Nature cannot explain supernature, and nor can it explain itself. Nor then can it explain any part of itself. There be no complete explanation of any part of nature by any other part of nature, or even by the whole of nature.
Under Gödel, a consistent formal account of the whole of nature is logically incompletable. But notice that this Gödelian constraint applies with equal force to any formalized account of any part of nature. A complete consistent account of any concrete thing whatsoever is logically impossible.
Even if that were not so, any complete account of nature by any factor thereof would introduce a novel occasion – itself – to the system of nature it sought to explain; and contingent things cannot explain themselves. So even if completion were possible in principle, it would be impossible in practice.
This dual incompletability of any purely natural explanation is not due to Scientism’s reduction of the Aristotelian causes to efficiency and materiality. It constrains explanation even when formality and finality are kept in the mix. The stack of formal, ergo final causes of any concrete real is infinitely deep. To complete an account of any contingent thing, you’d need to traverse that entire infinite stack. The traversal is impossible for any finite being.
We should not feel too surprised at Nature’s explanatory incapacity. She is, after all, the explanandum, not the explanans. To expect her to explain herself is a category error.
Notice the analogy between traversing the infinite stack of logical calculi necessary to any formal account of any contingent thing, ergo to any actuality thereof, on the one hand, and on the other Achilles’ journey toward the tortoise. There are too many steps in each traversal – an infinite number of steps – for any such traversal to transpire. Yet we find (tace Parmenides and Zeno) that Achilles does in fact reach the tortoise. We find likewise that, concrete things being actually real, they must therefore be explicable in practice; for, their very becoming is a sort of explication: a thing cannot be at all except as completely definite, and complete definition just is the fruit of some complete formal explication.
For any concrete real, the distance between the zero of its actuality and its concrete reality – between its potential and its actual existence – is infinite. No finite thing could traverse that distance. Yet we find it traversed. Infinite actuality then is the forecondition of finite actuality. Such is Providence; such is Creation.