Comments on Armand Maurer’s Essay (2004) “Darwin, Thomists and Secondary Causality” (Part 3)

Section One, Darwin

0027 Darwin justifies his hypothesis on the origin of species to Christians, by contemplating secondary causation.  God grants adaptive powers to living creatures, allowing descent with modification.

Does God endow biological creatures with powers more subtle than instrumental and material causality?

The power to be reproductively successful means that, over time, a creature (species) can substantially change.

0028 How?

Something independent of the biological species offers an advantage to exploit or a disadvantage to avoid.  This takes place in the eternal now.  In each generation, those creatures that have the ability to exploit the advantage or avoid the disadvantage produce more offspring.  Over the course of many generations, a species may substantially change, depending on the nature of the advantage or disadvantage.

0029 What word is under contention?

The word is “substance”.  One never witnesses an adaptation so radical as to render a plant into an animal or the other way around.  Plus, only one genus goes from animal to rational, implying the uniqueness of the human niche.

0030 However, if one fashions a narrower definition of substance, then one places the word in the path of descent with modification

For example, a common ancestor ends up as two species, wolf and dog.  They are substantially different, according to a consensus among biologists.  Why?  Each population no longer breeds with the other.

Okay, there is debate about that for wolves and dogs, but not between wolves and whales.

0031 There is more to the picture than this scientific criterion.

As species evolve, their particular substance changes over generations.  Yet, at any moment in the Earth’s history, biological species appear to be stable, even during rapid ecological change.  So, each species is really present only in the eternal now.

Time is required to note trends in biological evolution.  So, evolution implies that species must be placed in a different normal context than everyday life.  They may be compared to selective breeding of populations over time.

0032 Did Darwin grasp secondary causes in order to place a metaphorical fig leaf over his theory of natural selection?

Descent with modification implies that God (primary cause) endows creatures with powers to exploit advantages and avoid disadvantages (secondary causes) in the environment of evolutionary adaptation (EEA).  Creatures do not strive to change over generations.  Rather, they strive to survive and reproduce.  Adaptation occurs, over many generations, as a consequence of striving in the etermal now.

0033 In order to get an idea how this looks in terms of category-based nested forms, let me conclude that there are two actualities.  One actuality virtually situates the other.

Here is a diagram of actuality for a two-level interscope.  See requried reading.

Figure 6

0034 In the normal context of natural selection3b, the situation-level actuality becomes adaptation2b.

In the normal context of natural selection3b, the situation-level potential becomes a niche1b.

A niche1b is a potential of an actuality independent of the adapting species2a.

As far as biologists are concerned, the content-level normal context3a and potential1a, accounting for the actuality independent of the adapting species2a may be ignored, except for one difficulty.

There is a chance that the adaptation2b will alter the actuality independent of the adapting species2a, as in the case of a beaver building a dam on a fast moving stream.  The alteration produces similar results, time and time again. Reproducible results become the actuality independent of the adapting species2a.  This permutation is called “niche construction”.

0035 Here is the diagram of Darwinian evolution.

Figure 7

0036 So far, so good.

Where do primary and secondary causations come in?

Does the situation-level of Darwinian selection compare to the category-based nested form for primary and secondary causation?

0037 Let me start by considering the two actualities.

Adaptation2b renders as a simple actuality (without Darwin’s normal context3b and potential1b), living creature [has powers to] survive and reproduce2b.

This compares favorably to the idea that secondary causation applies to actuality2 embedded in the primary causality of a normal context3 and potential1.  The actuality2 may be rendered as the dyad, the esse of the thing [has power to cause] certain results2.

0038 Here is a picture of the match.

Figure 8

0039 Darwin hones in on secondary causes as a way to accept adaptation2b, as the esse of a living thing [has power to cause] results, including surviving and reproducing.

However, the concept of secondary causation for creatures, already promoted by Aquinas and again, by Suarez, regards the Divine Will3b and the Divine Presence1b as presiding in the eternal now, corresponding to the moment when the future becomes the past.

There a difference between “right now” and “over many generations”, just as there is a difference between “living creatures [have the power to] survive and reproduce” and “adaptation”.

0040 The creature’s power associates to the term, “substance”.

One question posed by Thomists to Darwinists, asks, “How can an adaptation, an accidental change, alter the creature’s substance, when accidents cannot add up to a substantial change?”

The answer is, “A creature’s [power] to survive and reproduce operates, over generations, in the normal context of natural selection3b and with a salient niche1b.  A salient niche1b is one that offers novel opportunities and disadvantages, so that natural selection3b is not purely random.  Natural selection favors certain accidents over others, leading to substantial change over generations.”

0041 So, what about the following comparison?

Figure 9

0042 The upper nested form applies to the eternal now.

The latter nested form occurs over time.

0043 Other than that, let me compare at face value.

The logic of thirdness is exclusion, alignment and complement.  Any normal context3 will exclude, align with or complement another normal context3.

Thirty years before the publication of Origin of Species in 7659 U0’, Darwin entertains the idea that biological evolution may be accepted by Christians on the basis of secondary causation.  If this is the case, then the Divine Will3 and natural selection3b must either align or complement.

0044 After publication, Catholic biologist, St. George Mivart (7622-7700), and American botanist, Asa Gray (7610-7688) address this if-then construct.

0045 Here, I pause and wonder.

Doesn’t the idea of secondary causes, the living creature[ has the power to] survive and reproduce, fit the pattern of declaration and development found in the six days of Creation in Genesis?

God says, “Let the earth bring forth…”, then “the earth brings forth.”

Surely, the declaration goes with normal context3 and potential1.

The development associates to actuality2.

0046 The problem?

The Spirit of the Age of the 7600s proclaims that natural selection3b excludes the Creator’s Will3.   The niche1b is solely a material advantage or disadvantage offered by the environment of evolutionary adaptation2a.  No Divine Presence1 is manifest.  Biological evolution is godless, all the way through.

Mivart and Gray are horrified.

Both become staunch critics of Darwinism.

0047 Despite this, Mivart admits that natural selection could be one factor in biological evolution.  It cannot be the only factor.  After all, natural selection3b and the niche1b are external to the adaptatation2b.  There must be something else, something internal, that completes the account of biological evolution.

Today, the ‘something’ that Mivart refers to is genetics.  Body development3b’ completes the account that natural selection3b starts.

0048 In the normal context of body development3b, the phenotype2b emerges from (and situates) the genotype1b, where the genotype1b is the potential1b of the creature’s DNA2a.

The “Neo-“ of NeoDarwinism has precisely the same relational structure as Darwinism.  Thus, a species’ internal DNA2aparallels an external actuality independent of the adapting species2a.

Here is how that looks.

Figure 10

0049 I will not discuss the implications of the fact that adaptation2b and phenotype2b are independent actualities that apply to the same creature.  See Comments on Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight’s Book (2017) Adam and the Genome.

Instead, I will expand the working comparison between primary and secondary causality to NeoDarwinism, as opposed to only Darwinism.

Here is the diagram.

Figure 11

0050 After the discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA2a in the 7750s, influence-peddlers of the modern Zeitgeist work overtime insisting that both natural selection3b and body development3b exclude the Divine Will3b.

They struggle against a crucial insight.  The category of firstness, the monadic realm of possibility1, operates according to the logics of inclusion.  It1 allows contradictions.  So, the niche1 and the genotype1 do not exclude the Divine Presence1, the potential underlying the Divine Will3.

0051 Say what?

Consider the niche1b.

The niche1b is the potential of ‘something’ outside the adapting species2a.  Natural selection3b is potentiated1b by ‘something’ outside itself2a.  Naturalists must insist that this potential1b arises solely from material and instrumental causes.

However, less ideologically supine biologists never keep up with the naturalist’s agenda.  They routinely evoke final attributes and formal requirements and design.  Birds have wings to fly.  Fish have fins to swim.  Final attributes and formal designs cannot be distilled down to instrumental and material causalities.  They cannot be observed and measured.  Instead, they are simply obvious to us.

In a way, this seems miraculous.

0052 Similarly, the genotype1b is the potential of the creature’s DNA2a.  Body development3b is potentiated1b by ‘something’ inside itself2a. Naturalists must claim that this potential1b arises solely from material and instrumental causes.

But, less ideologically sensitive biologists make statements like, “Such and such gene is responsible for such and such anatomical or physiological feature.”

For example, say a new gene arises from a novel repair of the DNA2a after a strand break.  How does a gamma ray select the exact location to create this fissure that is then repaired in a fashion as to produce a slightly different protein (or genotype1b)?

Talk about miracles.

0053 Of course, Darwin does not know that genetics is the mechanism of inheritance.

Suarez and Aquinas do not know that creatures evolve over geological time.

0054 Yet, here we are, on the verge of an insight.

Neither the niche1b nor the genotype1b fully exclude the Divine Presence1.

After all, the Divine Presence1 sustains the actualities of an environment of evolutionary adaptation2a and DNA2a.

How can natural selection3b and body development3b completely exclude the Divine Will3?


Comments on Armand Maurer’s Essay (2004) “Darwin, Thomists and Secondary Causality” (Part 2)

0024 Franscisco Suarez (7348-7417 U0’) lives at the time of Galileo.  He continues the scholastic tradition.  He comments on Aquinas, just as previously, Aquinas comments on the Book of Causes.  The doctrine of secondary causes is well established, not as I portray it here, using category-based nested forms, but as a foil to primary causation and a mirror to instrumental causes.

Suarez writes the first systematic treatise on metaphysics in the Western world.  His book is translated and read across Europe.

0025 He makes four points about primary and secondary causes (C-F).

The first created thing is being (C).  God is the primary cause of being (A).

Secondary causes are true causes (D).  They are not symptoms of primary causation (B).  Creatures have powers that make events happen.

Secondary causes cannot be divorced from primary causality (E).  This point distinguishes secondary from instrumental causality.

The claim that creatures exhibit true active powers gives a greater dignity to creatures and their Creator, than claims that secondary powers are symptoms of primary causation (F).

0026 Darwin grasps this last point (F) as a metaphysical justification for his theory of evolution through natural selection.


Comments on Armand Maurer’s Essay (2004) “Darwin, Thomists and Secondary Causality” (Part 1)

Section Three, Aquinas

0001 Armand Maurer publishes a short paper tracing a path, through time, of the idea of secondary and primary causes.  I follow the timeline, which starts in section three.

Around two decades after the death of the seventh Abbasid caliph, al-Ma’mun, in 6633 U0’, someone puts pen to paper.  Centuries later, when the Book of Causes is translated into Latin, some medieval scholastics assume that this “someone” is Aristotle.  Thomas Aquinas writes a commentary on the work.

0003 The irony?

Al Ma’mun’s story as caliph calls to mind our world, in the 7800s.

First, al Ma’mun tries to directly reconcile Sunni and Shi’a branches of Islam.  This approach dramatically fails within his lifetime.

Second, during his remaining 15 years, he tries an indirect reconciliation by promoting Islamic thinkers familiar with the rationalist methods of ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophers.  He encourages translations from Greek into Arabic.  He promotes an academy called, “The House of Wisdom”, in Baghdad.  Again, this approach fails.  Many of his subjects refuse to believe that the Qur’an is a “created” work.

Thus, the Book of Causes may address a question relevant to our time.

Could the the Qur’an be ascribed to secondary causation, in concert with a primary cause, God’s Will and Presence?

0004 Here is how this might look as a category-based nested form.  See required reading.

Figure 1

Note that God’s Presence1 is the potential underlying the normal context of God’s Will3.

0005 Okay, on to Thomas Aquinas (7025-7074 U0’).

In 7068, he notices a similarity between The Book of Causes and a newly translated work, The Elements of Theology, by Neoplatonist Proclus (6210-6285 U0’).  This suggests that the idea of primary and secondary causation is much older than the Arabic translation of The Book of Causes.

0006 What does Aquinas say about The Book of Causes?

He focuses on two propositions (A and B).

0007 First (A), primary cause has greater impact than secondary cause.

Thomas notes (more or less), “This is true for God as a primary cause.  God causes being to exist.”

The Latin term, ‘esse’, refers to being as existent, in contrast to “ens”, being as being.

God may bring things into being (esse) from nothing, that is, without a pre-existing ens.

Otherwise, God creates ens, being as being, then ens enters form and becomes esse, being as existent.

The pattern of ens preceding esse appears in the Genesis Creation Story.  On several days, God says, “Let there be (ens)…” and then, the earth brings forth, (esse).

In this, the earth has the power to bring forth.

These powers go with secondary causation.

0008 Second (B), we see causes in the nature of things.

Things have their own powers.  These are not the powers of the Divine.  Rather, these are particular powers, characteristic of the substance of each creature.  These powers specify one or another outcome. They are called, “secondary causes”.

0009 These two propositions, A and B, associate to a nested form in the following manner.

Figure 2

0010 The actuality is dyadic.  This is typical in the category of secondness.  Secondness consists of two contiguous real elements.  In the above notation, one real element [is contiguous with] another real element.  The contiguity is placed in brackets.  The contiguity bears the marks of causality.

There is a certain circularity to this actuality.  The earth holds creatures, even though it brings creatures forth as existent beings.  Existent beings that the earth brings forth participate in the earth’s powers, once they are present.  So, as the earth brings forth, the earth appears to increase in its powers.  Each additional type of creature adds to the capacities of the earth.  When a type of creature disappears, the earth loses the power to make that specific creature.

Does that sound sufficiently circular?

0011 Compare this circularity to the following example of secondary causation.

Consider a pen.

A pen cannot write a note to a my friend.

Instead, the pen is an instrument for me, the writer.

So, if I am going to be a writer, I better acquire a pen.

0012 The writer and the note constitute a dyad.  The writer is a real element.  The letter is a real element.  The pen is the instrument that brings the two real elements together.  Is it not curious that the word, “pen”, is also a verb?

Here is a picture of this actuality.

Figure 3

0013 The pen is an instrument.  The actuality2 has been alchemically isolated from its nested form.  So, no one can determine the aims and designs of the note.

Here I may ask, “Does the instrumentality of the pen account for the realness of the writer and the note?

Of course, a scientist may reply, “If I observe the writer and all the notes that the writer produces, then I can generate a mechanical model accounting the use of a pen, and publish the results in the Empirical Journal of Pens.” 

In short, the scientist focuses on actuality2.

0014 However, the instrumental causality of the pen occurs within the actuality2 itself. It offers no clue to the question that everyone asks.

Why is the writer penning a letter?

Material, final and formal cuases address this question.  Once answers come to light, the actuality2 is no longer alone.  It participates in a category-based nested form.

0015 Here is a picture of the way that Aristotle’s four causes, starting from within actuality2, intimate normal context3 and potential1.

Figure 4

0016 What does this imply (C and D)?

0017 Instrumental causes are secondary causes (C), without the primary cause.

Consequently, I anticipate that instrumental causes may be confounded with secondary causes.  

In the above example, the scientist does this.  The scientist focuses on the instrumental and material causality of the pento the exclusion of final and formal causes for the writer and note.

0018 Aristotle’s remaining four causes (D) construct a nested form around a dyad in actuality.

Material causes link actuality2 to the possibility of ‘something’1.

Final causes connects the actuality2 to both normal context3 and potential1.

In this example, the writer [pens] a letter2 occurs in a particular normal context3, say, remembering an old friend3.  Plus, there is an incentive to say ‘something’1, recalling a fond memory.

Formal causes draw the writer to compose the note2 in a certain style, suitable for conveying a particular mood.

0019 Here is how that looks.

Figure 5

0020 Overall, Aristotle’s four causes are neither secondary or primary causes.  Rather, they draw a creaturely power (the power of the pen) into its corresponding category-based nested form.  This corresponds to a transition from instrumental to secondary cause2, as well as a transition from the remaining causes to elements that point to a primary cause3,1.

0021 Are these surprising claims?

Consider a thing2 or event2.

How do Aristotle’s four causes come into play?

When we explore its instrumental causes, actuality may become a dyad in secondness.  Secondness consists of two contiguous real elements.

When we look at its2 material causality, potential1 comes into consciousness.

When we consider final attributes.  Potential1 is clarified.  Normal context3 comes to consciousness.

When we think about formal requirements and design, normal context3 is clarified.

Secondary causality associates to actuality2 in a category-based nested form.

Primary causality associates to normal context3 and potential1 in a category-based nested form.

0022 At the time of Thomas Aquinas, several philosophical schools argue that secondary causes detract from the idea that all causation rests in God.  So, actuality2 is just a residue of the divine.

Aquinas argues against this proposition, saying that this point of view reduces the dignity of the creature and by extension, God’s creation.

If the Ash’arite school is correct, then the creature cannot be responsible for its own actions.  Only God is responsible.

If creatures are not responsible, then why do they take care of themselves so well?

If the claims of Bonaventure and his followers are correct, and secondary causes are not sufficient, then how do creatures get along in the world?

Indeed, they get along so well that the seem designed to do what they do.

0023 Aquinas never envisions that the word, “adaptation”, could replace the word, “design”.  Why?  Aquinas lives in the enternal now.  Species of plant and animal are always the same.  Each bears according to its kind.


Comments on Armand Maurer’s Essay (2004) “Darwin, Thomists and Secondary Causality” (Opening)

Notes on Text

This work comments on an article by an expert in medieval philosophy, Armand Maurer, published in The Review of Metaphysics (volume 57(3), 2004, Pages 506-511).  My goal is to comment on this work using 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.

Dates are in Ubaid Zero Prime.  0 U0’ equates to 5800 B.C., around 7800 years ago.  0 U0’ roughly marks the first appearance of the Ubaid culture in southern Mesopotamia.

Prerequisites: A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form, A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction

Table of Contents

Section Three, Aquinas   0001

Section Two, Suarez     0024

Section One, Darwin   0027

Section Four, Maritain     0055

Ramifications     0065


Comments on Armand Maurer’s Essay (2004) “Darwin, Thomists and Secondary Causality” (Long Preparation)

What are primary and secondary causalities?

An expert in Medieval Philosophy, Armand Maurer, traces their history, backwards from Charles Darwin.  He publishes an article in The Review of Metaphysics (volume 57(3), 2004, pages 506-511).

Darwin thinks that his theory of evolution endowed living beings with secondary causalities more profound and subtle than hitherto contemplated.  Creatures have the ability to produce new substances on their own accord.  That new substance is a new species or genus.

Before this, philosophers never confront the question of evolution.  So, secondary causality belongs to creatures, in accordance to the Will and Presence of God, the primary cause.  Secondary causes are living creatures getting on with their lives.

As it turns out, that is also what living creatures do according to Darwin’s theory of evolution.  The difference is that their survival is subject to natural selection, especially in regards to exploiting their niche.

Surely, there must be consistency here, besides that both medieval philosophers and the educated folk of Darwin’s time use the terms, primary and secondary causes.

Maurer ends with Maritain, who publishes and exploration of the role of primary and secondary causes in Darwin’s schema.

The introduction and five parts follow the Maurer’s arguments, not point by point, but according to the timeframe that he articulates.  The story begins with the Book of Causes, a Neoplatonic work written around Baghdad a few decades after the death of the Abbasid caliph, Al-Mamun.


Comments on Armand Maurer’s Essay (2004) “Darwin, Thomists and Secondary Causality” (Short Preparation)

These comments are posted as an advertisement of the series titled, “Peirce’s Secondness and Aristotle’s Hylomorphism”.

This series should be of interest to high-school and college students interested in science and religion in the upcoming Age of Triadic Relations.

Short introductions are found on the page of each e-work appearing in smashwords dotcom.  The entire series offers more than a dozen commentaries.

In 2004, Armand Maurer publishes a brief history of primary and secondary causalities. They first appear in the Neoplatonic Book of Causes, which Aquinas comments on. It is popularized by Suarez.  Darwin accesses them, as potential avenues for appreciating his theory of evolution. These comments examine this story using the category-based nested form.


Comments on Robert Pennock’s Essay (2009) “…the Difference between Science and Religion?” (Epilogue 2)

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 measures1a phenomena1b 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 phenomena1a that 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 naturalism(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.

Say what?  

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.

Figure 09

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.


Comments on Robert Pennock’s Essay (2009) “…the Difference between Science and Religion?” (Epilogue 1)

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 The Intelligent 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.

Figure 07

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.

Figure 08

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 scienceThe rope tied to the lance is long.  Perhaps, 14 years long.  Cheers.


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)?


Comments on Robert Pennock’s Essay (2009) “…the Difference between Science and Religion?” (Part 5)

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.

Figure 05

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?

Does it come from inside the circle?

Does it come from outside the circle?

Why is the perspective level empty?

What does that imply?