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Our brains did not evolve to know facts about science?

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How is science supposed to survive in the midst of all these “evolutionary” user illusions?

The great triumph of the theory of evolution was to show that humans are just animals in nature — clever, yes, but clever animals. Or so we are told. No more mysticism about the “mind”! — it’s just the human brain. The brain is a mechanism that evolved over time by natural selection, to enable our survival. And we can eventually figure out exactly how it works.

Not so fast. That door leads to a blind alley, as a recent essay by an enthusiastic neuroscientist illustrates.

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman says that evolution by natural selection selects for the fittest human. Is the fittest human the one most likely to pursue the truth at any cost? His team’s computer simulations showed otherwise “Why some scientists think science is an illusion ” at Mind Matters News

For those who take Darwinism seriously, that’s not good news for science. Of course, believing it requires that you buy into Hoffman’s computer sim as well.

See also: Further reading on dilemmas around consciousness:

Why some scientists believe the universe is conscious They’re not mystics. But materialism is not giving good answers so they are looking around

Panpsychism: You are conscious but so is your coffee mug. Materialists have a solution to the problem of consciousness, and it may startle you.

and

How can consciousness be a material thing? Maybe it can’t. But materialist philosophers face starkly limited choices in how to view consciousness.

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6 Replies to “Our brains did not evolve to know facts about science?

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    This “study” makes plenty of basic philosophical mistakes, but primarily it misses one fact. If you skip internal representations and look only at the CONSEQUENCES of our representations, what we DO in response to our perceptions, it’s clear that we don’t all share the same way of responding to stimuli. Every living thing, from bacteria to humans, has a variety of personality types. Some individuals favor remaining in place, some favor moving to a different habitat. Some favor attacking, some favor waiting.

    The scientific way of looking at reality may be an illusion, but science is a rare and peculiar way of looking at reality. Meta-ly, the judgment that science is an illusion is an even more rare and peculiar way of looking at how we look at reality.

    All of this VARIABILITY is clearly part of the design. We bacteria and we humans can adapt to new circumstances because we have several ways of adapting. True from the start, still true now.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Hoffman’s computer model, which is based on the equations of population genetics for Darwinian evolution,,,,

    Quote: “In evolutionary games we put truth (true perception) on the stage and it dies. And in genetic algorithms it (true perception) never gets on the stage”
    Donald Hoffman PhD. – Consciousness and The Interface Theory of Perception – 7:19 to 9:20 minute mark – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dqDP34a-epI#t=439

    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 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

    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/

    Hoffman’s computer model, which is based on the equations of population genetics for Darwinian evolution, is confirmation of Dawkins’ observation that, IF Darwinian evolution were true, then “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.”

    “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 problem for Donald Hoffman, and other Darwinists, in holding, IF Darwinian evolution were actually true, that all our perceptions of reality are illusory is that it undermines the scientific method itself. That is to say, reliable observation is a necessary cornerstone of the scientific method.

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

    Thus, since Darwinian evolution denies ‘reliable observation’, which is a necessary cornerstone of the scientific method itself, then Darwinian evolution can never be based upon the scientific method and is therefore falsified, (once again), in its claim to be a scientific theory.

    Hoffman tried to tie his finding, that (IF Darwinian evolution were true then) ALL our perceptions of reality would be illusory, into quantum mechanics:

    “As the theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed has said: “Almost all of us believe that space-time doesn’t exist, that space-time is doomed, and has to be replaced by some more primitive building blocks.” Admittedly, no one yet knows what those might be – but our insights suggest the hunch they must be replaced is right.”
    DONALD HOFFMAN, “ IS REALITY REAL? HOW EVOLUTION BLINDS US TO THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WORLD” AT NEW SCIENTIST

    Quantum mechanics certainly does not need any help from Darwinian evolution in undermining the space-time of Einstein’s Relativity, i.e. ‘local realism’, as a fundamental description of reality:

    LIVING IN A QUANTUM WORLD – Vlatko Vedral – 2011
    Excerpt: Thus, the fact that quantum mechanics applies on all scales forces us to confront the theory’s deepest mysteries. We cannot simply write them off as mere details that matter only on the very smallest scales. For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time. If there were a dividing line between the quantum and the classical worlds, we could use the space and time of the classical world to provide a framework for describing quantum processes. But without such a dividing line—and, indeed, with­out a truly classical world—we lose this framework. We must explain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamentally spaceless and timeless physics.
    http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchan.....611038.pdf

    Not So Real – Sheldon Lee Glashow – Oct. 2018
    Review of: “What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics”
    by Adam Becker
    Excerpt: In 1959, John Stewart Bell deduced his eponymous theorem: that no system of hidden variables can reproduce all of the consequences of quantum theory. In particular, he deduced an inequality pertinent to observations of an entangled system consisting of two separated particles. If experimental results contradicted Bell’s inequality, hidden-variable models could be ruled out. Experiments of this kind seemed difficult or impossible to carry out. But, in 1972, Alain Aspect succeeded. His results contradicted Bell’s inequality. The predictions of quantum mechanics were confirmed and the principle of local realism challenged. Ever more precise tests of Bell’s inequality and its extension by John Clauser et al. continue to be performed,14 including an experiment involving pairs of photons coming from different distant quasars. Although a few tiny loopholes may remain, all such tests to date have confirmed that quantum theory is incompatible with the existence of local hidden variables. Most physicists have accepted the failure of Einstein’s principle of local realism.
    https://inference-review.com/article/not-so-real

    Significant-loophole-free test of Bell’s theorem with entangled photons – Dec. 2015
    Excerpt: Local realism is the worldview in which physical properties of objects exist independently of measurement and where physical influences cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Bell’s theorem states that this worldview is incompatible with the predictions of quantum mechanics, as is expressed in Bell’s inequalities. Previous experiments convincingly supported the quantum predictions. Yet, every experiment requires assumptions that provide loopholes for a local realist explanation. In this paper, I will discuss the recent results from my laboratory, in which we designed an experiment that closes the most significant of these loopholes simultaneously. Using a well-optimized source of entangled photons, rapid setting generation, and highly efficient superconducting detectors, we observe a violation of a Bell inequality with high statistical significance. The purely statistical probability of our results to occur under local realism is exceedingly unlikely, corresponding to an 11.5 standard deviation effect.
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1511.03190.pdf

    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

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: 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.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Indeed not only does Quantum Mechanics need no help from Darwinian evolution in undermining the space-time of Einstein’s Relativity, i.e. ‘local realism’, as a fundamental description of reality, the preceding experimental results from quantum mechanics were only possible because our perceptions of reality are reliable, which is directly contrary to Hoffman’s claim that ALL of our perception of reality are illusory.
    As the last article that I cited stated, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it”.
    Thus, not only does Quantum Mechanics not need any help from Darwinian evolution in undermining the space-time of Einstein’s Relativity, i.e. ‘local realism’, as a fundamental description of reality, Qauntum Mechanics actually falsifies Hoffman’s belief that, IF Darwinian evolution were true, then ALL our perceptions of reality would be illusory. Again, in Quantum Mechanics it is found that ‘reality doesn’t exist without an observer.’

    On top of that, Hoffman, in his computer model, assumed that the reductive materialism of Darwinian evolution was true, and yet Quantum Mechanics itself falsifies reductive materialism

    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C5pq7W5yRM

    So again, not only does Quantum Mechanics need no help from Darwinian evolution undermining the space-time of Relativity as the fundamental description of reality, (as Hoffman tried to imply), but Quantum Mechanics actually falsifies the entire reductive materialistic edifice that Darwinian evolution is based upon. And that is even before taking into consideration the fact that the recent findings in Quantum Biology have also falsified the entire reductive materialistic foundation of Darwinian evolution.

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

    As Richard Feynman stated: “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.”

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: “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.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

    Apparently empirical science itself could care less if Darwinian atheists are forced to believe, because of the mathematics of population genetics, that ALL their observations of reality are illusory!

    Moreover, although Hoffman tried to limit his results to just our perceptions of reality, there is no reason why, IF Darwinian evolution were actually true, his results would not also apply to our cognitive faculties as well:

    The Case Against Reality – May 13, 2016
    Excerpt: Hoffman seems to come to a conclusion similar to the one Alvin Plantinga argues in ch. 10 of Where the Conflict Really Lies: we should not expect — in the absence of further argument — that creatures formed by a naturalistic evolutionary process would have veridical perceptions.,,,
    First, even if Hoffman’s argument were restricted to visual perception, and not to our cognitive faculties more generally (e.g., memory, introspection, a priori rational insight, testimonial belief, inferential reasoning, etc.), the conclusion that our visual perceptions would be wholly unreliable given natural selection would be sufficient for Plantinga’s conclusion of self-defeat. After all, reliance upon the veridicality of our visual perceptions was and always will be crucial for any scientific argument for the truth of evolution. So if these perceptions cannot be trusted, we have little reason to think evolutionary theory is true.
    Second, it’s not clear that Hoffman’s application of evolutionary game theory is only specially applicable to visual perception, rather than being relevant for our cognitive faculties generally. If “we find that veridical perceptions can be driven to extinction by non-veridical strategies that are tuned to utility rather than objective reality” (2010, p. 504, my emphasis), then why wouldn’t veridical cognitive faculties (more generally) be driven to extinction by non-veridical strategies that are tuned to utility rather than objective reality? After all, evolutionary theory purports to be the true account of the formation of all of our cognitive faculties, not just our faculty of visual perception. If evolutionary game theory proves that “true perception generally goes extinct” when “animals that perceive the truth compete with others that sacrifice truth for speed and energy-efficiency” (2008), why wouldn’t there be a similar sacrifice with respect to other cognitive faculties? In fact, Hoffman regards the following theorem as now proven: “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” (Atlantic interview). But then wouldn’t it also be the case that an organism that cognizes reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that cognizes none of reality but is just tuned to fitness? On the evolutionary story, every cognitive faculty we have was produced by a process that was tuned to fitness (rather than tuned to some other value, such as truth).
    http://www.gregwelty.com/2016/.....t-reality/

    Thus IF Darwinian evolution were actually true, not only would ALL of our perceptions of reality be illusory, but we also could not even trust our ability to reason in a rationally coherent manner in the first place. Needless to say, this ALSO undermines the Darwinian worldview from within:

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: 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.,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94171.html

    As Dr. Pearcey alluded to in the preceding article, IF Darwinian evolution were actually true, then EVERYTHING becomes illusory:

    As I have pointed out several times now, assuming Naturalism instead of Theism as the worldview on which all of science is based leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science itself.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft).
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    – Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387

    Thus, although the Darwinist may firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

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  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Ha,

    Quanta Magazine’s anti-quantum zeal – July 2019
    Most people enjoy the summer. There are lots of things to write about but the interest is refocused on the holiday activities.
    To avoid week-long hiatuses, let me mention a new article by Philip Ball in the Quanta Magazine:
    Quantum Darwinism, an Idea to Explain Objective Reality, Passes First Tests
    What I find remarkable is that virtually every single sentence in the article is completely wrong. The “new story” that is discussed is about the purported tests of “Quantum Darwinism”: the information that can copy itself in a nearly classical way becomes the information that is likely to become the information perceived as classical in a classical limit. So the observables compete for the “survival of the fittest”, Wojciech Zurek said, and that’s needed for the classical limit to emerge.
    That’s nice and it’s true in some sense but it is not a new theory or a new piece of a theory that has to be added to quantum mechanics. Instead, it is just a story and a way to talk about some consequences of an underlying theory in a class of contexts. And the underlying theory must still be quantum mechanics for Quantum Darwinism to work. The rest is a straightforward, nearly tautological, derivation combined with marketing.
    Indeed, there is no “hard science” behind the recommendation to promote the analogy between the emergence of a classical limit from quantum mechanics; and Darwin’s theory about the origin of species. You may like or dislike this analogy. There is no testable way to find out whether this is the right way of thinking.,,,
    Ball’s writing is a typical example of the manipulative pseudoscience. All of this garbage rhetoric, useless experiments, their interpretations, hopeless new alternative theories, would-be arguments for them etc. is motivated by the consumers’ belief that quantum mechanics disagrees with the observation. But this fundamental assumption of this whole quantum flapdoodle industry is a dogma everyone must remain silent about. It’s never properly tested by these people – if they tested it (they would first have to learn quantum mechanics and how to make predictions using it which they clearly misunderstand), they could see that the fundamental dogma of this industry, and therefore every single “research direction” motivated by it, is wrong. But they don’t really want to settle this question because the anti-quantum zeal is a religion of a sort and the emitters of fog about quantum mechanics are religious bigots.
    https://motls.blogspot.com/2019/07/quanta-magazines-anti-quantum-zeal.html

    also:

    July 2019 – The main flaw in Zurek’s argument is that he presuppose that ‘fit’ particles, during decoherence, and via entanglement, are somehow influencing the states of other particles:,,,
    Small problem, decoherence itself, as they themselves admitted in the article, is a process involving a particle becoming quantumly entangled with the environment. And quantum entanglement is proven to be a thoroughly ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, affair that is not explainable by reference to the particles themselves (as they have assumed, i.e. falsification of hidden variables)..
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/we-are-told-that-quantum-darwinism-has-passed-its-first-test/#comment-681307

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