Consciousness Evolution Intelligent Design

At Mind Matters News: Brain scientist: Consciousness didn’t evolve. It creates evolution

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With a tremor in his voice, Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman tells Robert Lawrence Kuhn that even the Big Bang must be understood in a universe where consciousness is fundamental:

For me to be entirely consistent, if I’m going to actually say that consciousness is fundamental, then I’m saying that the Big Bang itself is something that has to be understood from within a framework in which consciousness is fundamental. The standard view — and I understand that this is completely non-standard, what I’m saying — the standard view is that the Big Bang happened 13.7 billion years ago. Eventually, consciousness kind of arose accidentally here on Earth and maybe other places and totally accidentally, that’s right? So my story is completely different. (6:54)

Note: Cognitive scientist Hoffman starts by trying to align his consciousness theory with standard evolution theory and then just chucks that and says what he thinks.

5 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Brain scientist: Consciousness didn’t evolve. It creates evolution

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    And what was it that drove Donald Hoffman to the conclusion that “consciousness is fundamental”?

    Well it was his research, via sophisticated computer simulations, that demonstrated that, if evolution is true, then “our perceptions of an independent reality must be illusions”, and that “an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never”, and that “the bottom line is, evolution does not favor veridical, or accurate perceptions.”

    The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality – April 2016
    The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman uses evolutionary game theory to show that our perceptions of an independent reality must be illusions.
    Excerpt: “The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions — mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.”
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/

    Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? – Video – 9:59 minute mark
    Quote: “fitness does depend on reality as it is, yes.,,, Fitness is not the same thing as reality as it is, and it is fitness, and not reality as it is, that figures centrally in the equations of evolution. So, in my lab, we have run hundreds of thousands of evolutionary game simulations with lots of different randomly chosen worlds and organisms that compete for resources in those worlds. Some of the organisms see all of the reality. Others see just part of the reality. And some see none of the reality. Only fitness. Who wins? Well I hate to break it to you but perception of reality goes extinct. In almost every simulation, organisms that see none of reality, but are just tuned to fitness, drive to extinction (those organisms) that perceive reality as it is. So the bottom line is, evolution does not favor veridical, or accurate perceptions. Those (accurate) perceptions of reality go extinct. Now this is a bit stunning. How can it be that not seeing the world accurately gives us a survival advantage?”
    https://youtu.be/oYp5XuGYqqY?t=601

    And Donald Hoffman is not alone in his claim that “evolution does not favor veridical, or accurate perceptions”. Many leading Evolutionists admit as much,

    “Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”
    – Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”

    “the illusion that our brains evolved to have, a very compelling and persistent illusion – namely that the reality we perceive is real, rather than a constructed representation.”
    – Steven Novella – academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt:,,, false ideas may be useful for survival. Evolutionists admit as much: Eric Baum says, “Sometimes you are more likely to survive and propagate if you believe a falsehood than if you believe the truth.” Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.
    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.
    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar/

    The crushing thing for Darwinists in this finding that “evolution does not favor veridical, or accurate perceptions” is that the scientific method itself lists reliable ‘observation’ as the first step, the cornerstone if you will, of the scientific method,

    Steps of the Scientific Method
    Observation/Research
    Hypothesis
    Prediction
    Experimentation
    Conclusion
    http://www.sciencemadesimple.c.....ethod.html

    In fact, a necessary Judeo-Christian presupposition that lay at the founding of modern science, (and a presupposition that is still very much necessary for the continued successful practice of science), is the belief that the universe is “intelligible” to the human mind,

    New Book: For Kepler, Science Did Not Point to Atheism – Stephen C. Meyer – January 17, 2023
    The Conflict Myth Unmade,,,
    As historian Ian Barbour says, “science in its modern form” arose “in Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world,” because only the Christian West had the necessary “intellectual presuppositions underlying the rise of science.”2
    So, what were those presuppositions? We can identify three. As Melissa Cain Travis shows, (in her book: “Thinking God’s Thoughts: Johannes Kepler and the Miracle of Cosmic Comprehensibility”), all have their place in Kepler’s seminal works. More generally, all find their origin in the Judeo-Christian idea of a Creator God who fashioned human beings and an orderly universe.
    (1) Intelligibility
    First, the (Christian) founders of modern science assumed the intelligibility of nature. They believed that nature had been designed by the mind of a rational God, the same God who made the rational minds of human beings. These thinkers assumed that if they used their minds to carefully study nature, they could understand the order and design that God had placed in the world.,,,

    (2) The Contingency of Nature
    Second, early pioneers of science presupposed the contingency of nature. They believed that God had many choices about how to make an orderly world. Just as there are many ways to design a watch, there were many ways that God could have designed the universe. To discover how He did, scientists could not merely deduce the order of nature by assuming what seemed most logical to them; they couldn’t simply use reason alone to draw conclusions, as some of the Greek philosophers had done.,,,
    (3) The Fallibility of Human Reasoning
    Third, early scientists accepted a biblical understanding of the power and limits of the human mind. Even as these scientists saw human reason as the gift of a rational God, they also recognized the fallibility of humans and, therefore, the fallibility of human ideas about nature.,,,
    Such a nuanced view of human nature implied, on the one hand, that human beings could attain insight into the workings of the natural world, but that, on the other, they were vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and prematurely jumping to conclusions. This composite view of reason — one that affirmed both its capability and fallibility — inspired confidence that the design and order of nature could be understood if scientists carefully studied the natural world, but also engendered caution about trusting human intuition, conjectures, and hypotheses unless they were carefully tested by experiment and observation.11,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2023/01/new-book-for-kepler-science-did-not-point-to-atheism/
    Stephen Meyer – Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge

    As should be needless to say, if, as Darwinists hold, our observations of reality are unreliable then the universe can hardly be held to be ‘intelligible’ to the human mind.

    In short, since reliable observation is an indispensable part, (and/or an essential presupposition), of the scientific method itself, then the claim that “we cannot totally trust our senses” undermines any claim that Darwinian evolution can possibly be based upon the scientific method. (Which is just as well since no one has ever observed evolution creating a new protein, much less has anyone ever observed an entirely new species being created by evolution).

    “Enzyme Families — Shared Evolutionary History or Shared Design?” – Ann Gauger – December 4, 2014
    Excerpt: If enzymes can’t be recruited to genuinely new functions by unguided means, no matter how similar they are, the evolutionary story is false.,,,
    Taken together, since we found no enzyme that was within one mutation of cooption, the total number of mutations needed is at least four: one for duplication, one for over-production, and two or more single base changes. The waiting time required to achieve four mutations is 10^15 years. That’s longer than the age of the universe. The real waiting time is likely to be much greater, since the two most likely candidate enzymes failed to be coopted by double mutations.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2014/12/a_new_paper_fro/

    Scant search for the Maker – 2001
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms.
    – Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.
    http://www.timeshighereducatio.....ode=159282

    But anyways, back to the fact that “reliable observation” itself is undermined by Darwinian evolution. Fortunately for us, science itself, (real science, and not the evidence-free ‘scientism’ of Atheistic materialists), could care less if Darwinists are forced to believe that their observations of reality are unreliable.

    Specifically, advances in Quantum Mechanics have now experimentally proven that our observations of reality far more integral to reality, and therefore reliable of reality, than Darwinists are forced to claim via the mathematics of population genetics.

    As the following Wheeler Delayed Choice experiment, (which was conducted with atoms), found, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: Some particles, such as photons or electrons, can behave both as particles and as waves. Here comes a question of what exactly makes a photon or an electron act either as a particle or a wave. This is what Wheeler’s experiment asks: at what point does an object ‘decide’?
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    – per mind unleashed

    And as the following violation of Leggett’s inequality found, “Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.”

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell’s inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell’s inequality does not tell specifically which assumption – realism, locality or both – is discordant with quantum mechanics.
    Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    The Theistic implications of these experiments are fairly, (and pleasantly), obvious. As Scott Aaronson of MIT put it, “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists,,, But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”

    “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor quantum computation – Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables

    In short, our conscious ‘observations’, and/or perceptions, of reality are found to be far more integral to, and therefore far more reliable of, reality than is possible within Darwinian theory.

    Thus in conclusion, and fortunately for us, science itself could care less if Darwinian Materialists are forced to believe that their ‘observations’ of reality are unreliable. As far as experimental science itself is concerned, the Darwinian claim that our observations of reality are unreliable has now been neatly, and cleanly, experimentally falsified.

    Quote and Verse

    “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is … If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    – Richard Feynman

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast what is good.

  2. 2
    relatd says:

    When someone with a great deal of money hears about the quantum world, and practical applications from its study, he is more likely to back research in this ‘exciting new field.’ Debates may occur after work but practical applications will lead the research in new directions.

    From Physics Today:

    Coherent States: New Insights into Quantum Mechanics with Applications, C.-F. Kam, W.-M. Zhang, D.-H. Feng (Springer, 2023) $89.99
    Fundamentals of Quantum Entanglement (2nd ed.), F. J. Duarte (IOP, 2022) $190.00
    Learning and Robust Control in Quantum Technology, D. Dong, I. R. Petersen (Springer, 2023) $169.99
    Long Distance Entanglement Between Quantum Memories, Y. Yu (Springer, 2023) $179.99
    Nonclassical Effects and Dynamics of Quantum Observables, S. Lakshmibala, V. Balakrishnan (Springer, 2022) $54.99
    Quantum Computers: Theory and Algorithms, B. E. Baaquie, L.-C. Kwek (Springer, 2023) $149.99
    Relativistic Quantum Invariance, C. Ji (Springer, 2023) $89.99

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  4. 4
    doubter says:

    Bornagain@1

    Donald Hoffman:

    Well I hate to break it to you but perception of reality goes extinct. In almost every simulation, organisms that see none of reality, but are just tuned to fitness, drive to extinction (those organisms) that perceive reality as it is.

    It seems to me that Hoffman’s claim is invalid and something is wrong with his simulations or his interpretation of them, because there is a very good possibility that tuning to fitness will automatically ensure that the organism’s perception of the physical reality around it was accurate. If this perception is repeatedly inaccurate then automatically, the organism will have less chance of surviving and reproducing. Correctly perceiving the environment and correctly responding to it would seem to be essential for survival. How can this not be the case?

  5. 5
    relatd says:

    Doubter at 4,

    It is stated that at one time, man was more like an animal than a ‘modern human.’ By perceiving the environment incorrectly, he could walk off a cliff or fall into a hole in the ground. A strange animal may not seem threatening until it attacks and eats him. But it is obvious that IF man was once more like an animal, he would have reacted as an animal would. Human and animal intelligence cannot be explained by evolution. Who taught a dragonfly how to fly or a spider to build a web?

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