Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2024) “Theistic Evolution” (Part 1 of 21)

0644 The full title of the book before me is Theistic Evolution: A Contemporary Aristotelian-Thomistic Perspective(Cambridge University Press: Cambridge: UK). The book arrives on my doorstep in October 2023.  The copyright is dated 2024.

How time flies.

0645 This examination builds on previous blogs and commentaries.

Here is a picture.

0646 A quick glance backwards is appropriate.

Tabaczek’s story begins in the waning days of the Age of Ideas, when the Positivist’s judgment once thrived.

0647 The Positivist judgment holds two sources of illumination.  Models are scientific.  Noumena are the things themselves.  Physics applies to models.  Metaphysics applies to noumena.  So, I ask, “Which one does the positivist intellect elevate over the other?”

The answer is obvious.

So, the first part of the story is that the positivist intellect dies, and lives on as a ghost (points 0001-0029).

0648 Tabaczek buries the positivist intellect and places the two sources of illumination against one another.  It is as if they reflect one another.

But, the two sources also have their advocates.

In Emergence, Tabaczek argues that models of emergence require metaphysical styles of analysis.

In Divine Action and Emergence, he sets out to correct metaphysical emanations reflecting scientific models of emergence.  It is as if these emanations are reflections of science in the mirror of theology.  Intellectuals inspired by science want to see ‘what is’ of the Positivist’s judgment in the mirror of theology.  But, note the difference between the picture of the Positivist’s judgment and the two hylomorphes in Tabaczek’s mirror (points 0039-0061).

0649 Why do I mention this?

In the introduction of the book before me, Tabaczek discusses his motivations.  He, as a agent of theology, wants to exploit an opportunity.  That opportunity is already present in the correction that he makes to what an agent of science sees in the mirror of theology (pictured below).

0650 What an opportunity!

Tabaczek offers the hope of a multidimensional, open-minded, and comprehensive (say nothing of comprehensible) account of evolutionary theory.

How so?

The positivist intellect is dead.  The positivist intellect ruled the Positivist’s judgment with the maxim, “Metaphysics is not allowed.”

0651 Now that the positivist intellect is dead, the two illuminations within the former Positivist’s judgment may transubstantiate into the realm of actuality and become two hylomorphes, standing like candles that reflect one another in Tabaczek’s mirror.

Tabaczek, as an agent of theology, witnesses how a scientist views himself in the mirror of theology.  The scientist sees the model as more real than the noumenon (the thing itself, which cannot be objectified as its phenomena).  Indeed, the scientist projects ‘what is’ of the Positivist’s judgment into the mirror of theology.

0652 Tabaczek wants to project his philosophical construction of the noumenon (in concert with its dispositions and powers, as well as its matter and form) into the mirror of science.

But, I wonder whether any agent of science is willing to stop listening to the ghost of the positivist intellect long enough to discern what theologians project into the mirror of science.

0653 Yes, Tabaczek’s inquiry is all about optics.

0654 So, who are the players involved in the intellectual drama of Tabaczek’s mirror.

Tabaczek identifies three.

To me, there must be four.

0655 The first is the agent of science.  The scienceagent is the one that makes the models.  Two types of scienceagent stand out in the study of biological evolution: the natural historian and the geneticist.

0656 The second is the agent of theology.  Tabaczek limits theologyagents to experts in Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) and Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 A.D.).

In a way, this self-imposed limit is a handicap, since Aristotle and Aquinas philosophize long before Darwin publishes On The Origin of Species (1859).

In another way, this self-imposed limit is a blessing, since it provides me with an occasion for examining his argument from the framework of Charles S. Peirce (1839-1914).  According to the semiotician and Thomist John Deely (1942-2017), Peirce is the first postmodern philosopher.  Peirce is also a co-discoverer of the triadic nature of signs, along with the Baroque scholastic (that is Thomist) John Poinsot (1589-1644), otherwise known as John of Saint Thomas.

Peirce’s semiotics begins where Baroque scholasticism leaves off.

0657 The third is the image that the scientist projects into the mirror of theology.  I label this image: theologymirror, in contrast to scienceagent.  The theologyagent can see the image in theologymirror, but is not the source of that image.  I have already shown the initial image that the agent of science sees in the mirror of theology.  I have also noted that Tabaczek aims to correct that projection.

0658 The fourth is the image that the theologian casts into the mirror of science.  I label this image: sciencemirror, in contrast to theologyagent.  The scienceagent can see the image in sciencemirror, but is not the source of that image.  I have already indicated that the scienceagent (more or less) does not care what is in sciencemirror, because the ghost of the positivist intellect whispers in the ear of scienceagent, “All that metaphysical stuff is completely unnecessary.”


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2024) “Theistic Evolution” (Part 2 of 21)

0659 Now comes the treat.

These four elements conform to a purely relational structure called the Greimas square.  The Greimas square is useful for appreciating the nature of spoken words as placeholders in a system of differences.  How so?  The Greimas square is a system of differences, following specific rules, and providing useful insight when the rules are followed. 

0660 Here are the rules.

The focus is A.  A corresponds to scienceagent.

B contrasts with A.  B corresponds to theologyagent.

C stands against B.  Here, sciencemirror stands as an image of how the theologyagent sees himself or herself in um… the mirror of science.  Plus, C complements A, in so far as scienceagent can see what is in sciencemirror.  This will be confusing, since sciencemirror (C) reflects theologyagent (B).

D contrasts with C.  Theologymirror contrasts with sciencemirror.  Plus, D stands against A, in so far as theologymirror stands as an image of how scienceagent sees himself or herself in (I suspect that this sounds redundant) the mirror of theology.  Also, D complements B, in so far as theologyagent can see what is in the mirror of theology.  So, remember, theologymirror (D) reflects scienceagent (A).

0661 Here is a picture.

0662 So, let me start with the first application.

Note the sequence to the flow within the following Greimas square (1 to 4).

0663 The scienceagent (A1) knows that his side of Tabaczek’s mirror is real, corresponding to what ought to be for the former Positivist’s judgment.  Models are more real than noumena, the things themselves.

When the agent of science (A1) looks into the mirror of theology (D2), he sees what is for the former Positivist’s judgment (D2).  To him, this is a distorted image of himself, as a scientist who studies phenomena (D2).  But, to the theologyagent (B3) this is a clever way to bundle metaphysics into the noumenon, allowing scientists to observe and measure phenomena unhindered.  Or, should I say, “unhinged”?

0664 When the agent of theology (B3) sees what is in theologymirror (D2), he constructs a holistic version of the encounter.  After all, phenomena are expressions of their noumenon, either in terms of dispositions and powers or in terms of matter and form.  These pairs of real elements may be expressed as hylomorphes and correspond to Peirce’s category of secondness.

0665 Then, the light of the illumination of the construction of the theologyagent (B3) falls on the mirror of science (C4).  The theologyagent may imagine that his reflected image (C4) is multidimensional, open-minded, and comprehensive (say nothing of comprehensible).

0666 When the scienceagent (A5) regards the image in sciencemirror (C4), he thinks, “What bullshit.”

0667 Here is a second application, using key works in various titles.

In particular, the title of section 6.4 is “Theistic Evolution” versus “Evolutionary Creation”.

0668 This one is obvious.

The agent of the evolutionary sciences (A) sees an evolutionary image of himself in the mirror of theology (D).

An agent of theology (B) sees a theistic image of himself in the mirror of science (C).

0669 All in all, the Greimas square does a fairly good job at portraying the optics of Tabaczek’s mirror.

Yes, Tabaczek’s mirror is all about optics.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2024) “Theistic Evolution” (Part 3 of 21)

0670 Here comes application three.

In chapter one, just as science (A) projects its own image onto the mirror of theology (D), Tabaczek (B) casts the image of Thomistic metaphysics into the sciencemirror of evolutionary transitions (C).

I wonder, “What will come of that?”

0671 According to Aristotle, things have hylomorphic structure.

To me, Aristotle’s hylomorphe is an exemplar for Peirce’s category of secondness (points 0611 to 0640).

This leads to a problem with nomenclature.  My portrayal of the hylomorphe is precisely the opposite of Tabaczek’s portrayal.

Not “opposite”.  Rather “upside-down”.

Here is a picture.

0672 Am I playing a word game?

What is the difference between a thing as itself and a hylomorphe?

A thing itself is mind-independent.

A thing as hylomorphe is mind-dependent.  When a human encounters a thing, the thing has two contiguous real elements, roughly corresponding to presence and shape.  This precisely corresponds to Peirce’s definition of the category of secondness, the realm of actuality.

0673 As long as humans use spoken words as labels, we can draw a distinction between these two facets of a single thing.

But, for the longest time, our hominin ancestors practice hand- and hand-speech talk, which is unable to explicitly abstract these two real elements from the thing itself.  One can pantomime and point to the thing itself (or one of its features).  But, one cannot image or indicate its matter or its form separately.  Nevertheless, one can be aware that the thing itself has presence and has shape.  So, it may be weird to say this, but the difference between matter and form is built into our bodies and our souls as an implicit abstraction, rather than as an explicit abstraction.

Yes, the implicit abstraction of matter and form is a feature of our phenotype.  It is an adaptation.

0674 Because humans intuitively respond to things as matter and form, roughly presence and shape, then Tabaczek (B1) may reasonably expect that the evolution of creatures, as the evolution of {matter and form}, might offer an acceptable image of evolutionary transitions (C2).

0675 Well, forget that!

Where do hylomorphes fit into the disciplinary languages of either natural history or genetics?

Is matter an actuality independent of the adaptive species (AIAS), such as the environment of evolutionary adaptation(EEA)?  Is form an adaptation?

Is matter DNA?  Is form the phenotype?

“Well, yes,” I say, “to all these questions, and I also may add that hylomorphes, such as matter [contiguity] form, also associate to observations of phenomena, where the observation intuitively produces a hylomorphe.”

The scienceagent (A3) replies, “I sure wish the positivist intellect was still alive.  This metaphysics business is not for me.”


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2024) “Theistic Evolution” (Part 4 of 21)

0676 Here is a picture of the underlying conundrum.

Which scientific field is supposed to recognize Tabaczek’s portrayal of evolutionary transitions as a sequence of generational changes of a hylomorphic structures, such as matter [contiguity] form?

Genetics?  Natural history?

How are these sciences supposed to do that?

0677 Okay, with this in mind, let me try the third application again.

Genetics and natural history, the two foundations for the evolutionary sciences (A1), project their models onto the noumena in the theologymirror (D2), along with their conviction that phenomena cannot objectify their noumenon.

A noumenon corresponds to philosophical species (natural kinds, biblical kinds and so on).  These noumena also correspond to individuals.  The thing itself corresponds to a substance.  Aristotle’s tradition also calls individual things and creatures, “substances”, and recognizes them as hylomorphes of matter and form.

Since Aristotle’s hylomorphe exemplifies Peirce’s category of secondness, Mah commissions the term, “substance”, to label the contiguity between matter and form.  This technical use raises a philosophical question about the character of the contiguity that stands at the heart of Peirce’s secondness.  On one hand, the contiguity is not one of two real elements of secondness.  On the other hand, the contiguity is also neither firstness nor thirdness.

0678 The thing itself is a hylomorphe, in the same way that a noumenon is its phenomena.

So the agent of theology (B3) can substitute hylomorphic structures for phenomena projected into the theologymirror(D2)).

Now, a noumenon can be objectified as a couple of hylomorphic structures.

0679 Plus, the substitution of a hylomorphe for phenomena (B) keys into Tabaczek’s use of primary matter (roughly corresponding to “presence”) and substantial form (roughly corresponding to “shape”).  The author discusses the phenomena of living things in terms of matter [substance] form as well as dispositions [properties] powers (as noted in points 0030-0051 and 0663-0666).

Here is a picture of the reconstruction of the image in theologymirror (D2) by theologyagent (B3).

0680 Now, I return to how the theologyagent (B3) casts his own image into sciencemirror (C4).

Here is one casting.

0681 Two hylomorphes relevant to theology (B1) are imaged in the mirror of science (C2) as two hylomorphes that are easy for a scienceagent (A3) to recognize.

The reflection is not perfect, because matter [substance] form associates to phenotype2b and disposition [property] powerassociates to adaptation2a.

Nevertheless, the projection is a good start.

0682 Why are the two hylomorphes (C2) easy to recognize by an agent of science (A3)?

Recalling an earlier discussion (points 0551-0570), the hylomorphes express a two-level interscope as an single actuality.  The two real elements correspond to content-level and situation-level actualities.  The contiguity corresponds to the situation-level normal context and potential.

0683 Here is a picture of the two-level interscope for the discipline of natural history.

How does the discipline of natural history work?

Natural historians study the way that a niche1b, defined as the potential1b of an actuality independent of the adapting species (AIAS)2a, inspires an adaptation2b in the normal context of natural selection3b.

0684 Here is a picture for the discipline of genetics.

How does the discipline of genetics work?

Geneticists study the way the genome1b, defined as the potential1b of DNA2a, constitutes a phenotype2b in the normal context of body development3b

0685 I now understand how two hylomorphes in the mirror of science (C) arise from two-level interscopes for two different evolutionary sciences.  

The hylomorphes that appear in mirror of science (C2) should be recognized by agents of science (A3).  

Yes, Tabaczek’s argument starts to make sense in terms of Tabaczek’s mirror.

Tabaczek asks the question, “How do Aristotelian-Thomist perspectives (B1) reflect in the mirror of science (C2)? “


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2024) “Theistic Evolution” (Part 5 of 21)

0686 Of course, the hylomorphes constructed by the agent of theology (B1) are not quite the same as what one expects using only Thomistic terminology.  Tabaczek states that God is the source of primary matter and substantial form.  By extension, God is the source of dispositions and matter, as well as powers and form.

But, what about nature?

Hmmm.  I suspect that Tabaczek is starting to ideate a back-projection, asking the question, “How do Aristotelian-Thomist perspectives (B1) appear in the mirror of science (C2) in regards to the theological agent (B1)?”

Does phenotype back-project into substance?

Does adaptation back-project into properties?

Uh-oh.  Is this argument going to get even more complicated?

0687 In section 1.4, Tabaczek discusses Aristotle’s suggestion that matter tends to be actualized by more perfect forms, resulting in a hierarchy… or maybe… a gradation… in both non-living and living hylomorphes.

For example, interstellar matter is less “perfect” than a solar system.  Bacteria are less “perfect” than eukaryotic cells.  So, the word, “perfect”, does not mean, “flawless”, it means… um… more substantial.  The hylomorphe packs more into the contiguity of [substance].  At the extreme, the most perfect being is the one that possesses the most substantial [substance].

0688 Perfection associates to final causality.  A perfect tool is the one that is most useful.  If the substance is [use], then perfection is in the fullness of its [use].  But, a tool does not use itself.  An artisan [uses] a tool.  So, a tool is one real element in a hylomorphe whose substance is [use].  The other real element is artisan.

With this final causality in mind, when I look at phenotype2b as matter [substance] form and consider Aristotle’s suggestion, then, I suspect that the phenotype2b tends toward a greater and greater substance.

0689 The question is, “What is this substance?”

Well, if DNA2a is like a cause and phenotype2b is like an effect, then I suspect that the metaphysical [substance] reflects a contiguity between cause and effect, which must correspond to the genome1b contextualized by body development3b.

In other words, for DNA2a [contiguity] phenotype2a, the contiguity should be [body development3b: genome1b].

This suspicion allows me to appreciate how bacteria are less “perfect” than eukaryotic cells.  The actuality of bacteria (more or less) coincides with a content-level nested form.  The actuality of eukaryotic cells may initially coincide with a content-level nested form, but as soon as they specialize to generate a tissue, another level appears.  A tissue situates specialized cells.  Then an organ situates a tissue, adding another level.  Systems situate organs.  Finally, a body serves as a level that puts all the lower levels into perspective.

0690 The “perfection” of matter [substance] form for the phenotype2b makes me think that this perfection points to another substance, [body development3b: genotype1b].

At the same time, [body development3b: genotype1b] points back to [the contiguity between matter and form].

The associations make me wonder.

How does the Tabaczek’s metaphysical configuration of a living thing as primary matter [… ] substantial form (B1) reflect in the mirror of science (C2)?

Plus, if a scienceagent (A3) looks into sciencemirror (C1) can he (A3) ideate Tabaczek’s metaphysical configuration of primary matter [ ] substantial form (B1)?

0691 Here is idea that is even more confounding.

What if the perfection of matter [substance] form for the phenotype2b also arises from perfection of [natural selection3b: niche1b]?

Oh no!  Who can imagine that!

This implies that each additional level in matter [substance] form also “perfects” a lineage in terms of natural selection3binto a niche1b.  If it does not, then extinction follows.

0692 Of course, this raises the possibility that the perfection of [properties] includes the perfection both [body development3b: genome1b] and [natural selection3b: niche1b].

No wonder biologists confound phenotype and adaptation.

Theologians confound substance and properties.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2024) “Theistic Evolution” (Part 6 of 21)

0693 Yes, there is a twist hidden within sections 1.4 and 1.5.

The twist becomes evident when considering the fact that adaptation2b is not the same as phenotype2b, and yet, adaptation2H and phenotype2V constitute a single actuality2, which may be labeled “individual”, “species” or “genus”.

Here is a picture of the intersection.

0694 What does this imply?

The terms, “individual”, “species” and “genus” seem reasonable.  Yet, there are two evolutionary sciences, natural history and genetics, that account for a single actuality.  Plus, neither one of the sciences “owns” the single actuality.

Each face of a coin cannot “own” the coin.  Plus, the value of the coin lies in its single actuality, not in either face.

0695 Tabaczek misses this intersection because he uses one formulation of a hylomorphe, primary mattter [ ] substantial form, while not continuing to develop the hylomorphe that he relies upon in discussing the issue of emergence, dispositions [ ] powers.

No, this is not a failure.  This is the nature of philosophy.  Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas start great philosophical traditions.  But, that does not guarantee that a scientist (A) is able to or willing to respond to an image that a philosopher(B) casts into the mirror of science (C).  The positivist intellect may be dead, but its ghost is very much alive (and whispering in the ear of scienceagent (A)).

0695 Now, let me step back.

The previous discussion (points 0667-0695) constitutes the third application of the Greimas square for Tabaczek’s mirror.

0696 Now, I introduce the fourth application.

The geneticist (A1) will always cast an image where the noumenon looks like a phenotype2V upon theologymirror (D2).

The evolutionary biologist (A1) will always cast an image where the noumenon looks like an adaptation2H upon theologymirror (D2).

The metaphysician (B3) will always transform the respective phenomena (D2) into both matter [substance] form and disposition [property] power, in order to holistically respond to the image in the mirror of theology (D2).  Why?  The intersection is metaphysical.

0697 The coin has two faces.  The two faces do not “have” the coin.

Therefore, the resulting theological construction (B3) will always reveal that the original geneticist (A1) or natural historian (A1) does not adequately account for the adaptation2H or the phenotype2V, respectively.

Even though both geneticists and evolutionary biologists (A1) address the same actuality, their arguments will always be dissatisfying or disjointed, because the single actuality can only be understood holistically, that is, metaphysically (B3).

Here is a picture of the fourth application of the Greimas square for Tabaczek’s mirror.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2024) “Theistic Evolution” (Part 7 of 21)

0698 At the start of section 1.6, I learn about Aristotle’s law of proportionate causation.

No effect exceeds its cause.  The order of causes is commensurate with the order of effects.

0699 Does this translate into a slogan about the hylomorphe, dispositions [properties] powers?

There is no power than transcends its dispositions.

0700 What if a power is adequate enough to show that its underlying disposition is valuable in terms of natural selection?

That is an idea that an evolutionary biologist can appreciate.  The disposition would be sustained as an adaptation, and maybe improved upon, especially in its capacity to exploit a niche, where the niche1b is the potential of an actuality independent of the adapting species2a.

0701 Here is what the natural historian studies.

On the situation level, the normal context of natural selection3b brings the actuality of an adaptation2b into relation with its niche1b.  The situation-level niche1b is the potential1b of an actuality independent of an adapting species2a.  The AIAS2a is often labeled, “the environment of evolutionary adaptation2a” (EEA2a).

0702 Let me offer an example.

The philosopher will tell anyone willing to listen that the moth is a substantial form and the coloration of its wings is an accidental form.

0703 Certain moths have large black dots on their wings.  The naive observer notes the pattern and thinks, “Wow.  When the moth’s wings are open, they more or less look like the eyes of an owl.”

Maybe, if the naive observer (B1) believes that God is the source of the signs of nature, then he would say, “Look the Creator paints the face of an owl on the wings of a moth (C2).”

0704 The expert guiding the expedition (A3) replies, “Superstitious nonsense.  That pattern arises because it deters predation by small birds, who in turn are prey of larger animals.  Small birds have an innate fear of looming eyes.  Looming eyes indicate a predator.  So, small birds have evolved this fear, which the moth’s coloration uses to the moth’s advantage.  A moment’s hesitation by a small bird may allow a moth to escape (A3).”

Here is a picture of what the scientifically-trained guide says.

0705 What is the scientist doing in terms of the optics of Tabaczek’s mirror?

Here is a picture.

0706 In many respects, the expert (A1) believes that his model should override the thing itself.  The remarkable creature that impressed the student is nothing more than an example of natural selection.  It is an adaptation2b into the niche of small bird predation1b.

Plus, the phenomenon of moth coloration can objectify the expert’s model of natural selection.  The sign-object of the sign-vehicle of the moth’s coloration is the eyes of a looming predator.  The sign-interpretant is the mind of a small bird that would eat the moth.

0707 What does the student (and people are more like natural philosophers than scientists) see in theologymirror (D2)?

I suppose that the student (theologyagent (B3)) sees something like the following in theologymirror (D2).

0708 I ask, “Does Aristotle’s law of proportionate causation apply to signs?”

The black circles on the back of a moth’s wings (sign-vehicle) stands for the looming eyes of a large predator (sign-object) to the innate (and confirmed through exposure) fear of a larger predator by a smaller predator (sign-interpretant).

0709 I can ask the same question for a different venue.  Does a stop sign stop an automobile?

In 2024, every automobile I see on the road stops at a stop sign.

Both Aristotle (300s B.C.) and Aquinas (1200s A.D.) recognize signs.  However, the philosophical tradition does not elucidate the causality of signs until John Poinsot (in the 1600s).  In the 1800s, Charles Peirce makes the same discovery as John of St. Thomas.  Signs are triadic relations.

0710 This commentary has already introduced sign-relations.

The topic of sign-relations enters into the story around point 0328, immediately preceding the section titled, “Interscopes and Sign Relations” (point 0335).  The discussion wraps up after demonstrating how the Creation Story in Genesis 1 is a sign of the evolutionary record (point 0485).

It is important to remember that neither modern science nor premodern philosophy come to grips with the nature of sign relations, mediations, judgments, category-based nested forms or other triadic relations.

So, one must wonder, “Does Aristotle’s law of proportions apply to triadic relations?”

0711 Surely, the law of proportionate causation seems to apply to the student’s reformulation of the phenomena in sciencemirror (D2) in terms of dispositions [and] powers (B3), as well as to the projection of [properties] into sciencemirror(C4).

0712 But, the student (B3) cannot stop there.


Recall how the evolutionary biologist (A1) wants to project a model for natural selection3b and niche1b onto the noumenon, the other source of illumination in the (former) Positivist’s judgment, corresponding to the thing itself (D2)?

What about the geneticist (A1)?

Surely, the geneticist wants to project a model for body development3b and genotype1b onto the noumenon (D2) as well.

So, the current account of the moth’s wings is incomplete.

The genetics is missing.

0713 So, when the student (acting as a theologyagent (C3)) makes a snide remark after the guide’s statement (point 704), the certified expert in evolutionary biology is taken aback.

What does the student say?

“Well, I know a geneticist who says that it is all about body development and the expression of DNA.”


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2024) “Theistic Evolution” (Part 8 of 21)

0714 How about another example?

The previous blog can serve as a template for discussing the magnificent plumage of the male peacock, which is due to the discriminating tastes of plain-looking female peahen.

Application five is left to the reader to explore.

0715 My examination now turns to chapter two.  Chapter two concerns “species”.

Of course, biologists and theologians skirmish over the definition of the word.

Tabaczek first divides definitions into relational and intrinsic species concepts (RSC I; ISC II).

The following figure does not contain all the species concepts listed in Figure 2.1, but it contains enough to give a general idea.

The green correspond to scientific concepts and the blue correspond to philosophical concepts.

0716 At the same time, one can make distinctions in terms of natural history and genetics.

0717 Weirdly, the following Greimas square for Tabaczek’s mirror for “definitions of species” starts with an agent of natural history (A1) as the focal point and ends with an image appealing to an agent of genetics appearing in the mirror of science (C4).

0718 How curious.

Scienceagent (an evolutionary biologist with natural concept of the term, “species”, A1) sees in his theologymirror (D2) that biological species [can be objectified as] observations and measurements.  This makes sense to a theologyagent (B3) because the noumenon (species) represents a whole and its phenomena (a species’ traits) represent dispositions [properties] powers.  Plus, dispositions [properties] powers associate to adaptations as well as essences.

But what of esse_ces?

Have I forgot matter [substance] form as well as other associations to phenotypes, as well as esse_ces?

From Tabaczek’s distinctions according to conceptualization, I conclude that intrinsic associates to essence and relational associates to esse_ce.  From the distinction between agents of science, I see that essence associates to natural history and esse_ce associates to genetics.

0719 When an essentialist or an esse_tialist scientific use of the term, “species”, appears in an image in theologymirror(D2), a theologyagent (B3) can see and appreciate the intersection of NeoDarwinism as a vision that the philosopher can work with.

No wonder Tabaczek sees so much promise to his contemporary Aristotelian-Thomistic perspective.  The single actuality constituted by adaptation2H and phenotype2V is metaphysical.

0720 Here is a picture.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2024) “Theistic Evolution” (Part 9 of 21)

0721 Chapter three concerns natural selection, teleology and chance in evolution.

Surely, that sounds like the natural history side of the NeoDarwinian intersection.

0722 Of course, the potentials1b of the environment of evolutionary adaptation (EEA2a, also the actuality independent of the adapting species, AIAS2a) involve both tychism (blind material and instrumental necessity) and chance (blind happenstance).

I know what you are thinking.

Please, do not ask me what tychism and chance have in common.

0723 I am sure that some sort of image of that request appears in theologymirror (D).

And, the chapter starts with theologyagent (B).

Here is a picture of the start of Tabaczek’s discussion about tychism and chance.

0724 As soon as the author raises the question as an agent of theology (B1), an image appears in the mirror of science (C2).  The image consists of a question that either accuses or absolves Darwin of undermining the traditional Aristotelian concept of final causation.  The entire image is sort of foggy, because every answer seems to be correct and incorrect at the same time.

Unfortunately, the key answer for theistic (C) evolution (A) is what the agent of science says.  The evolutionary biologist (A) says that natural selection itself is not goal directed.  However, goal-directedness can be adaptive.

0725 Uh oh.

If that is the case, then what should I expect to see in the mirror of science (D)?

Something that does not quite make sense?

Here is a picture.

0726 Of course, the scientist’s affirmation that there is no teleology to natural selection (A3) is reflected in the mirror of science (D4).  Natural selection offers a picture of something blind.  Oh, correction.  Two blind somethings.  Plus, both are associated with model [disciplinary language] observations and measurements.

Does that imply that both models and observations in evolutionary biology lack purpose?

Nature needs to have foresight, at most, and vision, at least, in order to formulate a final cause.  Nature has no such foresight or vision.  It only has those two blind whatevers.

Yet, Aristotle’s four causes are intrinsic to every category-based nested form, including the situation-level nested form for the discipline of natural history… er… evolutionary biology.

0727 What does this imply?

There is a lot of explaining to do.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2024) “Theistic Evolution” (Part 10 of 21)

0728 Chapter four of Theistic Evolution introduces Aquinas’s account of creation.

In this chapter, Tabaczek completely fills the plate with theologyagent (B1) material.

This is like eating an enormous meal.

We all know what happens 18 hours later.

This makes me wonder, “Is Tabaczek (B1) aiming to take an enormous crap on the mirror of science (C2)?”

And, is he going to name that steaming pile, “Evolution and Creation”?

Well, I cannot help thinking this as I sit down to dine on Aquinas’s account of creation.

0729 Oh, yes, the appetizer is delicious.

Tabaczek knows this material like the back of his hand.

Aquinas intends to cook Augustine’s proto-evolutionary concept of rationes seminales into a dish of intellectual sumptuousness.

0730 Rationes seminales?

“Rationes” translates as “principle”.  “Seminales” translates as “seed”.

Of course, this technical term may be formulated as a hylomorphe.  So, the term belongs to the realm of actuality.

0731 Augustine introduces the term in his commentary on Genesis 1 and 2, roughly titled On the Not Allegorical and More or Less Metaphorical Interpretation of Genesis.

Well, that is a long title.

Isn’t there a better word for “not allegorical and more or less metaphorical”?

How about the word, “literal”?

“Literal” makes for a shorter title, for sure.

So, let me call Augustine’s book, “On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis”.

0732 In order to understand the term, rationes seminales, I put it2 in a category-based nested form.

0733 Right away, I think of the normal context of an oak.  I can compare an acorn to an oak tree?

Well, an acorn exemplifies a seed.

But, does a tree exemplify a principle, in the same way that a tree manifests a form?

Okay, what if Augustine’s “seed” is not an acorn?

Then, it may be a metaphor for what an acorn does.

An acorn germinates and knits together a tree.

0734 This brings me to a difficult topic, because the seed does not correspond to matter, in the same way that bronze corresponds to matter when the form is a statue.  The seed represents a relational being that entangles matter… or realness… in the process of substantiating a form.

The Latin word for “being itself” is ens.  The Latin term for “matter substantiating” is esse.

It makes me wonder whether there is a Latin word for “being substantiating”, where being, ens, is purely relational, or relational with a small entanglement of matter?

Hmmm.  The Latin term is still esse.

0735 Well, that is good enough for me.

Here is my metaphor for rationes seminales as an actuality in a nested form.

The seed, “seminales“, reminds me of the way DNA gives rise to a phenotype.  It is primarily a relational structure, a “code” to the geneticist, that makes that particular normal context3 exclusive.  This association implies that each species of tree contains its own seed.  Plus, the seed gives a species its esse_ce.

The principle, “rationes“, reminds me of the way that a living form adapts to an actuality independent of the adapting species.  It is like an idea that solves a problem.  The challenge is either dangerous (like a predator) or beneficial (like the nectar of a flower).  To the extent that the idea works, the species thrives.  “Rationes” gives a species its essence.

0736 So, now I make a substitution that translates Augustine’s term into a seemingly more familiar (yet really unfamiliar) hylomorphe.  This hylomorphe is not the contiguity between matter and form.  This hylomorphe is a metaphorical actuality.  After all, if esse_ce is matter [substantiating] and essence is [substantiating] form, then what would be the contiguity between esse_ce and essence?

Would it be a substance within substance?

0737 When Tabaczek discusses the idea of exemplars in the mind of God, each animal or plant is a manifestation of an exemplar.  Augustine’s notion of rationes seminales applies.

How so?

Rationes seminales enters into the exemplar as esse_ce [contiguity] essence2 in the normal context of each species3 and the potential that each member of the species is capable of developing (due to DNA) and thriving (due to its suitability for the environment of evolutionary adaptation or an AIAS)1.

0738 On top of that, the interventional sign-relation allows me to depict how my recognition of a particular species2aserves as a sign-object (SOi) that testifies to a sign-vehicle (SVi), the corresponding exemplar in the mind of God2c.

The following figure appears in the section on Interscopes and Sign-Relations (points 0335-0425).