language for each science3a follows the rule of the naturalist’s intellect3b. Any disciplinary language3a that discusses metaphysics cannot be labeled as a “science”.
Of course, in this situation, the word, “metaphysics”, is code for Christian theology. But, that is not what “metaphysics” really means, as previously noted.
This exclusion follows the logic of normal contexts. Normal contexts exclude, align or complement.
0022 Creation science talks about metaphysics, while pretending not to.So, in the 1981 McLean vs Arkansas trial, the leviathan in the celestial waters of BG(il)L descends to upset the boat, The Creation Science, and bites off the leg of its captain.
First, the world is upside down. The ocean of Big Government (il)Liberalism sloshes above, as a world suspended in surreal liquidity, heavy and looming. The regulatory sea holds a thousand points of light, each submerged in its own righteousness. A leviathan swims in these celestial waters. This leviathan applies the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution to education by state and federally funded institutions. These schools may teach science, but not religion. Here, “religion” means “a Christian faction”.
Second, a small boat, initially named The Creation Science, then later (after the unfortunate moment when the captain lost a leg to stand on) named The Intelligent Design, floats on the surface, that is, the bottom, of this inverted ocean. This boat hunts the above-mentioned leviathan. The academically inclined sailors fashion a lance of that looks like the methodological level of science. But, the captain does not fully comprehend what harm it can do.
0024 Philosopher Larry Laudan comes under scrutiny in the fourth section of Pennock’s essay. After the McLean case (the leg-bite), this philosopher writes three articles denying a demarcation between science and religion. There are no criteria for strictly distinguishing what is religious, what is scientific, what is pseudo-scientific and what is unscientific.
Laudan struggles mightily against the criteria of Michael Ruse (A-E).
Two arguments support his conclusions (M and N).
The first (M) says, more or less, “There is a lack of unity between philosophers about the demarcation criteria.”
Okay, experts rarely agree. That is the nature of experts.
The second (N) says, more or less, “The 1981 McLean versus Arkansas case is hollow, because it canonizes a false stereotype of what science is and how it works.”
I suspect that this is correct because Ruse’s criteria (A-E) pertain to what is and what ought to be in the Naturalist’s judgment. The empirio-schematic judgment (what ought to be) unfolds into the content level of the following two-level interscope. The Naturalist’s judgment unfolds into the situation level.
0025 Michael Ruse’s criteria (A-E) draw attention to the content level.
Perhaps, this is why the author, Robert Pennock, wants to set the record straight.
The 1981 McLean case focuses on the content of science.
The 2005 Kitzmiller case focuses on the situation of science.
What does this suggest?
0025 The Intelligent Design comes up with a better tactic. Of Pandas and People follows the style of the empirio-schematic judgment. Ruse’s criteria lack teeth.Pennock sees this and proposes that science must be distinguished, not on the methodological levela, but on the naturalism levelb. The ground rule of the naturalist intellect3b is “no metaphysics”.
0026 In 1981, the ship, The Creation Science, encounters the leviathan swimming in the celestial waters. The captain loses a leg to stand on, but realizes that he can fashion a new leg even better than the first. He repairs the ship and re-brands her, The Intelligent Design. In 2005, this ship lures the leviathan down from its heavenly deep, once again.
In this interval, philosopher Larry Laudan vigorously attacks the foundation of the leviathan’s first victory. He pulls teeth. He demolishes the argument that science and religion may be distinguished on the basis of method.
Finally, The Intelligent Design opens sail with a methodology identical to the empirio-schematic judgment and coherent with its content-level nested form. The normal context of disciplinary language3a, describing methods, brings the actuality of metaphysically-open models2a into relation with the possibilities inherent in observations and measurments1a.
0027 Once again, here is the two-level interscope for methodologicala naturalismb.
0028 Pennock wants to defend the demarcation of science and religion. Method does not offer sufficient critieria. So, he configures a new foundation. He calls it “methodological naturalism”. But, the “methoda” has already been neutralized by Laudan. So, “naturalismb” is the key.
To this end, in section 5 of this article, Pennock constructs a weak version of the distinction between science and religion, one that grants many of Laudan’s points. Tellingly, instead of referring to the ship’s new name, The Intelligent Design, Pennock sticks to the old label, The Creation Science.
Pennock writes four sub-sections (O-R).
0029 The first (O) concerns the dustbin of history.
Creation Science is not even a bad science. For example, some say that the Earth is only a few thousand years old. Others say that Noah’s Flood is global. These models are not supported by data.
0030 The second (P) concerns disciplinary language.
The ship, The Creation Science, has no coherent disciplinary language, outside of Biblical interpretation. The language of Intelligent Design is also incoherent. Even if one observes phenomena associated to impossible events, one cannot conclude that the events are miraculous.
Okay, one can conclude that the events are miraculous. But, that would violate the rules of the naturalist intellect3b.
0031 The third (Q) is pragmatic.
Methodological naturalists recognize science. Why can’t philosophers like Laudan? Why are courses on the philosophy of science not taught by theologians?
What do the sailors on The Intelligent Design hear?
Someone in the waters asks, “Why are courses on the philosophy of religion not taught by scientists? Er… I mean… taught by highly certified naturalists who self-identify as ‘not religious’?”
Oh, never mind, they are.
0032 The fourth (R) is empirical.
Science educators say that there is a real distinction between science and non-science, such as Creation Science. The National Science Teacher’s Association insists that scientific claims are not religious.
Or, should I say that the empirio-schematic judgment is not religious?
What about “scientific” or methodological naturalism?
Is that not religious?
Of course, the rule of naturalism says, “No metaphysics.”
Who is surprised that no mechanical or mathematical models appeal to supernatural forces?
Pennock finally feels the sharp point of an issue that cannot be confronted. He states that his account explicates “scientific” naturalism as a methodological commitment, not a metaphysical one. The ground rule of “no metaphysics” is… um… not metaphysical.
0033 Say what?
What is the philosopher’s task?
Is it possible for a philosopher to accept that the claim to be “not religious” may, indeed, be not religious?
Since when do philosophers spout tautologies?
Take a glance, once again, at the two-level interscope for methodological naturalism.
There is a certain circularity to the structure. The content-levela is the empirio-schematic judgment. The empirio-schematic judgment is the actuality2 of the situation levelb.
0034 Where does the ground rule of “no metaphysics” come from?
0035 In the sixth section of Robert Pennock’s Essay, titled “Can’t Philosophers Tell the Difference between Science and Religion?: Demarcation Revisited”, the author speculates why Larry Laudan fails to see a demarcation between science and religion. After all, it is so easy to see. Look at the rules.
Religion inspires the nautical mission of The Intelligent Design, in an inverted world, where Big Government (il)Liberalism commands the waters above and the world of tradition sublimates into the atmosphere below. The ocean is our ceiling. The air is our floor.
A thousand points of light shine in the immense celestial ocean. Each illumination is immersed in its own righteousness. A leviathan swims high in these heavenly, dense, waters. This leviathan addresses the issue of public education. The states require it. The states pay for it. The states perform it. It works even as Big Government (il)Liberalism turns the ocean into the sky. How it weighs upon us.
The U.S. Constitution says that the government shall not establish a religion. So, public education may teach science, which is not “religious”, but not Creation Science nor Intelligent Design, which are religious.
Here, “religion” means “a Christian faction”.
Pennock writes in triumph.
0036 Section 6 of Pennock’s essay diagnoses and rehabilitates Laudan.
Why does Laudan fail at recognizing the distinction between science and religion?
Pennock offers four reasons (S-V).
0037 First (S), Laudan does not take the creationist’s claims seriously. Creationists hold epistemological assumptions unfamiliar to science.
What does this mean?
The crew of The Creation Science promotes bad method. They do not adhere to the empirio-schematic judgment, because their disciplinary language includes metaphysics (that is, Christian theology).
0038 Second (T), Laudan does not frame the demarcation problem properly. We should not expect a “strict” line, based on criteria about methods.
To me, this means that the two-level interscope confuses. There are always two issues, one related to situation and one related to content. Here, the content level concerns scientific practice (that is, method). The situation level pertains to the Naturalist’s judgment (that includes, “no metaphysics”).
0039 Third (U), Laudan is influenced by Karl Popper’s claims that falsification defines scientific methodology.
Once again, the content level is the focus of attention.
0040 Fourth (V), the 2005 Kitzmiller decision does not appeal to falsification as demarcation criteria. Rather, it appeals to the very issue that Laudan seems to miss: The naturalist intellect3b rules out metaphysics.
Pennock wonders, more or less, “What should we think about philosophers (such as Laudan), if they cannot distinguish between science and sectarian religion posing as science?”
I suspect both Pennock and his foil, Laudan, recognize the difference.
The question is, “What makes the difference real?”
Laudan says that the distinction is not real, because we cannot ascertain clear and valid demarcation criteria.
Well, he may not really say that. Pennock’s foil says that.
0041 The real difference concerns following the rules. Naturalism rules metaphysics out. Religion rules metaphysics in. The demarcation should express that fact that the rule of “no metaphysics” applies to naturalism but not Christian factions… I mean to say… “religion”.
To me, the issue shifts from methods to something more ambiguous. How does one decide whether the naturalist intellect’s rule is valid or not? The decision cannot be based on physics. The decision must be based on metaphysics.
The rule, “no metaphysics”, must ultimately be based on metaphysics.
0042 That means that free will enters the picture.
Pennock takes the naturalist rule at face value. Naturalism rules out metaphysics. Therefore, it is “not religious”. Does this mean that any institution that self-identifies as “not religious” can also say that it is “scientific”? Can this rule be gamed?
After all, this is precisely the issue in both 1981 McLean and 2005 Kitzmiller contests. Creation science blatantly tries to game the rule. Later, Intelligent Design (ID) games the rule in a much more sophisticated style. ID mimics the empirio-schematic judgment, occupying the content-level, while (sneakily) violating the naturalist’s rule of “no metaphysics”.
ID’s logic is easy to see. If an evolved attribute, such as a bacteria’s flagellum, is not possible, then a miracle must have occurred. A “mythical being” must have intervened.
0043 What does this “mythical being” do?
The mythical being does not cobble together phenomena. The mythical being creates a noumenon, the thing itself.
The merit to ID can thus be articulated, by saying, “God creates a noumenon and the scientists observe and measure its phenomena. Sometimes, phenomena do not fully account for their noumenon. This is the case for the bacteria’s flagellum and other biological structures.”
0044 Here is a picture of that statement.
0045 What potentiates the naturalist intellect3b?
The dyad, a noumenon [cannot be objectified as] its phenomena1b, does. This dyad belongs to what is1b in the Naturalist’s judgment. This element is imbued with firstness, because phenomena are defined by their potential1b to be observed and measured1a and a noumenon1b has the potential1b of being discussed3a by the naturalist intellect3b.
The two components of this dyad tie into the content-level nested form of methodology. A noumenon1b stands as the presence that is referred to in disciplinary language3a. Its phenomena1b virtually (meaning, “in virtue”) emerges from and situates observations and measurements1a. The contiguity1b is [cannot be objectified as].
0047 What does this imply?
The contiguity between a noumenon and its phenomena1b cannot be explained by physics.
But, the naturalist intellect3b has a rule that says, “Metaphysics is not allowed.”
0048 Hmmm. Have I located the metaphysical commitment within the Naturalist’s judgment?
The naturalist intellect3b assigns the metaphysical aspect of creation to the noumenon1b, which cannot be objectified as its phenomena1b. So, disciplinary language3a assumes the presence of the thing itself, the noumenon1b, but dares not speak of it, for fear of violating the rule of “no metaphysics”3b.
Physics cannot justify the rule of the naturalist intellect. So, it must be metaphysical.
Also, the source of this commitment comes from the empty perspective levelc.
0049 The naturalist3b hides the source2c of its metaphysical rule of “no metaphysics”.
What does this imply?
The system can be gamed.
We can cobble together phenomena in a manner that will tempt us into believing that a noumenon exists.
For example, in the 19th century, various physical phenomena point to a noumenon, which scientists label “the ether”. The ether transports force through vacuum. As it turns out, the ether is completely imaginary. It is a mythical being.
0051 If science is “not religious”, then can a “not religious” religion game Pennock’s criteria, not from the side of Christianity, Judaism and Islam (which cannot shake the designation, “religious”), but from the side of the Big Government (il)Liberalism (where self-identification as “not religious” is common)?
0052 The world is inverted. Above us stands the celestial ocean of Big Government (il)Liberalism (BG(il)L). Below ushovers an atmosphere where Christianity, Judaism and Islam are designated “religions”, and therefore excluded, by the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, from public (that is, state) institutions, especially schools. Their sublimation begins during the 1960s.
Die-hard Christians respond by generating something that appears to be science. Creation science makes claims about natural events verifying Biblical witness.
In 1981, the leviathan of BG(il)L public education sweeps down to the surface and attacks the little ship, The Creation Science, and ruins its effectiveness. Creation Science does not properly follow style of the empirio-schematic judgment. The McLean case distinguishes between science and religion on the basis of methodology.
0054 The captain of the ship lost one leg. But, he fashions a new one in the style of the empirio-schematic judgment. He rebuilds the ship, branding it TheIntelligent Design.
In 2005, the leviathan is again provoked to come down through the celestial waters and attack the ship. The ship has a lance that pierces the skin of the leviathan. The Intelligent Design forces experts, such as Pennock, to come up with a demarcation that is situational. Intelligent Design does not follow the rule of the naturalist intellect. That rule says, “No metaphysics.”
In addition, the naturalist’s rule is not based on anything physical. So, the rule must be metaphysical.
0055 These comments reveal how the rule plays out. Metaphysics must be hidden within the presence of the thing itself, the noumenon1b, which is contiguous with those properties that can be observed and measured, the phenomena1b. The [contiguity] mirrors the rule. A noumenon1b [cannot be objectified as] its phenomena1b.
Here is how that looks.
0056 What does The Intelligent Design do that the Creation Science does not?
The Intelligent Design is equipped with an empirio-schematic judgment that observes and measures phenomena that do not fully add up to their noumenon, the thing itself. ID favors things that are very complicated, such as the bacteria’s flagellum or the human immune system, where many components are observed and measured1a. Their corresponding phenomena1b can never explain the thing itself: the bacteria swims and the human recovers from an illness. The models2aare never sufficient. The whole is so much greater than the parts. The investigator experiences awe. The investigator is struck by a noumenon, but cannot say so, since “religion” is banished from disciplinary language.
The empirio-schematic judgment2b is supposed to virtually emerge from (and situate) mechanical and mathematical models2a. Methodologicala naturalismb has a redundancy. The situation-level actuality2b re-capitulates the content-level nested forma. The situation-level actuality2b completes the content-level nested forma. There should be no surplus2b, because any surplus2b flows into something1b that cannot be objectified as phenomena1b. This something1b is where metaphysics is hidden, according to the dictates of the naturalist intellect3b. ID aims to show that the noumenon1b has a lifec of its own, a life1c that his hidden by the rule of the naturalist intellect3b on the order of someone or something upstairs2c.
Here is how that looks.
0057 That’s one way to game Pennock’s system.In 2005, the celestial leviathan mauls, but does not destroy the ship, The Intelligent Design. Plus, the leviathan takes a lance into its flank. The lance reveals the barbed fact that the leviathan depends on a metaphysical rule, stating that metaphysics is not allowed in science. The rope tied to the lance is long. Perhaps, 14 years long. Cheers.
0058 The other way to game the system comes from the thousand points of light, floating where the leviathan swims, in the heights of the celestial waters. On the surface, we humble folk see these points of illumination self-identify as “not religious”. So, we think that they are not Christian, Jewish or Islamic factions.
Ah, but the meaning of the word “religion” changes.
Is the term still limited to the above-mentioned factions?
Must we continue the charade?
The same goes for the term, “metaphysics”.
Does this term only apply to Christian, Jewish or Islamic theologies?
Or, does the term also apply to the righteousness1aC underlying Big Government (il)Liberal agendas2aC?
0059 If Big Government (il)Liberal institutions (BG(il)L) self-identify as “not religious”, then they must be compatible with science. Their organizational objectives may be taught in public schools, especially when their methodology takes on the style of the empirio-schematic judgment and ends up establishing a noumenon, corresponding to what the phenomena add up to.
Now, here comes a really big sentence.
While ID3a observes and measures1aphenomena1b and demonstrates that the noumenon1b is greater than what available mechanical and mathematical models2a predict, BG(il)L institutions3a rely on ideologically informed models2a applied to selected observations and measurements1a in order to establish phenomena1athat guarantee the relevance of their situation-level empirio-schematic judgment2b.
In effect, certain phenomena1b may be deemed to be so salient that a noumenon1b becomes manifest, thereby warranting the attention of a naturalist intellect3b and establishing the legitimacy of a discipline’s language, models and observations2b.
Phenomena1b may be manufactured in order to project realness into the corresponding noumenon1b. This is the work of the experts in state education.
0060 In order to fully appreciate what comes next, the reader may consider the masterwork, How to Define the Word “Religion” (available at smashwords), especially the chapter on presence.
How do BG(il)L institutions, while self-identifying as “not religious”, establish their doctrines in public schools? How do “not religious” institutions establish a state religion?
Clearly, they game Michael Ruse’s demarcation criteria. They pretend to be a science by mimicking the methodology (just like ID does). But, they do not get caught (like ID gets caught).
Then, they game Robert Pennock’s demarcation criteria, by self-identifying as “not religious”. Therefore, they not subject to scrutiny when they violate the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
0061 So how are BG(il)L institutions religious?
There are two types of religion, based on two distinctly different objects in the society tierC. One2cC is assumed3cC. This relational object2cC builds civilizations or destroys them. The other2aC belongs to institutions3aC. Organizational objects2aC emerge from (and situate) the potential of righteousness1aC.
Organizational objects2aC are religious.
0062 Only two associations are required (S and T).
The organizational objective2aC of a “not religious” BG(il)L institution3aC goes with a noumenon1b (S), which is where metaphysics is quietly stuffed according to the dictates of the naturalist intellect3b.
By focusing on observations and measurements2a that contribute to the feeling that the corresponding phenomena1b are real, these institutions generate the impression of a metaphysics-filled noumenon1b, the thing itself, which may take on a life of its own. Both apparent phenomena1b and their spectral noumenon1b support a situation-level actuality2b that reifies the entire content levela.
Righteousness1aC associates with the entire content level of methodologicala naturalismb (T).
Scientific method is the foundation of BG(il)L belief.
Righteousness mimics the empirio-schematic judgment by promoting a disciplinary language3a, ideologically-informed mechanical models2a and selective observations and measurements1a. The content-level nested forma establishes the realness of the situation-level actuality2a, by establishing irrefutable phenomena1b. The realness of the situation-level actuality2a, plus the unassailable status of the phenomena1b, establish an undeniable noumenon1b, containing a metaphysically informed BG(il)L organizational objective2aC.
In 1981, The Creation Science is attacked by the leviathan for a crude imitation of what BG(il)L institutions have been doing for over two decades. In 2005, The Intelligent Design is mauled for a more sophisiticated imitation. Our world is indeed upside down.
In each BG(il)L institution, observations and measurements1a are selected to support mechanistic and ideological models2a and guide the believer’s definition of words3a. The “not religious” believer then accepts the realness of the corresponding phenomena1b and the realness of the corresponding noumenon1b.
Remember, the phenomena1b carry the imprint of selective observations1a, righteousness-inspired models2a and virtue-signaling disciplinary language3a. These elementsa are inherently meta- (crossing out of) -physical (material and instrumental causality), even though couched in the methodology of science.
Remember, the noumenon1b carries a BG(il)L organizational objective2aC, which is inherently religious.
In sum, the veracity of a BG(il)L institution’s empirio-schematic judgment2b is supported by the righteousness of the content-level’s disciplinary language3a, models2a and observations1a. The BG(il)L’s phenomena1b cannot be refuted. The BG(il)L’s noumenon1b is undeniable. Those who question the veracity of the institution’s normal context3a, actualities2aand potentials1a must be regarded as not properly informed. They are not righteous1aC.
What are public schools supposed to do?
Properly inform students?
Or indoctrinate them with “not religious” values?
0063 Here is diagram of how BG(il)L institutions game the system.
0064 Surely, the Christians have given the leviathan enough rope. Pull the creature in and let these heavenly waters descend. Perhaps, the celestial ocean of BG(il)L will fall on its own. Can a sea of government liquidity levitate on borrowed and printed money? How long can this inversion continue?
Can it reign for a thousand years?
Pennock’s essay is intended to clarify the 2005 Kitzmiller case and to provide a rule of thumb to distinguish science and religion. These comments show how Pennock’s rule can be gamed. It was gamed before his participation in the debate. It is being gamed after.
0065 What is the problem?
Is methodical naturalism crowding Christianity from the public square?
Or, is methodological naturalism allowing “not religious” BG(il)L doctrines into the public square?
Clearly, both dynamics are at play.
0066 I thank Robert Pennock for his challenging article.
He asks, “How will sociology eventually face topic of evolution?”
Well, at the moment, sociology does not face up to evolution. In this, it ignores two important points. First, social organization does not explain itself. Second, social organizations are historical, therefore one must account for novelty and genuine change on the macro-level.
Chattoe-Brown proposes that Agent-Based Models may provide paths to packaging evolutionary theory for sociology.
In the next blog, I comment on this article. I place these comments on my blog in order to introduce intrepid students and teachers to the style of the masterworks and commentary available at Smashwords.com. The methodology is synthetic. The results are astounding.
The comments on Chattoe-Brown’s essay start with a question, asking, “What does a sociologist mean by the word, ‘evolution’?”
Is evolution only about genetic changes over time?
Or, does evolution pertain to civilization and history?
What is the logical structure of evolution?
These are good questions.
For example, in economics, there is a clear connection between prices and sales. Is this connection an adaptation? If so, what is the niche?
For example, in sociology, there is a clear connection between “something that makes sense to me” and “the answer to the question, ‘what am I supposed to do?’”. Is this connection an adaptation? If so, what is the niche?
The comments in the next blog track Chattoe-Brown’s argument into the thicket of Agent-Based Models. Institutions behave like individual humans. They try to figure out normal contexts and potentials. Agent-based models allow the inquirer to see parallels between the relational structures of organizations and individuals in community.
The comments touch base with three master-works.
The master-work, The Human Niche, argues that our genus adapts into the niche of triadic relations. If this is so, then humans think in terms of triadic relations, such as the category-based nested form. Do current agent-based models account for this? Yes, they are structured according to category-based nested forms.
The master-work, An Archaeology of the Fall, proposes that our species underwent a fundamental cultural transition during the past 7820 years. The first singularity potentiates unconstrained social complexity. This is precisely what Sociology studies.
The master-work, How to Define the Word “Religion”, opens the door to inquiry into our current Lebenswelt. Clearly, our current Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in. Sociology investigates our current Lebenswelt.
In the long run, Sociology has no choice but to be evolutionary.
Sociology has a choice as to how to approach evolution. Is it only a biological process? Or does evolution follow a particular logic? If so, then that same logic may apply to social change. The category-based nested form may well be integral to how Sociology finds value in evolutionary concepts.
This work examines an article by Edmund Chattoe-Brown, appearing in the Frontiers in Sociology (26 Feb 2019, https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2019.00006). My comments rely on the category-based nested form and other relational models within the tradition of Charles Peirce.
‘Words that belong together’ are denoted by single quotes or italics.
Prerequisites: A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form, A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction
Recommended: The Human Niche, An Archaeology of the Fall, How to Define the Word “Religion”, Two Primers on the Organization Tier, Speculations on Thomistic Evolution
— Table of Contents
Introduction and Conclusion 0001
Cheese in the Middle 0004
The Sandwich is Firm 0010
Evolution and a Cheese Sandwich 0022
— Introduction and Conclusion
0001 Edmund Chattoe-Brown opens with an observation.
Sociology, as an academic discipline, tends to rule out evolutionary approaches.
Surely, sociologists want to avoid any connection between social behavior and genes. Or, should I say, society and genetics?
First, it is not polite.
Second, anthropologists have already thrown in with Darwin. Archaeologists are convinced of the importance of evolution in understanding where the world comes from and how humanity comes to be. Any sociologist interested in evolution can go into anthropology.
Consequently, sociologists face a choice whether or not to adopt evolutionary approaches.
0002 Edmund Chattoe-Brown concludes his essay, asking “What can evolutionary accounts do for sociology?”
For one, let us not put the cart before the horse. Sociology is not to be at the service of evolutionary accounts. Just the opposite, evolutionary accounts should make sociology “fun”. Sociologists should not walk on eggs when discussing evolutionary accounts.
But, what is an evolutionary account? Descent with modification? Natural selection? Or does it always reduce to biology, innate dispositions and the reading of gene sequences?
For two, today, sociology is a jumble of eclectic approaches, making it difficult to define a disciplinary core. What kinds of analysis do sociologists engage in? Non-quantitative historical sociologists rely on one toolbox. Social statisticians work from another, quantitative toolbox. One provides diachronic insights. The other offers synchronic results.
Well, evolutionary accounts have similar specializations. For example, diachronic radionuclide dating of fossils and synchronic genetic surveys complement one another.
For three, evolutionary analysis is able to lay a foundation for both diachronic and synchronic approaches.
But, obviously, such evolutionary analysis is not biological. Genes will have nothing to do with unifying sociological evolutionary theories.
So, what does the term, “evolution”, mean to sociology?
0003 I suppose that evolutionary analysis is like a horse, at the service of sociology. Also, sociology is like a cart, held up by a wheel on either side. One wheel is historical and qualitative. The other wheel is statistical quantitative analysis.
Chattoe-Brown sits in the driver’s seat of this horse-pulled cart, driving out of the barn of the introduction and conclusion.
— Cheese in the Middle
0004 Okay, my metaphors are goofy. I hope that that will be a source of comfort and entertainment.
Chattoe-Brown’s introduction and conclusion act like two slices of bread. In the middle, he places the Agent-Based Model (ABM).
The idea of an agent appeals to the theoretical inclinations of the historical sociologist.
The ABM allows the narrow numerical focus of the statistical side of sociology.
Does that mean that the ABM will contribute to evolutionary approaches?
I defer an answer.
0005 I ask, “How does the ABM fit into the category-based nested form?”
In order to answer, I draw upon A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form and A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction. These short pieces are enough to build a bridge between an ABM and an evolutionary approach.
0006 What does it mean to be an agent?
Well, an agent does “things”, broadly defined. These things are actions that, ideally, can be qualitatively observed and quantifiably measured. A bare-bones survey asks three questions. What is happening? What are you doing? Why are you doing what you are doing?
In the synchronic moment, an agent acts2, in the normal context of what is happening3, upon the possibilities inherent in accomplishing ‘something’1.
Here is a picture of this content-level nested form.
0007 What does the term, “agent-based model” indicate?
Well, an agent does things. What is happening3 defines the content levela of an interscope.
In addition to what is happening3a, an agent has the potential1 to situatebwhat he or she is doing2a. This assessment1brelies on what I am supposed to do2b. This assessment2b occurs in the normal context of what does it mean to me3b.
For sensible construction, what I am supposed to be doing2b better make sense2b. These elements are both real and contiguous.
Here is a picture of this situation-level nested form.
0008 The situation-levelbactuality2takes on the complete, dyadic structure of Peirce’s secondness. The category of secondness is the realm of actuality. Secondness consists of two contiguous real elements. For the agent who models “his” own actions, the two real elements are making sense2b and what I am supposed to do2b.
The nomenclature looks like this: making sense2b [contiguity] what I am supposed to do2b.
The term, “contiguity”, typically means contact, attachment, dependency, sharing, holding together, two closely timed events and so forth. Contiguity expresses causation, in the broadest sense.
The empirical sciences try to relate contiguity to material or force-field causation. For example, iron filings on a sheet of paper align to the magnetic field of a magnet beneath the paper. A magnetic field causes the iron filings to align. The notation is magnet [contiguity] iron filings. The contiguity is the magnetic field. The contiguity is the point of interest for physicists. They aim to mechanically and mathematically model this field.
What about the contiguity between making sense2b and what I am supposed to do2b?
The contiguity between these two real elements is yet to be articulated.
Still, the sociological imagination should already be engaged. Humans always make sense2b of what they are supposed to be doing2b, even when their behavior makes no sense at all, to a so-called “disinterested” observer.
0009 Situationb virtually emerges from (and situates) contenta.
Together, they compose a two-level interscope.
Sensible construction is the hallmark of the two-level interscope.
Here is a picture of these two levels.
— The Sandwich is Firm
0010 So far, I imagine that an agent is an individual in community.
I am disabused of this notion with Chattoe-Brown’s first example. The agent is a business firm.
Does a firm fit the picture of what an agent does2aand what an agent models2b?
Well, I suppose some translation is necessary.
0011 I start with the content level.
How does a business firm compare to an individual in community?
Here is my guess.
0012 The business firm obviously belongs to a different tier than the individual in community. The relation among tiers follows the same pattern as the interscope. The organization tierB emerges from (and situates) the individual in community tierA.
Nevertheless, there are parallels in the relational structures.
Management3aB ought to know what is happening3aA in the firm. Sometimes, it3aB does not.
Production2aB strives to accomplish what must be done2aA. This necessitates cooperative action. Cooperative action increases productive capacity.
Does management2aB know this?
If they don’t, then human resources1aB should tell them3aB. If the firm is not running smoothly, capital1aB is not put to best use.
There is a certain irony in the location of both labor support1aB and capital1aB. Typically, labor associates to production2aB, the actualization of financial capital1aB. However, labor2aB also comes with its own human capital1aB, which may or may not be utilized by a firm3aB.
Surely, this is an opportunity for sociological research. What is the nature of human capital1aB? Can human capital1aB be treated in a fashion that complements financial capital1aB?
0013 What about a comparison of the situation levels between the firmbB and the individual in communitybA?
0014 This comparison touches base with Chattoe-Brown’s example of sales and price.
The firm3bB places products2bB onto a market1bB. If the products do not sell2bB at a given price2bB, then the situation becomes dire for the entire firm. In 1950, the economist, Armen Alchian, discusses a discontinuity between individualsAand firmsB. The stakes are higher for firms, even though no one dies when a firm goes bankrupt.
Yes, the death of a firm seems so much larger than an individual’s fate. Many individuals have done what they are supposed to do2bA, working at the firm3aB. Suddenly, the firm no longer makes sense2bA. A dream becomes a nightmare.
0015 The market is like an actuality independent of the firm.
Can a firm be considered an adaptation into a market niche?
Does that sound evolutionary?
What is a niche?
The following diagram presents Darwinian evolution as a sensible construction.
0016 The normal context of natural selection3b’ brings the actuality of an adaptation2b’ into relation with a niche1b’. A niche is the potential1b’ of an actuality independent of the adapting species2a’.
By comparison, a firm is an adapting species. The actuality independent of the adapting species2a’, is the market. The market2a’ is as changable as an evnironment2a’ or ecology2a’. However, the biological terms do not capture the character of the market2a’, because the market is both material and immaterial. The market plays upon what is real and what is imagined. The Germans formulated a word that captures the market2a’ as a quixotic being. The term is “Zeitgeist”.
Time is real. Ghosts are unreal.
No wonder ancient civilizations worship the space between earth and heaven. The god of the air, the wind, the cloud and the storm works under various names, including Yaltaboath. Yaltaboath behaves like the actuality underlying the niche that any corporation adapts to. Is Yaltaboath the personification of the open market’s multiplicity of specializations? What about the market’s creative destruction?
0017 And, what about the times before civilization?
What about the era before business firms?
Is our current Lebenswelt the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in?
Consider An Archaeology of the Fall.
Okay, that’s a plug.
The contemporary firm belongs to our current Lebenswelt.
0018 Chattoe-Brown’s example of the firm as an agent-based model brings me right to the threshold of evolutionary theory. The civilizational Zeitgeist is as fickle as Yaltaboath. Change is in the air we breathe. Yet, at the same time, each civilizational Zeitgeist lasts long enough to establish firms and profit from their endeavors. Yaltaboath rewards as well as punishes. Attending to this god makes sense.
0019 So, let me go back to the previous figure. Let me summarize.
How does natural selection3b’ work?
An actuality independent of the adapting species2a’ exists.
This actuality2a’ has a potential that can be exploited by the adapting species1b’. This potential is called the niche1b’.
An adaptation2b’ exploits its niche1b’, leading to increased reproductive success in natural selection3b’.
0020 How does the business firm, as an agent-based model, fit into this picture?
The situation-level of the firm is the adapting species2b’. The market is the actuality independent of the adapting species2a’. So, the niche1b’ is the potential of the market2a’.
Here is how that looks.
0021 So, the content-levela of the firmB does not even appear in an evolutionary approach. It is as if the abilities of management3aB, production2aB and support staff1aB are assumed to be functional. The sales department1bB situates its product2aB as something that offers an advantage in the current market1b’. Every product2aB fills a market niche1b’.
Just as every adaptation is a guess about how to exploit a niche, every firm speculates about the market that operates independently of the firm.
Of course, this must be a first approximation. A second approximation will be required, because the presence of the firm itself may alter the market.
— Evolution and a Cheese Sandwich
0022 So far, the agent-based model is the cheese between the bread of the introduction and the bread of the conclusion. As it turns out, the agent-based model may be re-articulated as a two-level interscope. The two-level interscope is synchronic. The two-level interscope expresses sensible construction. The two-level interscope belongs to the organization tierB, which has parallels to the individual in community tierA.
Here is how that looks for firms.
0023 Plus, there is a diachronic, evolutionary twist.
For firms, the entire nested form for the situation levelb goes into the slot for adaptation2b’ in Darwinian evolution.
Here is how that looks.
0024 If sociology has no choice but to be evolutionary, then this double vision cannot be avoided.
The situation-level of a firmbB must be analyzed as it emerges from (and situates) its corporate content-levelaB. To me, this analysis includes synchronic data and time-restricted models, typical of quantitative sociology.
The situation-level of a firmbB must also be pictured as an adaptation2b’ into a market niche1b’, where the market2a’ is (on first approximation) independent of the adapting species. (The second approximation brings in the idea of niche construction). This drama is depicted in historical sociology.
Surely, the double vision cannot be resolved into one, even though both start with the relational structure of the agent-based model.
0025 With this said, I proceed to Chattoe-Brown’s second example of agent-based modeling: foraging.
He dwells for three sections on a case study for foraging for food.
Perhaps, the simulation applies to elk, in addition to ancestral hominins.
Is that a far cry from firms?
After all, the agent-based model starts with a two-level interscope of individuals in community.
Here is how that looks.
0026 This raises an odd question, “Does the individual adapt, in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, in the same way as the firm adapts in our current Lebenswelt?”
In our current Lebenswelt, the firmb’ adapts to the potential of the market2a’. The market offers rewards (and punishments) in the milieu of unconstrained social complexity. The behavior of a firm allows agent-based modeling to the extent that the Zeitgeist remains sensible.
Does this parallel human evolution?
0027 Consider the key hypothesis presented in the masterwork, The Human Niche.
In the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, the situation level of the individual in communityb’ adapts to the potential1b’ of triadic relations2a’. Triadic relations offer opportunities for sign-coordinated cooperative actions. Surely, the milieu is constrained social complexity. The innate behavior of individuals allows agent based-modeling to the extent that ecology remains stable.
Here is how that looks.
0028 This raises interesting questions.
Do markets2a’ and triadic relations2a’ have common characteristics?
The more diverse the market and the more diverse the sign-relations, the greater the “wealth” of organizationsB and individuals in communityA, respectively.
0026 Is there a homology between the adaptations of firms and individuals in community?
Here is a comparison of the two situation-level nested forms.
0027 My impression?
A sale2bB matches what I am supposed to do2bA.
A price2bB points to making sense2bA.
What about the potential of situating production1bB?
The sales department echoes an individual trying to situate what “he” is doing1bA.
No wonder everyone seems to be selling themselves.
The resonances multiply.
Individuals in communityA enter into the market2a’.
Individuals in communityA also enter into management3a, production2a and support for a corporation1a.
So, the organization tierB and the individual in community tierA are entangled.
0028 Does that suggest that Chattoe-Brown’s cart is going out of its lane or that the cheese sandwich melts?
No. But, it does imply that genetics has nothing to do with the way sociologists investigate the organization tier.
Of course, biologists confound genetics and evolution. They apply for grants on the grounds that genetics solves questions in evolution. It does. But, there is always another, often ignored, side to biological evolution. That side is Darwinian natural selection.
Chattoe-Brown’s exercise in computer models concludes that both the environment and genetic-dispositions are in play in the evolution of foraging strategies. However, these “genetic-dispositions” are not phenotypes, they are adaptations.
Geneticists can eat their cake and have it too. Their cake is phenotypes. But, they claim that phenotypes are the same as adaptations.
Sociologists must approach evolution in terms of Darwinian natural selection. Institutions are adaptations.
0029 Is there a disciplinary core to sociology?
According to Chattoe-Brown, not at this time.
Chattoe-Brown is an enterprising sociologist. He tries to sell agent-based modeling as the portal to evolutionary approaches. The gambit works because agent-based modeling is a symptom of human evolution and a feature of the organization tier.
Human evolution occurs in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, as illuminated in The Human Niche.
The organization tier differentiates from the society andthe individual tiers in our current Lebenswelt, as portrayed in How to Define the Word “Religion”.
The transition from the first Lebenswelt to the second is a unique, prehistoric event, the first singularity, as captured in the fiction, An Archaeology of the Fall.
0030 Chattoe-Brown anticipates that evolution will provide a disciplinary core to sociology.
He may be correct in ways that he does not currently imagine.
There may be a parallel between the evolution of firms in our current Lebenswelt and the evolution of humans in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.
Here is a short list of comparing firmsB and individuals in communityA.