Comments on Armand Maurer’s Essay (2004) “Darwin, Thomists and Secondary Causality” (Part 5)


0065 Armand Maurer offers an essay that traces the notion of secondary causes from Darwin, back through Suarez and Aquinas, all the way to the Neoplatonic Book of Causes.  He aims to show that God’s greatness is not diminished by NeoDarwinian theory.

Indeed, the working comparison shows that the normal contexts of Divine Will3, natural selection3b and body development3b cannot exclude one another.

0066 This is not the view of the modern Zeitgeist, which declares that, in order for inquiry to be scientific, inquiry must exclude metaphysics.

0067 Darwin does not rise above the modern Zeitgeist.  Nor can a reader expect him to.  After all, the Zeitgeist fills the air that we breathe.  The Zeitgeist stands between heaven and earth.  There is no avoiding it.

At first, Darwin thinks that the concept of secondary causes provides a path to the acceptance of his theory.  Unfortunately, this path is already blocked by the modern Zeitgeist.  Later in life, Darwin declares himself agnostic.

0068 Now, I may ask, “What happens next?”

What happens in Western Civilization between 7660 and 7820 U0’?

If Darwin is on target about secondary causation, and if the modern Zeitgeist denies the possibility, then what happens when the esse of the thing [has power to cause] results2 is no longer contextualized by the primary cause? 

What if the Divine Will3 and the Divine Presence1 are systematically ignored, even ridiculed?

0069 Nature abhors a vacuum.

The positivist intellect rules out metaphysics in scientific inquiry, setting up a scenario where natural selection3b and body development3b exclude the Divine Will3.  Christians do not understand how to counter, because any attempt to respond meets the charge that the Christian is not scientific.

This leaves an opening for a new metaphysic, one that declares itself to be “not religious”.

0070 Does “not religious” mean the same as scientific?

Many moderns think so.

Indeed, how can a modernist distinguish between science and… er… a religious movement that says that it is “not religious”?

(See comments on Pennock’s eEssay on the distinction of science and religion, appearing at the end of June 2020)

Social Darwinism of the late 76th and early 77th century serve as an example.  According to their dogma, humans inherit a social phenotype and are bound to certain civilizational adaptations.

Karl Marx, for example, envisions six stages, primitive barbaric communist, the slave, the feudal, the capitalist, the socialist and the communist.  Social phenotypes differ for each one.  For example, for feudalism, the two social phenotypes are the landowner and the serf.

According to Marxist myth, civilization progresses from one stage to another.

Each stage requires a different type of leader.

The esse of a leader includes the power to achieve adaptive organizational objectives.

0071 This calls to mind the master-work, How To Define the Word, “Religion”.

What is the potential1aC underlying the actuality of an organizational objective2aC?


For Social Darwinism, that righteousness1aC is “not religious”.

0072 Marxism becomes a brand of Social Darwinism.

Here is a general picture for the modern Zeitgeist.

Figure 14

0073 A vacuum is apparent.

Both modern intellectuals and the leader offer to fill in the blanks.

0074 Notably, the genetic basis of inheritance is not well understood during the century after Darwin.  Mendel starts his experiments in 7653 U0’.  James Watson and Francis Crick determine that the structure of DNA is a double helical polymer in 7753.

Consequently, what I call “body development3b”, “the phenotype2b” and “genotype1b” are more mystically configured by Social Darwinists.  They are conceived as social development3b, cultural phenotype2b and identity1b. These terms appeal to folk psychology.

On top of this, even in very late Modernism, both intellectuals and leaders insist that human evolution is solely due to material and instrumental causes.

No one thinks that immaterial causes are relevant.  This error is refuted in the master-work, The Human Niche.

Also, no one imagines a discontinuity between our current Lebenswelt and the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.  This topic is addressed in the master-work, An Archaeology of the Fall.

0072 What is primary causation in modern movements that proclaim themselves to be “not religious”?

Different modern schools fill in the blanks in their own ways.  Mercantilism, Fascism, Communism and Big Government (il)Liberalism each has its day.  They each proclaim a different primary cause.

Maritain sees this.  He lives to a ripe old age.  He writes his essay on evolution, close to the end.  He may not know how to put his vision into a precise, scientifically plausible, argument.  He does know that the issue must be addressed, not by positivist intellects, but by rational intellects.  Secondary causation must no longer be usurped by human agency.  The slots for primary causation cannot remain empty.

0073 NeoDarwinism must be seen as an expression of secondary causation.

It is not the purpose of Maurer’s essay to show how.

The purpose is to show what must be done.

0074 The Book of Causes is translated into Arabic, by a Neoplatonic philosopher, living near Baghdad, shortly after al Ma’mun fails once and fails again, to reconcile Muslims, first, with one another, and second, with the rational intellect.  Who would imagine that, a thousand years later, Charles Darwin would pick one of its key ideas, secondary causation, in order to justify his own scientific proposal?

The popularization of the idea comes through Aquinas, then Suarez. 

The realization of the necessity of the idea comes through Maritain, and here, Maurer.

In this, the beauty of this essay excels.


Comments on Armand Maurer’s Essay (2004) “Darwin, Thomists and Secondary Causality” (Part 4)

Section Four, Maritain

0055 Jacques Maritain (7682-7773 U0’) pops thought bubbles.  Sometimes, he succeeds.  Sometimes, he does not.

In 7773, he takes a jab at a bubble that still pervades the modern Zeitgeist.  Natural selection3b and body development3bexclude the Divine Will3.

Maritain pens an essay.  The title is “Towards a Thomistic Idea of Evolution”.  The word, “towards”, conveys the tentative character of his argument.  He aims to take secondary causality to the… um… next level.

0056 Maritain points out that living beings embody immanent and self-perpetuating activities.  Such activities give living beings an active role in evolution.  This point reflects a general principle.  God gives, to created beings, the dignity of secondary causation, under the guidance of primary causality.

Maritain draws a distinction about the living being’s powers of immanent activity.

0057 First, these powers reside in each individual of a species, even though they govern and perpetuate the entire species.

To me, this sounds like a fusion of the eternal now and the evolutionary eon, allowing a comparison between secondary causality2 and adaptation2b.

0058 Second, living beings have a self-regulating power that is subtle.  It does not appear on the surface.  This power appears to work against entropy.  Matter may acquire higher form under the elevating action of God.

To me, this sounds like a fusion of secondary causality2 with the dynamics underlying the phenotype2b.

0059 Does Maritain draw on Mivart’s intuition that evolution requires an external and an internal account?

Not really, Maritain and Mivart do not contradict one another.  Secondary causality2 compares to adaptation2b and phenotype2b, formulated as dyads.

Here is how that looks.

Figure 12

0060 Maritain ascribes primary causality to God, but not to the exclusion of the secondary agency of created beings.

The two normal contexts3b for NeoDarwinism complements or aligns with the theological normal context3 for primary and secondary causes.

Also, the potentials1 are inclusive, with a very curious twist.  God’s Divine Presence sustains the actuality of ‘something’ independent of the adapting species2a, the environment of evolutionary adaptation, as well as the DNA2a.  God has plenty of room to tinker with biological evolution.

0061 Here is a picture of the comparison.

Figure 13

0062 According to Thomas Aquinas, matter has a potential, or an appetite, for forms of ascending perfection. “Perfection” does not mean “without flaws”.  Rather, “perfection” suggests “completion”.  Matter and form associate to actuality2.  Perfection adds the normal context3 and the potential1.  

Is this key to a philosophical understanding of biological evolution?

Maritain spells out the ascending levels, composite bodies, mixed bodies, vegetative bodies and souls, sensitive or animal bodies and souls, and intellectual or human bodies and souls.  Matter ascends from content to situation to perspective, on the wings of its own secondary causes, in the normal context of the Divine Will3 and in the possibilities inherent in the Divine Presence1.

0063 Certainly, this is not the only way to construct a hierarchy of nested forms.  But, it is surely a good one.

Maritain keeps his eyes on the writings of Thomas Aquinas.

0064 Yet, even before his death at a ripe old age, a young, Peirce-enamored Thomist, John Deely (7747-7817 U0’), presents him with a thesis.  Later, Deely writes about an interplay between Peirce and Aquinas.  Deely discovers that Peirce arrives at the same definition of sign as the Baroque Scholastic, John Poinsot (7389-7444 U0’).

What does this imply?

C. S. Peirce may be regarded as the first in a postmodern neoscholastic tradition.

Peircean formulations, such as the category-based nested form, belong in the scholastic tradition.


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)?