Evolution does not favor creatures that see life as it is

I ran across this doing my typical YouTube hunt for interesting stuff. There is no one I know aside from you folks that will even find this stuff interesting. So…

“Truth is irrelevant to survival.”
“An organism that sees reality as it is, in whole or in part, is never more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality.” (Fitness, specifically defined as "Ability to procreate / pass on genes.)

Evolutionary Game Theory: UC Irvine, Cognative Sciences Professor, Donald Hoffman
One of the most interesting videos I have seen in a while.

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Haven’t watched the vid yet, but that general concept makes sense as you stated it. Granted, sounds almost counterintuitive, but I can sorta see how that could be true. Gonna have to watch the vid when I get a chance.

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Yah … in humans I don’t think :thinking: sperm/eggs give a shit.

I’m gonna have to listen/watch this though before I comment further.

How well that procreated offspring deals with “reality” I guess is a different subject.

The notion that the physical world can’t exist without pre-existing consciousness(es); seems like creationism in disguise.


Just started this video.

Evolution allowed for birds and insects (majority) to perceive ultraviolet light. Their “world” is different than ours - as is a fish’s world is different than a mammal. Sensory inputs.

Btw I guess “increasingly appreciated in the study of certain vertebrates such as fish, lizards, and rodents (visual capacity for UV)”

With this in mind, I’m off to watch the video. I’m curious about his take on “consciousness”.

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He added some thoughts to my world (somewhat) because based on what you summarized I was already down that road of thought…

BUT sigh double-slit experiment is the fall back of this particular brand of woo.

My reality is in tact. It is as “close to what is true as humanly possible” and we have been successful in communicating with each other “descriptions and measurements” that work. So, uh sorry eh - the moon is still there when I close my eyes.

UCI Professor, Brand of woo? Hmmmmm Some heavy credentials behind this woo.

I’m not sure he is actually saying anything more important than our brains take shortcuts. When I see a tree, I call it a tree and move on. I don’t analyze the shape of every tree I see. We just throw information into sets and move on. We know the brain does this. (His conclusion: We don’t function in reality.)

But we know this. We also know, that as a species, we are capable of seeing the reality around us, or at least entertaining it when it is shown to us. Asserting anything is beyond perception leads to the very logical question, “How would you know?” Obviously, if we know it is beyond perception, we are perceiving it, or just making shit up.

So, is the guy saying anything profound or just repeating common sense?

Or maybe he is relaying a profoundly common sense? Or perhaps a common profoundness of sense? (Sorry. Still haven’t watched the vid yet.)

His study on perceptions are conclusions that people have reached just observing animals in their house. Fish :tropical_fish:… ants :ant: and I mentioned birds and insects.

So yes, we evolve our particular input senses for our species needs. We haven’t evolved an acute awareness of all of reality. Our technology has filled in the gaps for us - we evolved our brains :brain: and have perceived much more of this “reality” than other species.

He’s also a physics professor? (Woo reference used with quantum weirdness). Nope. A cognitive psychologist and studies/teaches Cognitive Science. Also the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, and the School of Computer Science.

So he likes computers - cool. The gaming model was interesting. His approach is simply…we have conscious experiences because consciousness is posited as a fundamental aspect of reality.

No evidence. So he has taken the universe is conscientious- not new. Not controversial. Instead of god of gaps, it consciousness. Or brain in a jar (lol - our body…I think it was you that once pointed that out).

All I can say is good luck to him with getting evidence for this claim! If he’s right - hey :wave: life after death :skull: beyond the physical biological function.

Edited to add: https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1704649114

Understanding this??? Oh fuck - not in my ball park 😵‍💫

Whenever I witness someone mixing physics with philosophy, little red flags go up.

Just because superficially light can be both waves and particles, that does not imply that our minds/ consciousness and this universe share that trait.

I am no expert on the early Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, but he did mix philosophy and observations, and some of his conclusions were just flat out wrong. The observations were correct, but since he presumed certain philosophies his conclusions were definitely suspect.

Personally, for me, mixing philosophy and physics is like mixing oil and water.

Just prior to the covid era, I attended an extracurricular lecture about the current state of research on perception and consciousness given by a Prof of psychology at a nearby state university.

The presenter touched on Dr Hoffman’s research in the lecture’s course. About this, I walked out thinking, “‘Much more research needs done’ was the gist on that particular angle… so, ok, will check back when there’s more firm evidence.”

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His point is, we do not see reality at all. What we have is an interface with reality. Our awareness is our own perceptions of reality. (He extends this to, all we have are perceptions and we never see reality.)

Does it matter? This is the only reality I have. Were I to pretend that it was not real, how functional would I be? The more functional I am in this reality, the more “fit” I would be.

So much more? (So differently, perhaps.) We certainly do not have the smelling capabilities of a dog. But we can invent machines with those capabilities.


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That is my position too. And as a skeptic, I will require a powerful argument that makes sense to me.

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It was a very interesting video though. My mind-candy side loved it :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:… I lean very much (without evidence) to the idea of “consciousness” as it’s own “force” (have no idea how to word this), but it does me no service while I have to trudge through day-to-day living and life :kissing_heart:

There certainly was some quantum flapdoodle in that video.

Such as the pop-culture/new-age belief that a conscious observer changes the outcome of the famous double slit experiment. It does not.

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I :laughing: posted a peer reviewed paper by a quantum physicist on the double split experiment. I can’t fucking understand it - and rightly so - I never fucking studied it. If a red neck from butt-fuck nowhere could understand it :grimacing: BUT I do appreciate those few articles that dumb it down into layman’s overview.

Scientists dumb down the explanation for the layperson. For example, I can grasp the concept that matter can be converted into energy, and vice versa, but the actual math is many pay grades above my abilities.

So those with an agenda take this very simplified explanation, and completely pervert it to suit their goals. It’s not only the double slit, just witness the many “you believe the earth came out of nothing” dumb questions we are confronted with.

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What changes the outcome of the experiment, is the interactions that are given priority within the experiment

Which become important in quantum physics, because quantum operators do not behave like classical operators. Allow me to provide an explanation that should not be beyond anyone’s pay grade here.

If you have two classical physical operators, say, a classical position and a classical momentum operator, then the order in which these operators act within a classical system is not important. The operators are said to commute. Let our operators be labelled x and p, say. In a classical system, applying x first then p (xp), yields the same result as applying p first then x (px)…

There’s a special mathematical construct, called the commutator, that is defined as:

[x, p] = xp -px

For classical operators that commute, this commutator construct is always zero.

Quantum operators, on the other hand, do not commute. The order of application of those operators to a physical system is important, and for the quantum versions of those operators, x and p, the commutator:

[x, p]

is non-zero.

Now while a scientist in a laboratory can, of course, affect the order in which those operators apply in an experiment, you don’t need a conscious entity to be present to affect the order. Any physically permitted process may have the same effect, even without intervention by a sentient entity.

It took time for some physicists to realise this, because, by definition, experiments are subject to human control, and devising a means of experimentally testing operator order arising without human intervention is a non-trivial problem in quantum physics.

I’m reminded here of an experiment to try and circumvent Heisenberg uncertainty using rubidium atoms. You can, if you wish, make rubidium atoms undergo interference (courtesy of the fact that they have a De Broglie wavelength associated with them - a very short one, I might add!). But, you can also target those rubidium atoms with a microwave laser, and excite them. Doing so provides a change in momentum, but far too small, in theory at least, to alter the path of those heavy atoms.

The reasoning was that you could identify which of the rubidium atoms reaching the screen after two slit interference were excited by the microwave laser, and thus use this information to determine, via a roundabout route, position and momentum not subject to Heisenberg uncertainty.

BUT … when this was tried out, it failed. Turn on the laser and excite rubidium atoms passing through one slit, and the interference pattern vanished. Only when the microwave laser was turned off, did the interference pattern resume.

That experiment led to the development of the concept of quantum entanglement, which, wait for it. is defined in terms of the operators having a non-zero commutator. :slight_smile:



Thank you. This did actually make sense in my brain :brain: (could “connect the dots”)

Wow - read it again and wow. The un-certainty in that field is mind boggling. The rubidium idea seemed like a great approach until… whaaaaaa???

Welcome to the real world. I’ve missed your posts. This one was enlightening as usual. I will never get the chance to repeat any of this; however. it has perked my interest and I am off to watch a few videos. I jumped into this years ago and have not kept up with anything clever or new. I am familiar with Spooky Action and the double slit but knew nothing about quantum operators and commuting.

That’s fucking genius. So your saying, ‘Spooky Action at a Distance,’ has nothing to do with the Holy Ghost?

Okay okay, so look. I have a banana in this hand, and a banana in this other hand. I throw the bananas at a slit. Are they going to act like a wave or a particle?

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