Looking at Jeff Hardin’s Essay (2019) “Biology and Theological Anthropology” (Part 3 of 15)

0012 Centuries ago, the scholastic hylomorphe, matter [substantiates] form, occupies the slot of what is for a rational intellect.  

The positivist rule dissolves this hylomorphe and precipitates another dyad, a noumenon [cannot be objectified as] its phenomena.

The noumenon is the thing itself.

Phenomena are observable and measurable facets of the noumenon.

The original hylomorphe gets shuffled into the noumenon.


The positivist intellect has a rule.

0013 Here is a picture.

0014 I ask, “What is it to be a human being?”

Obviously, the relevant answer points to the noumenon.

So, I should look to metaphysics.

0015 But, the positivist intellect says, “No metaphysics is allowed.”

Scientists are only interested in the observable and measurable facets of matter [substantiates] form, as well as of body [substantiates] soul.  They are not concerned about the noumenon.  Their observations may be mechanically modeled.  Their measurements may be mathematically construed.  Their models rely on the lingo of specialized disciplines.

Scientists engage in empirio-schematic judgments, the what ought to be of the Positivist’s judgment.

0016 Okay, if this makes sense, then the dyad, expressing what is for the Positivist judgment, provides a way to appreciate the mirroring of the question raised by Jeff Hardin.


Looking at Jeff Hardin’s Essay (2019) “Biology and Theological Anthropology” (Part 2 of 15)

0008 In order to appreciate how science and metaphysics mirror one another, I turn to Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy (available at the smashwords website under the Empirio-schematic series).

Science is successfully born at the start of the modern age, with the formulation of the Positivist’s judgment.

What is a judgment?

A judgment is a relation between ‘what is’ and ‘what ought to be’.  When the elements are assigned to Peirce’s categories, the judgment becomes actionable.  Actionable judgments unfold into category-based nested forms.

0009 Here is a diagram of the Positivist’s judgment.

0010 The positivist intellect, the relation, insists on a rule: No metaphysics.  Surely, this is one reason why scientific inquiry into human evolution grates against theological anthropology.  

What ought to be is an empirio-schematic judgment.

Disciplinary language (relation) brings observations and measurements (what is) into relation with mathematical and mechanical models (what ought to be).

0011 What is what is?

What is has the structure of Peirce’s secondness.  The category of secondness is the realm of actuality.  Secondness consists of two contiguous real elements.

Here, the two real elements, a noumenon and its phenomena, belong to firstness, the realm of potential.  The noumenonthe thing itself, has the potential of capturing the attention of the positivist intellect.  Its phenomena, observable and measurable facets of the thing, have the potential of activating an empirio-schematic judgment.

The contiguity is most curious.  I place the contiguity in brackets.  A noumenon [cannot be objectified as] its phenomena.


Looking at Jeff Hardin’s Essay (2019) “Biology and Theological Anthropology” (Part 1 of 15)

0001 Is the current scientific consensus on human origins at odds with core theological doctrines at the heart of the evangelical faith?

You bet it is.

0002 Well, is this a blessing in disguise?

It may well be.

How so?

0003 When science clashes with key theological doctrines, such as Augustine’s doctrine of original sin, Christians may need to strive for better theological essentials.

0004 Does the same apply to science?

Can I say, “When the theological doctrine of original sin pushes back against our current consensus on the evolutionary sciences, researchers may need to search for better scientific essentials.”?

0005 On December 11, 2019, Jeff Hardin, member of the Department of Integrative Biology at UW-Madison, publishes his essay, Biology and Theological Anthropology: Friend or Foe?, on the Biologos website.

In the introduction, he joins British neuroscientist, Donald McKay, in asking (more or less), “Does God give us Darwin, Mendel and Rawlinson in order to achieve a less improper interpretation of His Word?”

0006 At the same time, one cannot ignore a reflection.

Does God give us the Bible in order to achieve a less improper interpretation of human natural history, genetics and Near Eastern Literature?

0007 Jeff Hardin, unlike most writers on this confounding topic, does not hide the question in the mirror.

Weirdly, he invites it.