Over the past several years, Donald Hoffman’s group at the University of California, Irvine, has shown that our perceptual apparatus hasn’t evolved to represent the world truthfully, as it is in itself; if we saw the world as it really is, we would be swiftly driven to extinction. Instead, we see the world in a way that favors our survival, not the accuracy of our representations. In Hoffman’s analogy, the contents of perception are like icons on a computer desktop: a set of visual metaphors that facilitate one’s job by illustrating the salient properties of files and applications, but which don’t portray these files and application as they really are.

For the full story, please visit https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-universe-as-cosmic-dashboard/.

 

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