Comments on Robert Pennock’s Essay (2009) “…the Difference between Science and Religion?” (Part 6)

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.

Figure 06

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.

0050 How?

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)?