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?


Comments on Robert Pennock’s Essay (2009) “…the Difference between Science and Religion?” (Part 4)

0023 At this point, I run with two metaphors.

First, the world is upside down.  The ocean of Big Government (il)Liberalism sloshes above, as a world suspended in surreal liquidity, heavy and looming.  The regulatory sea holds a thousand points of light, each submerged in its own righteousness.  A leviathan swims in these celestial waters.  This leviathan applies the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution to education by state and federally funded institutions.  These schools may teach science, but not religion.  Here, “religion” means “a Christian faction”.

Second, a small boat, initially named The Creation Science, then later (after the unfortunate moment when the captain lost a leg to stand on) named The Intelligent Design, floats on the surface, that is, the bottom, of this inverted ocean.  This boat hunts the above-mentioned leviathan.  The academically inclined sailors fashion a lance of that looks like the methodological level of science.  But, the captain does not fully comprehend what harm it can do.

The captain?

0024 Philosopher Larry Laudan comes under scrutiny in the fourth section of Pennock’s essay.  After the McLean case (the leg-bite), this philosopher writes three articles denying a demarcation between science and religion.  There are no criteria for strictly distinguishing what is religiouswhat is scientificwhat is pseudo-scientific and what is unscientific.

Laudan struggles mightily against the criteria of Michael Ruse (A-E).

Two arguments support his conclusions (M and N).

The first (M) says, more or less, “There is a lack of unity between philosophers about the demarcation criteria.”

Okay, experts rarely agree.  That is the nature of experts.

The second (N) says, more or less, “The 1981 McLean versus Arkansas case is hollow, because it canonizes a false stereotype of what science is and how it works.”

I suspect that this is correct because Ruse’s criteria (A-E) pertain to what is and what ought to be in the Naturalist’s judgment.  The empirio-schematic judgment (what ought to be) unfolds into the content level of the following two-level interscope.  The Naturalist’s judgment unfolds into the situation level.

Figure 04

0025 Michael Ruse’s criteria (A-E) draw attention to the content level.

Perhaps, this is why the author, Robert Pennock, wants to set the record straight.

The 1981 McLean case focuses on the content of science.

The 2005 Kitzmiller case focuses on the situation of science.

What does this suggest?

0025 The Intelligent Design comes up with a better tactic.  Of Pandas and People follows the style of the empirio-schematic judgment.  Ruse’s criteria lack teeth.Pennock sees this and proposes that science must be distinguished, not on the methodological levela, but on the naturalism levelb.  The ground rule of the naturalist intellect3b is “no metaphysics”.


Comments on Robert Pennock’s Essay (2009) “…the Difference between Science and Religion?” (Part 3)

0013 Okay. I must hold, in my mind, the upside-down celestial waters.

Within these waters, a leviathan swims, asking the questions, “Can Intelligent Design be taught as a science? How do we demark science and non-science (that is, religion)?”

But, those on the surface, the sailors on the ship, The Creation Science, suspect that the leviathan is really asking, “Can we teach science as a religion?”

Of course, it all depends on how one defines the word, “religion”.

0014 In section 3, Pennock considers the philosophy behind the 2005 Kitzmiller vs Dover decision and establishes five points (H-L).

First (H), Kitzmiller does not follow the criteria used in the McLean case (points A-E).

Second (I), Kitzmiller relies on a ballpark demarcation (a ground rule, so to speak).  Creationism violates this ground rule.

Third (J), the ground rule is methodological naturalism.  This rule says, “Metaphysics is not allowed.”

The word, “metaphysics”, is rooted in two terms, meta- (to cross over) and -physics (the physical).  Naturalism does not allow its followers to pass out of the realm of phenomena.  Phenomena consists in that which is observable and measurable.

0015 Pennock dwells on this point (J) at length.

To me, he describes the Naturalist’s judgment.

Allow me to elaborate.

A judgment is a primal triadic relation, consisting in three elements: relationwhat is and what ought to be.

0016 The relation is the naturalist intellect, which rules out metaphysics.  This relation is imbued with Peirce’s category of thirdness.  Thirdness associates with a normal context3, as described in A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form.

0017 What is consists of phenomena.  Phenomena are observable and measurable features of a thing or event.

There is a certain philosophical emptiness to phenomena.  After all, phenomena do not constitute the thing itself, even though some may imagine that this is the case.  The thing itself cannot be objectified as its phenomena.  So, there is a word for the thing itself: “noumenon”.

What does this imply?

What is may be expressed as a continuity between two real elements, a noumenon and its phenomena.  That continuity is placed in brackets for notational clarity.  What is consists of a noumenon [cannot be objectified as] its phenomena.

This dyad belongs to the category of firstness.  Firstness is the monadic realm of possibility.  Phenomena have the potential to be observed and measured.  A noumenon has the potential of capturing the attention of the naturalist intellect.

0018 What ought to be consists of another judgment, where disciplinary language (relation, thirdness) brings together mechanical and mathematical models (what ought to be, secondness) with observations and measurements (what is, firstness).  This triadic relation is called “the empirio-schematic judgment” and first appears in Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy.

The empirio-schematic judgment, what ought to be, in the Naturalist’s judgment, is imbued with secondness, the character of actuality.

Here is a diagram.

Figure 02

0019 Fourth (K), the ground rule of “no metaphysics” does not appeal to the criterion of falsifiability (E).

At this point, I can see that the criteria espoused by Michael Ruse applies to portions of the Naturalist’s judgment.  A and B cohere to the naturalist intellect (relation) and the selection of noumena (what is).  Noumena must be things that have observable and measurable facets to their forms.  C, D and E pertain to the connection between the empirio-schematic judgment (what ought to be) and phenomena (what is).

In terms of the metaphor of inversion, Michael Ruse’s criteria keep us firmly fixed in the celestial waters, where the leviathan of the “not religious” sciences swims.

0020 In order to appreciate this whale of a topic, swimming in the heights of state-funded liquidity, I unfold the Naturalist’s and the empirio-schematic judgments into category-based nested forms, based on their assigned categories. The result is a two-level interscope

The interscope is introduced in A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.

Here is the diagram.

Figure 03

0021 Methodologicala naturalismb may be depicted as a two-level interscope.  Method goes with the empirio-schematic judgment.  Naturalism goes with the Naturalist’s judgment.

The naturalist intellect3b rules out metaphysics.  This rule is Pennock’s last point (L).  The rule, “no metaphysics”, comes from an occluded perspective level.  The rule does not reveal what is in the perspective level.  Indeed, the naturalist views the rule as coming from the content level.

Disciplinary language for each science3a follows the rule of the naturalist’s intellect3b.  Any disciplinary language3a that discusses metaphysics cannot be labeled as a “science”.

Of course, in this situation, the word, “metaphysics”, is code for Christian theology.  But, that is not what “metaphysics” really means, as previously noted.

This exclusion follows the logic of normal contexts.  Normal contexts exclude, align or complement.

0022 Creation science talks about metaphysics, while pretending not to.So, in the 1981 McLean vs Arkansas trial, the leviathan in the celestial waters of BG(il)L descends to upset the boat, The Creation Science, and bites off the leg of its captain.


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

0008 Can one differentiate science from non-science?

Why is this question relevant?

The first amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that the federal government shall not establish a religion.

Is that the same as establishing a non-science?

So, the first question twists.  Is religion a non-science?

It turns away from an old relevance, where the word “religion” means “a Christian faction”.

It twists towards a new relevance, where “religion” is defined by an underlying meaning, presence and message.  This is the topic of the masterwork, How To Define the Word, Religion.

0009 Why is this twist relevant?

What if the U.S. federal government establishes a religion?

What would be the nature of this religion?

Clearly, this religion is not a Christian faction.

Rather, it consists of diverse movements, a thousand points of light, that (F) claim to be “not religious” and (G) demand sovereign power in order to implement their organizational objectives.  Since each objective arises from the potential of righteousness, these diverse religions constantly signal their virtues.  They are keen on making sure that their organizational objectives get the government funds that they deserve.  Righteousness wins power and money.

Does the legal debate that Pennock addresses concern a single point of light, among thousands?

No.  Public education is… um… a big fish.

Yes, it’s a gigantic fish with sharp teeth.

0010 So, the question turns full circle.

Can science be taught as a religion?

The world is upside down.  The ocean is where the sky should be.  The sky is where the sea should be.  The demarcation problem rests on the surface of this upside-down ocean.  In this world, whales fly in the waters above.

The Story of Creation floats as a little boat that draws the leviathan of public education down from the heights, in a re-enactment of an orientation-challenged Moby Dick.  The Captain Ahab of Creation Science wants to kill the leviathan, directly.  In doing so, he would bring the celestial waters of the deep state into consciousness.  The highly elevated deep state contains a thousand institutions, whose points of light orient Big Government (il)Liberals.  Plus, this heavenly sea holds some really big fish.

Because these institutions3aC, both lights and fish, have organizational objectives2aC that emerge from (and situate) the potential of righteousness1aC, they are religions.

They appear to be stars dwelling high in a fish-filled celestial ocean of righteousness.

Ah, the relevant question becomes, “How does one distinguish religion from non-religion?”

0011 Here is how this fully twisted vision appears.

Figure 01

0012 Does this explain why the dismissal of the demarcation problem is premature?

If the world is upside down, then The Creation Science aims to lance a leviathan that dwells deep in the narratives of the heavenly waters of Big Government (il)Liberalism.


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

0001 In 2009, Robert Pennock wants to clear the fog of intellectual warfare, by publishing an article in Synthese (DOI 10.1007/s11229-009-9547-3).  The full title is, “Can’t Philosophers Tell the Difference Between Science and Religion?: Demarcation Revisited”.  Of course, a recitation of this title should be accompanied by a pouring of the Balvenie, matured in rum casks and aged 14 years.  After all, that is nearly the length of time that the words in Pennock’s paper have matured, in the cask of the Synthese.

Pennock’s abstract puts the headline question into context.  The 2005 decision, Kitzmiller versus Dover Area School Board, rules that Intelligent Design (ID) cannot be taught as a science.  This suggests that it cannot be taught at all, because the flip side of science is religion.  Public schools cannot teach religion.  That would violate the separation of church and state.

0002 The ruling follows a prior legal defeat, the 1981, McLean versus Arkansas decision against teaching creationism as science.  Afterwards, creationists contend that religion and science cannot be distinguished.  They cite a philosopher who claims that there are not sufficient criteria for demarcation, especially when considering method.

In contrast, Pennock argues that the word, “sufficient”, should be replaced by the word, “ballpark”.  Rules of thumb are capable of distinguishing between science and religion.  One rule of thumb is methodical naturalism.  Science relies on it.  Religion does not.

Does Pennock influence the 2005 Kitzmiller vs Dover trial?

Of course, why would Pennock write about the incident years later?

The text itself, is not clear.  

What is clear?

Judge John E. Jones III rules that ID pretends to be a science.  ID is really an apparatus of a sectarian religion.  Teaching ID in public schools would be the establishment of a religion, in violation of the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

Both sides of the case ask the judge to rule on this point.

0003 The ruling comes as a victory for Big Government (il)Liberals (BG(il)L), who portray the contest as follows.

The “villains” are the Board of Directors of the Public Schools of Dover, Pennsylvania.  Creationists gain enough seats to vote to make the ID textbook, Of Pandas and People, available as biology curricula.  In this book, natural selection becomes “Darwin’s theory”, which is not a fact, but a theory.

The “heroes” are several parents who sue the district.  They all fall under the label, “Kitzmiller”.

Curiously, “kitze” is a neuter noun for a kid goat.  “Miller” is a person who grinds grain in a mill.  Perhaps, the concatenation carries a symbolic message.

The “villainous” school district is defended by the Thomas More Law Center, which does not realize that they are about to have their heads handed back to them.  This becomes clear after they call key leaders of the ID movement to testify.

The lawyers at the Thomas More Center think that this trial will provide a platform for these players.  But, as the media circus tent goes up, many ID players withdraw.  What a disaster for the Dover Board lawyers!

0004 The BG(il)L corporate media portray the legal drama as a replay of the 1925 Scopes Trial.

To Pennock, the trial is more like the 1981 McLean vs Arkansas trial.  The McClean decision concludes that so called “creation science” is not science, but religion.  Here, “religion” means “a Christian faction”.

Such a ruling seems simple enough. But, the judge, William Overton, relies on a philosopher of science, Michael Ruse, who offers criteria to distinguish science from non-science.

0005 What are the criteria (A-E)?

Science (A) must be guided by natural law.

Science (B) explains by reference to natural law.

Science (C) is tested against the empirical world.

The conclusions of science (D) are tentative, and not necessarily the final word, because…

Science (E) is falsifiable.

0006 After the 1981 Overton decision, two philosophers, Larry Laudan and Philip Quinn, take issue with Ruse’s criteria. Do they write on behalf of the ID movement?  Is this damage control?  Pennock is drawn into the debate after he contributes expert testimony on the question whether ID is science or whether ID is religion. 

Is this the trauma giving rise to Pennock’s article?

Hard to say.

0007 Pennock reflects upon the question posed in the title.

He wants to offer a more acceptable path for distinguishing science and religion.


Comments on J.B. Stump’s Article (2020) “Did God Guide Our Evolution?”

0001 These comments are offered on my blog as a sample of the character of works that are available for sale at www.smashwords.com.  They seem rather dry and technical.  Nevertheless, they offer an innovative postmodern approach that should interest enterprising students and scholars.  Here, the category-based nested form and the two-level interscope come into play.

These categorical structures are introduced in A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form and A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.

0002 J.B. Stump offers his views in the March issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (volume 72(1), pages 15-24).  Perspectives is the flagship publication of the American Scientific Affiliation.  Stump’s article may be available for download at their website.  If not, please request.

Stump addresses the question, “Did God guide our evolution?”

He reviews several broad ways to answer, then discusses his favorite.

0003 So, does God guide our creation?

What about the scientific description of human evolution?

These questions point in different directions, C2 and C1.

The second direction (C2) is that God intentionally creates human beings in His image.

The first direction (C1) claims that evolution is the best scientific explanation for the origin of our species, Homo sapiens.

0004 These two claims can both be formulated as category-based nested forms (CBNF).

The CBNF contains four expressions.  The fourth is paradigmatic.  A normal context3 brings an actuality2 into relation with the possibility of ‘something’1.  The subscripts refer to Peirce’s categories.

0005 Now, I associate features in each direction to the CBNF.

The normal context3 for C1 is science3.  The normal context3 for C2 is the Genesis portrayal of God’s work3.

The actuality2 for C1 is human evolution2 and for C2 is the Genesis creation of humans2.

The potential1 for C1 is ‘natural selection and genetics’1.  The potential1 for C2 is ‘the picture of humans as images of God’1.

0006 Here is how that looks in technical notation.

0007 So, did God guide our evolution?

According to Stump, the first strategy (A1) for answering the question relies on semantics.

I ask, “What problem does semantics solve?”

Well, I see two nested forms.  How do they interact?

0008 Normal contexts follow the logic of exclusion, alignment and complement.

If they exhibit the logic of exclusion, the nested forms come into conflict.  It’s God’s work3 or science work3.  It is either one or the other.

If the logic is complement, then one could end up with Steven Gould’s idea of “non-overlapping magisteria”.  This is not much of a complement.  Perhaps, a truce is a better description.

If they exhibit the logic of alignment, then one nested form virtually emerges from (and situates) the other.  This structural relation is called a “two-level interscope”.  The two levels are contenta and situationb.  Contenta goes with Peirce’s category of firstness (the realm of possibility).  Situationb associates with Peirce’s category of secondness (the realm of actuality).

The two-level interscope has two flows.

In the upward flow, contenta underlies situationb.

In the downward flow, situationb orders contenta.

0009 So, I have two statements (C2 and C1) and two levels.  Which goes with which?

Here is where semantics comes into play.  Semantics is about language.  When I talk about science, my words are usually content-oriented.  When I think about God’s creation, I am contemplating my own (and everyone else’s) situation.

There is another, more technical semantic argument.  The religious statement (C2) cannot be situated by the science statement (C1), because the Positivist’s judgment rules out metaphysics.  The Positivist’s judgment is developed in Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy.  I cannot help but smile at this application.  From a semantic point of view, how could science situate a nested form that it cannot consider?

Here is a picture of the semantic-ordered, two-level interscope.

Figure 2

0010 Ironically, this model initiates questions that key into Stump’s second answer, the nomological strategy (A2).  The nomological strategy suggests that the laws of human evolution are not well understood.  The laws of evolution may be, but there is something wrong with their application to human evolution.  Stumps reviews some critical arguments.

0011 The two-level interscope pictured above endorses the “yes, but” character of the nomological approach, addressing the question, “Did God guide human evolution?”

If science is so smart, then it should situate the religious nested form, rather than the other way around.  The fact that the Positivist judgment excludes metaphysics indicates that science can understand human evolution only in terms of material and instrumental causalities.  However, I personally situate the evolution of my species in terms of my religious sensibility, which involves immaterial causalities, such as final attributes and formal design.

What does this imply?

The ultimate human niche is not material.

Indeed, this is the central thesis of the masterwork, The Human Niche, available at www.smashwords.com.

0012 The semantic (A1) strategy may be adjusted by the nomological (A2), producing something like this.

Figure 3

0013 Well, if our hominin ancestors adapted over millions of years into a niche that is not material, then the third answer, the causal joint strategy (A3), comes into play.  The causal joint strategy suggests that God does not obviously intervene in human evolution, but God nevertheless creates.  The question is, “How?”  Stump considers several authors with very curious answers.

0014 These answers have something in common.

They exploit the dynamics of the two-level interscope.

The divine situationb guides the science contenta.

The scientific contenta underlies divine subtle interventionb.

“Subtle” means “below the threshold of detection”.

0015 How could this happen?

I only need to substitute God’s Will3b for the situation-level actuality3b and God’s Presence1b for the situation-level potential1b.

Here is how that looks.

Figure 4

0016 God’s Will3b associates to God’s work3b and what this means to me3b.

God’s Will3b provides subtle guidance to science work3a and what is happening3a.

Subtle guidance underlies the Anthropic Principle.

God’s Presence1b associates to the potential of humans (including me) being created in the image of God1b.

0017 How does God’s Presence1b manifest?

God’s Presence1b is the potential underlying God’s will3b.  Also, it1b stands in the slot 1b, which is the potential1b of situating the content level actuality2a.  This associates God’s Presence1b with the potential of situating human evolution2a.

This potential to situate operates according to joint causes, in the realm of possibility1.

God’s Presence1b virtually situates (and is emergent to) the potential of ‘natural selection and genetics’1b.  The word, “virtual”, means “in virtue” (rather than the modern use, “in simulation”).  The term, “in virtue”, goes with final attributes and formal design.

So, while the stuff of Neodarwinism may be scientifically regarded according to material and instrumental causes, the virtue of God’s Presence1b cannot be fully ignored in either the adaptation1a or the phenotype1a.  This is the central point of the joint causal (A3) answer.  Biologists cannot avoid joint causality when they discuss adaptation or phenotype.  Many modern biologists label God’s Presence1b, “chance1b” or “random1b”.

0018 In sum, divine subtle intervention operates in the realms of normal context3 and potential1, as pictured above.  Neither of these can be scientifically observed or measured.

0019 The pertinence of the joint causal (A3) semantic (A1) approach does not stop there.

Adaptations1a and phenotypes1a are actualities that have the potential1a of underlying human evolution2a.

That means that adaptations2 and phenotypes2 are actualities with their own nested forms.

One can imagine that God directly intervenes in either nested form by manipulating its underlying potential.  Such intervention avoids detection because the actualities, adaptation2 and phenotype2 refer to the same biological entity2.  In other words, two actualities2 constitute a single entity2.  Therefore, the two actualities2 are confounded.

0020 Let me develop this scenario in a little more detail.

Neodarwinism1a consists in two independent nested forms, as noted in Comments on Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight’s Book (2017) Adam and the Genome.  These nested forms belong to the situation-level of a two-level interscope.

In one, natural selection3b brings adaptation2b into relation with a niche1b.  The niche1b is the potential1b of situating an actuality independent of the adapting species2a.

In the other, body development3b brings phenotype2b into relation with genotype1b.  The genotype1b is the potential1b of situating DNA2a.

In the joint causal answer, God could directly manipulate either an actuality independent of the adapting species2a, the foundation of the niche1b, or DNA2a, the foundation of the genotype1b, without detection.  Why?  A change in one can mask a change in the other.  They are confounders.

0021 Here is a picture of these independent category-based nested forms.

Figure 5

0022 The adaptation2 is not the same as the phenotype2.  Each arises from a different potential1.  Each requires its own normal context3.  However, adaptation2 and phenotype2 pertain to a single actuality2, the biological entity, in this case, the human being2.  The human being is the intersection of adaptation2 and phenotype2.

According to the chapter on presence in How to Define the Word “Religion”, intersections are mysterious.  They contain contrasting features that cannot be resolved through the logic of noncontradiction.  Biologists present distorted views when they claim that evolution consists in either natural selection or DNA-based body development.  The intersection of these two nested forms codifies what biologists are really trying to say, but fail, because of preferences for either natural history or genetics.

0023 So, the joint causal answer suggests that, even if God directly manipulates the actualities underlying the niche1b or the genotype1b, scientists could never detect the intervention, because the evolved biological entity2 is an intersection, filled with contradictions.

Here is how that looks.

Figure 6

0024 This brings me to Stump’s favorite strategy (A4), the epistemological.

The epistemological strategy highlights the contrast between science work3a and God’s work3b, while simultaneously asserting that they cannot be divorced.  I am a product of human evolution2a.  I am created in the image of God2b.  Science work3a is what is happening3a. God’s work3b is what this means to me3b.

Here is a picture of that strategy.

Figure 7

0025 Now, I address the elephant in Stump’s room.

I do so in a roundabout way.

I start with a question about the question.

0026 Does God guide human evolution?

What is the difference between this question and…

Did God guide human evolution?

0026 One strategy to answer this question is semantic (A1).

Human evolution is in our past.  Are we no longer are evolving?  It sure seems that we aren’t.  In fact, who knows what we are doing?

0027 What does this imply?

The nomological strategy (A2) comes to bat. 

Homo sapiens comes into existence, and lives for some time, in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

Currently, we are no longer in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

Therefore, our current Lebenswelt is not the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

I conclude that a transition from one Lebenswelt to the other is missing in current accounts of human evolution.

This missing element is hypothesized in The First Singularity and Its Fairy Tale Trace and reflected upon in Comments on Original Sin and Original Death: Romans 5:12-19.  This transition is dramatized in An Archaeology of the Fall, available on www.smashwords.com.

0028 With this said, the joint causal strategy (A3) cannot be ignored.

If (as proposed in The Human Niche), humans adapt into the niche of immaterial triadic relations (such as the category-based nested form), then God’s work3b virtually situates nature’s operations, as understood by science3a.  In our evolution, the material world enters into an evolving awareness of immaterial triadic relations, without compromising its instrumental and material causalities.

0029 On top of that, the epistemological strategy (A4) says that God’s work3b and science work3a cannot be divorced, in the same way that what this means to me3b cannot be divorced from what is happening3a.

0030 So obviously, the elephant in the room is concordism.

Did God guide human evolution?  How does God guide us today?

These questions aim to harmonize scientific formulations and Biblical revelation.

Stump is on target.  Four different strategies apply.  But, the target is so much larger than he realizes.

For example, Comments on Christy Hemphill’s Essay (2019) “All in a Week’s Work” introduces a harmony between cognitive psychology and metaphors within Genesis 1.

The concord between humans created in the image of God2b and human evolution2a will prove to be multi-faceted, addressing who we are2b as well as who we evolved to be2a.

0031 My thanks to J.B. Stump for publishing his evocative article.


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