Looking at Daniel Turbon’s Article (2020) “…Human Being in Evolution” (Part 7 of 11)

0033 The last blog adds more nuance to the ongoing two-level interscope.

Figure 10

0034 Evolutionary scientists propose adaptations that solve problems in the Pleistocene environment.  Human genes somehow allow the phenotypes that carry these adaptations.

One adaptation is the use of Oldewan, then Acheulean, then more sophisticated stone tools.  This is not the only adaptation.  More on that later.

The body of Turbon’s article provides a litany of adaptations.

0035 In Section 1, hominins become smarter in general, with special intelligences mixed in.  So, a person can not only talk (which is smart) but knows a lot about something that is of interest (which is special intelligence).

Surely, both DNA and the environment of evolutionary adaptation, genetics and natural history, are relevant.  But, there is something more, as noted later in Turbon’s article, as well as in Comments on Steven Mithen’s Book (1996) Prehistory of Mind.

0035 In Section 2.1, language is an adaptation that increases adaptability.  

Here, Turbon refers to “language” as speech-alone talk.  Today, many evolutionary scientists acknowledge that it is difficult to formulate how language evolves in the milieu of speech.  However, as discussed in Comments on Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky’s book (2016) Why only Us?  More likely, “language”, evolves in the milieu of hand talk.I continue Turbon’s list in the next blog.


Looking at Daniel Turbon’s Article (2020) “…Human Being in Evolution” (Part 6 of 11)

0026 I now make a slight adjustment to the previous two-level interscope.  I replace the content-level “character” with the scientific term, “adaptation.

Here is a diagram of the result.

Figure 8

0027 In the realm of possibility, ‘something distinctive’1b virtually situates ‘distinctive adaptations’1a.

 I do not find a ‘distinctive something’1b in Turbon’s article.

Instead, I find a litany of ‘distinctive adaptations’1a.

0028 I examine section one, titled “The Essentials of the Evolution of Humankind”.  The section opens with a question, asking, “How can the technological and scientific output of different modern peoples be explained?”

Surely, that is a historical question.

0029 What about the time before history?

What about earlier species in the Homo genus?

For 700,000 years, australopithecines and early Homo used Oldewan stone tools.  Then, for 1,000,000 years, middle Homo erectus used Acheulean stone tools.  Finally, around 500,000 years ago, late Homo heidelbergensis and later, Homo neadertalis used more sophisticated suites of stone tools, again for a very long time.  Around 100,000 years ago, stone tools become very sophisticated and the Upper Paleolithic Revolution dawns.  The Upper Paleolithic associates to anatomically modern humans.

0030 Ah, that sounds more like an essential.  Stone tool use must be a distinctive adaptation1a.

Here is where Turbon introduces the two previously-noted dyads in the style of actuality.

Figure 9

0031 Stone tools belong to extra-somatic culture.   Plus, stone tools are adaptive.  Stone tools allow humans to do activities that they otherwise could not.

Changes in human genetics must have facilitated a mind and a body that are capable of manufacturing and using stone tools.  However, the facilitation takes many, many generations, suggesting that stone tool use was one of many clever survival techniques practiced by Homo habilis, “handy man”, and other members of the Homo genus.

0032 So, I wonder, “Do all these clever survival techniques, these extra-somatic adaptations, have ‘something distinctive’ in common?”


Looking at Daniel Turbon’s Article (2020) “…Human Being in Evolution” (Part 5 of 11)

0022  From the prior blogs, I arrive at a two-level interscope.

0023 The crux of Turbon’s article resides in the last sentence of the abstract.

Whatever2a makes humans distinctive1a in the normal context of evolution3a should be “digestible” by whatever2b makes humans distinctive1b in the normal context of our own intuition3b.

0024 Turbon’s appeal fails when evolution3 excludes intuition3.

Turbon’s appeal will succeed when evolution3a and intuition3b align.

0025 In order to be “digestible”, scientific origins of human beings2a ought to be capable of being virtually situated by a coherent origins2b, arising from the potential of ‘something distinctive’1b, in the normal context of human intuition3b.

What disciplines guide human intuition3b?

Philosophy and theology.


Looking at Daniel Turbon’s Article (2020) “…Human Being in Evolution” (Part 4 of 11)

0017 In alignment, two category-based nested forms generate a two-level interscope.

Before rushing headlong into that fact, I want to pause to appreciate another aspect of Peirce’s philosophy: the category of secondness.

Peirce’s secondness is the realm of actuality.  Actuality consists in two contiguous real elements.  It2 may be written: one real element [contiguity] other real element.

0018 Cause and effect is one expression of this contiguity.  “Causality” is what most envision as the contiguity between any two real elements.  The dyad, cause [contiguity] effect, exhibits the logic of noncontradiction.  If nothing else, real causes do not contradict their real effects.

However, even though we (humans) typically (an perhaps, innately) anticipate causality to present itself as a dyadic actuality, one wonders what happens when two elements are juxtaposed in a speculative fashion.  This is an old philosophical problem.  Nothing demonstrates it as well as the contiguity between a noumenon and its phenomena.

Figure 5

0019 A noumenon is a thing itself.

Phenomena are observable and measurable facets of the thing.

Actuality2 is dyadic.  So is the contiguity between a noumenon and its phenomena.  But, obviously the word “not” presents a problem, casting the dyad into the realm of possibility, which exhibits the logics of inclusion and befuddlement.  Phenomena cannot exist without a noumenon.  Yet, they cannot objectify that noumenon.

Many of the causalities in evolutionary science are dyads in the style of actuality, because the contiguity is speculative.

0020 For example, Turbon states that human genes form the basis of extra-somatic culture and extra-somatic culture is an effective method for adapting to the environment.  Here is a picture of these two speculations.

Figure 6

0021 Does this observation, that Turbon’s causal chains follow the style of secondness, assist in figuring out the alignment between philosophy and science?

Surely, the observation suggests that philosophy situates science.So, if the two nested forms combine into a two-level interscope, following the script of A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction, then noumenon-oriented philosophy should situate phenomena-oriented science.


Looking at Daniel Turbon’s Article (2020) “…Human Being in Evolution” (Part 3 of 11)

0009 The last sentence of Turbon’s abstract presents the crux, the point and the inspiration for the entire article.  Two category-based nested forms stand side by side.  The question now becomes, “Do these normal contexts exclude, complement or align?”

0010 Here they are.

Figure 4

0011 They look like the same cards of different suites, say clubs and hearts.

Can clubs exclude hearts?

0012 Clearly, Turbon does not publish an essay in the journal, Scientia et Fides, in order to support exclusion.  Exclusion is already in the cards.  The deck is stacked.  Science excludes human intuition.

Why is this so?

0013 One reason is formulated in Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy.  Scientific judgment relies on the positivist intellect.  The positivist intellect rules out metaphysics.  What is the advantage?  The rule assists in distinguishing a noumenon from its phenomena.  Phenomena are subject to empirio-schematic judgments. Their noumenon is not.

0014 Science measures, models and discusses phenomena, the observable facets of a thing.

Philosophy guides inquiry into the thing itself, the noumenon.

Consequently, a noumenon cannot be objectified as its phenomena.

Yet, a noumenon is necessary for phenomena to exist.

0015 So, exclusion is not in the cards.  What about complement?

Clubs and hearts are suites with similar cards.  They complement one another.  They exist in the same deck.  But, if clubs are like science and hearts are like philosophy, and if science focuses on phenomena and philosophy explores their noumenon, then what about the contiguity?

The contiguity between a noumenon and its phenomena is “cannot be objectified as”.

Clubs cannot be objectified as hearts.

Philosophy cannot be objectified as science.

Is this what Turbon aims to tell the reader?

I don’t think so.

0016 Intuition3 and evolution3 cannot exclude or complement one another.  So, they must align.

This is Turbon’s deal.


Looking at Daniel Turbon’s Article (2020) “…Human Being in Evolution” (Part 2 of 11)

0006 From the prior blog, I know that evolution3 is the normal context for Turbon’s article.  The logics of the normal context include exclusion, complement and alignment.  One normal context will tend to exclude, complement or align with another.

Turbon’s abstract ends with a plea that is not re-iterated in the body of the article.  As scientists labor to “cook up” human natural history, they must strive to ensure that the essence of human evolution does not become “indigestible”.

0007 What on earth does this mean?

Do humans evolve to grasp metaphors?

Or, do humans adapt into the niche of grasping essentials?

0008 Does scientific inquiry into our natural history3 exclude human intuition3?

Of course it3 does.

A simple substitution shows as much, as shown below.

Figure 3

0008 To me, the crux of Daniel Turbon’s entire article is captured by the last sentence of the abstract.The normal context of human intuition3 (guided by philosophy) ought to be able to digest what the normal context of evolution3 (guided by science) provides.


Looking at Daniel Turbon’s Article (2020) “…Human Being in Evolution” (Part 1 of 11)

0001 Daniel Turbon, hailing from the University of Barcelona, publishes an article in the journal, Scientia et Fides(8(2)/2020, pages 65-94).   The essay is available online.  The full title is “The Distinctive Character of the Human Being in Evolution”.  I place only the second focus in the header of my comments, while noting that the first character cannot be ignored.

0002 When I look at this essay, what do I see?

Does the title translate into a category-based nested form?

Here is a diagram, following the script in A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form.

Figure 1

0003 Each of the above terms constitute an empty slot.

So, I ask, “How would words in the entire title correspond to the above empty slots?”

My answer is necessarily both speculative and synthetic.

The normal context3 is evolution3.

The actuality2 is (the origin of) human beings2.

The potential1 is a distinctive character1.

0004 The resulting application looks like this.

Figure 2

0005 The category-based nested form contains four statements.  The fourth is paradigmatic: The normal context of evolution3 brings the actuality of the origin of the human being2 into relation with the potential of a distinctive character1.

When I read the title of Daniel Turbon’s article, this is what I see.


Evolution and the Fall (Part 4)

0021 The Genesis stories of Adam and Eve point to a real recent, prehistoric transition.

The first singularity (B1) initiates cycles of formation, deformation and reformation (or annihilation) (B2).  

0022 The contributors to the book, Evolution and the Fall, edited by William T. Cavanaugh and James K. A. Smith (2017, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, MI, ISBN: 9780802873798), are not aware of the masterworks, The Human NicheAn Archaeology of the Fall and How To Define the Word “Religion”.

As such, they try to adapt traditional Christian theology to an insufficient scientific paradigm.

0023 As noted in Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy, modern science does not permit metaphysics.  Consequently, human evolution must be accounted for by material and instrumental causations, whether in natural history (adaptation) or genetics (phenotype).  These are not sufficient, because the human niche is the potential of triadic relations.  Triadic relations are real, yet immaterial.  They entangle the material, but cannot be explained by it.

0024 Also, the modern paradigm for human evolution does not envision the fact that our current Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.  The transition from hand-speech talk to speech-alone talk leaves only one type of archaeological trace, the appearance of trends towards unconstrained social complexity.  Why?  A change of the semiotic qualities of talk is not a material cause, it is an immaterial cause.  Speech-alone talk potentiates unconstrained social complexity.

0025 Finally, some scholars, such as Rene Girard, capture essential features of our current Lebenswelt, and so are ignored by modern gatekeepers.  The writers of the past few centuries are often not aware of the materialistic Zeitgeist in which they operate. They wear blinders.  They do not see the object that brings all into relation.  After all, there is no material or instrumental power greater than sovereign power.  Is there?

0026 The three masterworks mentioned above offer novel scientific paradigms that (1) are consistent with current empirical knowledge and (2) transcend the proscription of metaphysics, by considering semiotics to be real.  Semiotics entangles the material, but the material cannot explain triadic relations.

0027 The three masterworks offer a new, truly postmodern answer to the questions: Where do we humans come from?  What went wrong?  What is the cure?

Good places to start include Comments on Daniel Houck’s Book (2020) Aquinas, Original Sin and The Challenge of Evolution, as well as Comments on Five Views in the Book (2020) Original Sin and the Fall.


Evolution and the Fall (Part 3)

0013 What does the strange, historic reversal of the term, “religion” imply?

0014 The term is formed, deformed, and now, reformed.

0015 At first, the term is validated by the presence of Christian factions, vying for sovereign power.

Then, the term is exploited by “not religious” individuals, institutions and mass movements.  By identifying as “not religious”, theoreticians, organizations and broadcasters find that they can attain sovereign power in order to implement their own organizational objectives.  After all, they technically fulfill the Enlightenment mandate that sovereign states should not be in the business of establishing “religions” (Christian factions).

As a bonus, their competitors, Christian factions, cannot compete.

0016 Exploitation deforms the word “religion”, because “not religious” individuals, institutions and movements operate in precisely the same way as Christian factions during and after the Reformation, only with better technology. 

0017 The masterwork, How To Define the Word “Religion”, serves as a corrective to this deformation.  The current use of the word, “not religious”, is radically deceptive (B2), accounting for the application of the word, “secretive”, as an adjective, to secular individuals, societies and even, mass movements.

Do they know what they are doing?

Most “not religious” participants in mass movements think that their opponents are “religious”.  They are.  Yet, these same participants cannot recognize that their own stance is deeply religious, as defined by the masterwork.  The “not religious” are religious, too.  They revel in their own righteousness.

Hence, blatant hypocrisy defines our current times.

0018 In the ancient world, this type of impasse seizes a city or a region and brings it into memetic crisis (see Rene Girard in this regard).  The Bible describes the historical arc of Israel in roughly these terms.  The question revolves around the nature of God’s covenant with Israel.  God’s covenant is formed, deformed then reformed.

Plus, the path is not smooth.  God is at work throughout the Bible.  So are we.

0019 For two thousand years, Christians contemplate how Adam’s rebellion influences us (B2).  The doctrine of Original Sin characterizes a foundational feature of our current Lebenswelt.  We are fallen, then we figure out a truth, then we exploit that truth with a deceptive turn, and we fall again.  Sometimes, with God’s assistance, we figure out our mistake and reform.

Concupiscence is more than our desire to bathe our own corporeal dispositions with the waters of righteousness.  It is also our desire to inflame our spiritual dispositions with the fire of righteousness.  The Reformation term, “total depravity”, captures the way that we claim to define what righteousness is, rather than God.

0020 Isn’t that what Eve does, just before she plucks the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?


Evolution and the Fall (Part 2)

0007 Ours is a world where we project meanings, presences and messages into our spoken words, then construct artifacts to validate them (B2).  The artifact validates our projection, even in the face of unintended consequences.  One result is that spoken words, which are at first not deceptive, become deceptive, then wreak havoc until they are reformed.

Does that sound vaguely Biblical?

0008 An example is offered in the masterwork, How to Define the Word “Religion”.

0009 During and after the Reformation, the word, “religion”, labels Christian factions, vying for sovereign power in order to implement their organizational objectives.  The factions stand as artifacts that validate the term.  The terminology has consequences.  Enlightenment constitutions, especially the American, explicitly forbid the federal government from establishing a religion.

0010 The problem?

During the Enlightenment of the 18th century, and during the subsequent two centuries, new social noumena appear, claiming to be “not religious”.  The word, “secular”, is coined in the mid-1800s as a label.

What does it mean to identify oneself or one’s institution as “not religious”?

Well, it must mean that the entity does not belong to a Christian faction.

0011 The problem?

These “not religious” individuals (thinkers, leaders and supporters), societies (institutions) and movements (widespread affiliations) behave precisely in the same way that Christian factions do after the Reformation. They engage in social construction (meaning). They seek sovereign power in order to implement their organizational objectives (presence). Their righteousness contains inherent contradictions that cannot be resolved (message).

Indeed, modern “secular” individuals, institutions and movements meet the criteria that defines the term, “religion”, according to the above masterwork.

0012 The problem?

The US federal government has established a religion, contrary to the first amendment of its constitution.

It so happens, that the religion is not a “religion” (a Christian faction).