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Does Evolution Show Our Perceptions False?

Rational_Thinker9119
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7/27/2015 2:19:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
In the textbooks regarding evolution they state that species which perceive true things would have a more likely chance of survival than the ones that didn't perceive truth. This is how we can be confident that our perceptions are true because the organisms that didn't perceive the truth got the negative end of truth as they weren't aware of it and exited the gene pool quicker.

So, if you believe the above, then it is clear that you can be confident that what you perceive is true by adhering to evolutionary theory.

However, cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman challenges this hypothesis. While it may be true that truth and fitness go together sometimes, there are many times when a creature can be better fit by not perceiving the truth. He ran simulations that show true perceptions should be extinct by now and that all of our perceptions only exist to aid in fitness only.

"Why would neuroscientists say that we don't just construct; we reconstruct. Well, the standard argument given is usually an evolutionary one. Those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately, and therefore, they were more likely to pass on their genes.... Is this the right interpretation of evolutionary theory?... Does natural selection favor seeing reality as it is? Fortunately, we don't have to wave our hands and guess; evolution is a mathematically precise theory. We can use the equations of evolution to check this out. We can have various organisms in artificial worlds compete and see which survive and which thrive; which sensory systems are more fit. A key notion in those equations is fitness... It's 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 all the organisms that perceive reality as it is... Evolution does not favor accurate perceptions, those perceptions of reality go extinct." - Donald Hoffman

Do you trust your perceptions?

"I think the intellectual history of our species is slowly giving up the idea that the way we perceive the world is the way it is. We thought about flat Earth... Why? Because that's the way it looks... It was hard, but we gave it up. Then we had to give up the geocentric universe; people died over that one. Again, why was it so hard to give up? It sure looked like the sun, the moon, and the stars went around the Earth. It was hard for us to give that up. I'm saying the next step is space and time themselves. Flat Earth and the geocentric universe were just warm ups. Now as a species we have to give up space, time, and physical objects themselves." - Donald Hoffman
kp98
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7/27/2015 3:01:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Interesting, but I have to question something.... an organism tuned for fitness out-performs an organism tuned for perception of reality. This would be true if you compared bacteria and humans. Bacteria don't perceive much, but they reproduce orders of magnitude faster than we do. But I don't see how comparing bacteria with humans that way says much about whether we perceive reality well or poorly.

Of course there is not enough information to know if comparing bacteria and humans is analogous to what Hoffman's experiment is about.

I don't reject results out of hand, but I don't change my world-view everytime an ambiguous result turns up... I will await further developments!

No doubt we perceive the world very imperfectly - otherwise the 'philosophy' sectionof this board wouldn't exist. But I doubt we are completely deceived by our senses - we are however often provided with half-truths, or only as much of reality as we need to feed and mate. The rest we have to find out the hard way.
n7
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7/27/2015 11:10:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
It's hard to comment, since from your quotes, we don't really know what he means by fitness or how it can exist apart from perception. He just says simulations prove it.

I found a critique of the video too.

https://egtheory.wordpress.com...

He claims he is making mathematical errors and his theory is unfalsifiable.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/27/2015 1:40:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 11:10:53 AM, n7 wrote:
It's hard to comment, since from your quotes, we don't really know what he means by fitness or how it can exist apart from perception. He just says simulations prove it.

I found a critique of the video too.

https://egtheory.wordpress.com...

He claims he is making mathematical errors and his theory is unfalsifiable.

I must be missing something, I clicked on the link and found nothing relevant to Hoffman's theory. Also, anyone can write a blog, is the author a scientist?
kp98
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7/27/2015 1:47:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Also, anyone can write a blog, is the author a scientist?
Just two or three clicks would have led you to this page on the author.
http://www.cs.mcgill.ca...
dylancatlow
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7/27/2015 2:14:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
A laughably cumbersome argument for what we already know to be true. It's well established that human perception has a number of blindspots because we can observe it first hand, which is why we don't rely on any single method of perception, and confirm things with many different lines of evidence. If they all converge on the same answer, then we can be confident we have not made a mistake.

His argument is absurd on its face. He ran simulations? Who said that valid perception is equally beneficial for all kinds organisms? The experiment probably went something like this: take two organisms, bombard one with information it is powerless to integrate, while give the other a filtering mechanism to make use of the information it perceives. Call the first organism a "perceiver of reality" and call the second organism a "self-deceiver". An organism which interprets sense data in a way that is useful to its survival is not necessarily "deceived". It just needs to compensate for its perceptual bias.
n7
Posts: 1,360
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7/27/2015 2:47:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 1:40:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/27/2015 11:10:53 AM, n7 wrote:
It's hard to comment, since from your quotes, we don't really know what he means by fitness or how it can exist apart from perception. He just says simulations prove it.

I found a critique of the video too.

https://egtheory.wordpress.com...

He claims he is making mathematical errors and his theory is unfalsifiable.

I must be missing something, I clicked on the link and found nothing relevant to Hoffman's theory. Also, anyone can write a blog, is the author a scientist?

It was a question asked to him in the comments. Someone posted his video and I linked to his response. The link is in the form of an anchor, so I don't know if it will work on mobile. The author is a scientist who works on evolution.
http://www.cs.mcgill.ca...
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/27/2015 4:41:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 2:14:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
A laughably cumbersome argument for what we already know to be true. It's well established that human perception has a number of blindspots because we can observe it first hand, which is why we don't rely on any single method of perception, and confirm things with many different lines of evidence. If they all converge on the same answer, then we can be confident we have not made a mistake.

His argument is absurd on its face. He ran simulations? Who said that valid perception is equally beneficial for all kinds organisms? The experiment probably went something like this: take two organisms, bombard one with information it is powerless to integrate, while give the other a filtering mechanism to make use of the information it perceives. Call the first organism a "perceiver of reality" and call the second organism a "self-deceiver". An organism which interprets sense data in a way that is useful to its survival is not necessarily "deceived". It just needs to compensate for its perceptual bias.

You calling any argument laughable is a joke in itself Dylan. You have literally the worst arguments posted here out of any DDO user.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/27/2015 4:43:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 2:47:57 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/27/2015 1:40:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/27/2015 11:10:53 AM, n7 wrote:
It's hard to comment, since from your quotes, we don't really know what he means by fitness or how it can exist apart from perception. He just says simulations prove it.

I found a critique of the video too.

https://egtheory.wordpress.com...

He claims he is making mathematical errors and his theory is unfalsifiable.

I must be missing something, I clicked on the link and found nothing relevant to Hoffman's theory. Also, anyone can write a blog, is the author a scientist?

It was a question asked to him in the comments. Someone posted his video and I linked to his response. The link is in the form of an anchor, so I don't know if it will work on mobile. The author is a scientist who works on evolution.
http://www.cs.mcgill.ca...

Ya I'm on a phone so that may be why I missed it.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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7/27/2015 4:46:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 4:41:43 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/27/2015 2:14:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
A laughably cumbersome argument for what we already know to be true. It's well established that human perception has a number of blindspots because we can observe it first hand, which is why we don't rely on any single method of perception, and confirm things with many different lines of evidence. If they all converge on the same answer, then we can be confident we have not made a mistake.

His argument is absurd on its face. He ran simulations? Who said that valid perception is equally beneficial for all kinds organisms? The experiment probably went something like this: take two organisms, bombard one with information it is powerless to integrate, while give the other a filtering mechanism to make use of the information it perceives. Call the first organism a "perceiver of reality" and call the second organism a "self-deceiver". An organism which interprets sense data in a way that is useful to its survival is not necessarily "deceived". It just needs to compensate for its perceptual bias.

You calling any argument laughable is a joke in itself Dylan. You have literally the worst arguments posted here out of any DDO user.

^this.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
dylancatlow
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7/27/2015 4:48:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 4:41:43 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/27/2015 2:14:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
A laughably cumbersome argument for what we already know to be true. It's well established that human perception has a number of blindspots because we can observe it first hand, which is why we don't rely on any single method of perception, and confirm things with many different lines of evidence. If they all converge on the same answer, then we can be confident we have not made a mistake.

His argument is absurd on its face. He ran simulations? Who said that valid perception is equally beneficial for all kinds organisms? The experiment probably went something like this: take two organisms, bombard one with information it is powerless to integrate, while give the other a filtering mechanism to make use of the information it perceives. Call the first organism a "perceiver of reality" and call the second organism a "self-deceiver". An organism which interprets sense data in a way that is useful to its survival is not necessarily "deceived". It just needs to compensate for its perceptual bias.

You calling any argument laughable is a joke in itself Dylan. You have literally the worst arguments posted here out of any DDO user.

You're just mad that every time you try to refute my arguments, I end up proving you wrong.
Fkkize
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7/27/2015 5:10:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
*grabs popcorn*
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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7/27/2015 5:14:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 4:46:12 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/27/2015 4:41:43 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/27/2015 2:14:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
A laughably cumbersome argument for what we already know to be true. It's well established that human perception has a number of blindspots because we can observe it first hand, which is why we don't rely on any single method of perception, and confirm things with many different lines of evidence. If they all converge on the same answer, then we can be confident we have not made a mistake.

His argument is absurd on its face. He ran simulations? Who said that valid perception is equally beneficial for all kinds organisms? The experiment probably went something like this: take two organisms, bombard one with information it is powerless to integrate, while give the other a filtering mechanism to make use of the information it perceives. Call the first organism a "perceiver of reality" and call the second organism a "self-deceiver". An organism which interprets sense data in a way that is useful to its survival is not necessarily "deceived". It just needs to compensate for its perceptual bias.

You calling any argument laughable is a joke in itself Dylan. You have literally the worst arguments posted here out of any DDO user.

^this.

If my arguments are so terrible, then why do you have such a hard time refuting them? Every one of your criticisms in the God thread was either irrelevant or dismantled. There's room for intelligent disagreement, but neither you nor "rational" thinker seem to be capable of it. If there's a clear example of you refuting something I've said, then feel free to post it. But I honestly cannot remember any time that has actually happened.
n7
Posts: 1,360
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7/27/2015 6:20:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 5:10:39 PM, Fkkize wrote:
*grabs popcorn*
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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7/27/2015 6:28:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 5:14:59 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
You calling any argument laughable is a joke in itself Dylan. You have literally the worst arguments posted here out of any DDO user.

^this.

If my arguments are so terrible, then why do you have such a hard time refuting them?
ok

Every one of your criticisms in the God thread was either irrelevant or dismantled.
You dropped half the points I made....

There's room for intelligent disagreement, but neither you nor "rational" thinker seem to be capable of it.
There is no sense in trying with someone who makes up his owns terms whenever he can.

If there's a clear example of you refuting something I've said, then feel free to post it. But I honestly cannot remember any time that has actually happened.
Most of the time I just stop responding, trying to decipher your comments is not exactly the most entertaining thing I can imagine.

1.
I mean seriously, you defend circular reasoning. I pointed out that you committed a formal logical fallacy, refuting your argument. Basics of argumentation, GG.

2.
In your Proof of Idealism I referred you to the causal theory of reference and rigid designators, which render your argument moot.

3.
In Definition of Mental you said:

A. that abstracta are what is non-physical, but according to idealists there is just the non-physical and everything would be abstract. You then continued by claiming that some objects are partly abstract, partly concrete, which on its own is so ridiculous a claim that I shouldn't even have to point it out. In light of your definition however it makes even less sense, since there cannot be concrete-abstract objects (whatever that is), because there are no concrete objects.

B. "You can't just appeal to the dichotomy to describe the difference. You have to specify what about them allows the distinction to be made in the first place.", demonstrating that you don't understand Cartesian dualism.

If there's an example of you making a clear argument free from sophistry, then feel free to post it.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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7/27/2015 6:30:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 6:20:32 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/27/2015 5:10:39 PM, Fkkize wrote:
*grabs popcorn*
No more popcorn for me....
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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7/27/2015 6:56:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 6:28:55 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/27/2015 5:14:59 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
You calling any argument laughable is a joke in itself Dylan. You have literally the worst arguments posted here out of any DDO user.

^this.

If my arguments are so terrible, then why do you have such a hard time refuting them?
ok

Every one of your criticisms in the God thread was either irrelevant or dismantled.
You dropped half the points I made....

There's room for intelligent disagreement, but neither you nor "rational" thinker seem to be capable of it.
There is no sense in trying with someone who makes up his owns terms whenever he can.

If there's a clear example of you refuting something I've said, then feel free to post it. But I honestly cannot remember any time that has actually happened.
Most of the time I just stop responding, trying to decipher your comments is not exactly the most entertaining thing I can imagine.

1.
I mean seriously, you defend circular reasoning. I pointed out that you committed a formal logical fallacy, refuting your argument. Basics of argumentation, GG.

You did not actually show in what way it was circular, you merely asserted that it was circular. Again, I'll ask: how is it circular to define God such that his existence is actually implied?


2.
In your Proof of Idealism I referred you to the causal theory of reference and rigid designators, which render your argument moot.


Refresh my memory please.

3.
In Definition of Mental you said:

A. that abstracta are what is non-physical, but according to idealists there is just the non-physical and everything would be abstract.

I believe in the physical/concrete, I just think that the physical cannot be separated from mind (is an aspect of mind). Secondly, this assumes that "ideas" (in regard to idealism) are only abstract, which I made quite clear that I don't believe. I obviously meant to associate the "physical" side of reality with the "content" of ideas.

You then continued by claiming that some objects are partly abstract, partly concrete, which on its own is so ridiculous a claim that I shouldn't even have to point it out.

No, I claimed that some definitions are partly abstract and partly concrete in the sense that something exists or behaves in a certain way. That is, some definitions have both abstract and concrete aspects (although all definitions have an abstract aspect).

In light of your definition however it makes even less sense, since there cannot be concrete-abstract objects (whatever that is), because there are no concrete objects.

There can be no concrete objects absent of an abstract component i.e., the rules inherent in their interpretation.


B. "You can't just appeal to the dichotomy to describe the difference. You have to specify what about them allows the distinction to be made in the first place.", demonstrating that you don't understand Cartesian dualism.


Cartesian dualism is just the notion that "mind" and "material" exist in two separate dimensions. So appealing to the dichotomy doesn't help us if we want to know what "mind" means to begin with. What's so hard about that to understand?

If there's an example of you making a clear argument free from sophistry, then feel free to post it.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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7/27/2015 7:22:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 6:28:55 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/27/2015 5:14:59 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
You then continued by claiming that some objects are partly abstract, partly concrete, which on its own is so ridiculous a claim that I shouldn't even have to point it out.

You can think of it this way: ideas are like pieces of clothing. They consist both of syntax (the thread holding together the clothing) and their content (the fabric to which the thread is applied). Since clothing consists of thread and fabric, it is "thread-like" and "fabric-like" in nature, even though thread and fabric are mutually exclusive concepts.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/27/2015 8:17:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 2:47:57 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/27/2015 1:40:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/27/2015 11:10:53 AM, n7 wrote:
It's hard to comment, since from your quotes, we don't really know what he means by fitness or how it can exist apart from perception. He just says simulations prove it.

I found a critique of the video too.

https://egtheory.wordpress.com...

He claims he is making mathematical errors and his theory is unfalsifiable.

I must be missing something, I clicked on the link and found nothing relevant to Hoffman's theory. Also, anyone can write a blog, is the author a scientist?

It was a question asked to him in the comments. Someone posted his video and I linked to his response. The link is in the form of an anchor, so I don't know if it will work on mobile. The author is a scientist who works on evolution.
http://www.cs.mcgill.ca...

I don't really know enough about math to be a good judge either way, I just thought this was an interesting perspective (one that may very well be false). I actually think that since there is no non-mental reality "out there" then this eliminates the problem completely. In my view I don't have to worry about perceptions matching up to some non-mental reality because the non-mental reality doesn't exist. What we experience is what actually is.
Fkkize
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7/28/2015 4:56:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 6:56:08 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Let's not derail this poor thread any furth. http://www.debate.org...
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic