As 2020 draws to an end the one-hand-clapping finds himself embroiled in a curious effort to defend established “scientific realism.” Because? Well, because apparently someone needs too.
Curious, because the process has inspired me to think in terms of composing a Students Guide In Defense of Reality - Dissecting Hoffman’s Case Against Reality. I want to create a framework for a virtual class to examine the process of scientific deception, and science by rhetoric rather than facts, while pressing home the importance of learning about Evolution from the bottom up. I’m at chapter 19 with many more in the pipeline before wrapping it up (still at the laying groundwork phase - chapters listed at the bottom).
This mission is about exposing how folks like Donald Hoffman, Templeton Foundation, and many intellectual celebrities are wasting our precious time looking through the wrong end of both telescope and microscope, for fun and profit.
For instance, Hoffman’s “Conscious Agents” and FBT Theorem are simply the latest rationalization in human’s long tradition of denying responsibility for ourselves, lives and actions. Now that God has lost its substance, it’s time for math and pseudo-science?
What's wrong with appreciating ourselves for the incredible biological creatures that we are? Why not explicitly recognize the divide between physical reality and our Mindscape with something more substantial than flailing at a supposed body-mind "problem.”
This project is forcing me to realize that the younger generations need to escape the shackles of generations old self-indulgent manmade philosophical constructs who’s stilted questions and inscrutable solutions have more to do with human insecurity, egos and turf battles, than in understanding our actual human condition and the biosphere that created and sustains us self-obsessed human beings.
Our answers are limited by the quality of our questions!
Genuine understanding about our natural world is an emergent property driven by the inflow of honest quality facts and evidence. All else is dancing within our minds. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Just stop being blind to the supremacy of physical reality!
I advocate for the simple act of doing your homework and seriously learning about “Wet” Evolution, the dance of geology and biology through Deep Time. Take the time to digest and absorb the lessons modern science has to offer and I guarantee you a cascade of new insights. Insights your mind achieved for itself. Sure beats endlessly repeating new versions of ancient dog-chasing-tail arguments.
Learning is hard scrabble, at times it’s humiliating and it hurts, but that’s life, suck it up, and move forward. Process ALL the information at hand and allow the evidence to drive your understanding, knowing full well that additional information will help refine whatever it is you know today.
It demands curiosity, honesty, self skepticism, along with a self-starter attitude toward acquiring and processing information, whether attending university or for personal avocation. Including arguments and evidence that disputes what we’ve learned to believe, because those are our real learning opportunities.
Show fidelity to honesty and the process, its experiences, and the satisfaction of solid understanding will outshine the facade of ego - which in turn, allows us a more sober secure appreciation of our selves and our place in the universe, at this moment.
Learning used to be a big deal to the citizens of this country. I thought everyone loved learning. Now at 65, and especially after these past five years, I’ve had to admit it’s getting to be down right rare. So, of course, I’m hoping this resonates with some.
It would be nice to network with a few likeminded who share a passion for understanding our Earth, her biosphere, her ways and means, and thereby achieving a better down to Earth understanding of ourselves.
Best Wishes for the New Year,
Email: Citizenschallenge gmail com
Cc’s Students’ Study Guide for The Case Against Reality.
(Titles are linked)
Frontiers in Psychology - June 17, 2014
“Probing the interface theory of perception: Reply to commentaries, by Donald D. Hoffman, Manish Singh & Chetan Prakash"
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. volume 22, pages1551–1576(2015)
We propose that selection favors nonveridical perceptions that are tuned to fitness. Current textbooks assert, to the contrary, that perception is useful because, in the normal case, it is veridical. Intuition, both lay and expert, clearly sides with the textbooks. We thus expected that some commentators would reject our proposal and provide counterarguments that could stimulate a productive debate. … (HSP)
(3.02) Barton Anderson - Where does fitness fit in theories of perception?
(3.03) Jonathan Cohen - Perceptual representation, veridicality, and the interface theory of perception.
(3.04) Shimon Edelman - Varieties of perceptual truth and their possible evolutionary roots.
(3.05) Jacob Feldman - Bayesian inference and “truth”: a comment on Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash.
(3.06) Chris Fields -Reverse engineering the world: a commentary on Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash, “The interface theory of perception”.
(3.07) Jan Koenderink - Esse est Percipi & Verum est Factum.
(3.08) Rainer Mausfeld - Notions such as “truth” or “correspondence to the objective world” play no role in explanatory accounts of perception.
(3.09) Brian P. McLaughlin and E. J. Green - Are icons sense data?
(3.10) Zygmunt Pizlo - Philosophizing cannot substitute for experimentation: comment on Hoffman, Singh & Prakash.
(3.11) Matthew Schlesinger - Interface theory of perception leaves me hungry for more.
Student Resources - Background info:
Dr. Mark Solms deftly demystifies Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” of Consciousness, while incidentally highlighting why Hoffman’s “Conscious Agents” are luftgeschäft.
My homemade philosophical underpinnings.
Feel free to copy and share
Email: citizenschallenge gmail com
Students Introduction to Reality Based Brain/Consciousness Research
Consciousness: here, there and everywhere? Giulio Tononi and Christof Koch
The Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness, Dr. Christof Koch,
Allen Institute for Brain Science, Coding & Vision 101, 12-part undergraduate-level lecture series
Some Elements of an Evolutionary Theory of Perception
Perceptual Systems, Historical Background, Innate And Learned Classical perceptual phenomena, Broad theoretical approaches, Current research/future developments.
Agnes Szokolszky, Catherine Read, Zsolt Palatinus, et al., 2019
Eric P. Charles, 2017,
Kristian Tylén, Riccardo Fusaroli, Sergio Rojo, et al. PNAS 2020
doi.org/10.1146/annurev-earth-082517-010120, March 21, 2018
Eve R. Schneider, Elena O. Gracheva, and Slav N. Bagriantsev, 2016
Leda Cosmides & John Tooby, Handbook of Emotions, 2000
Simon Neubauer, Jean-Jacques Hublin and Philipp Gunz, 2018:
Rainer Mausfeld, PhD.
By: Stephen Burnett, PhD, Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):75
H. Clark Barrett
by: Andrea Korte, February 19, 2017
I am an Earth Centrist !
Meaning that Earth and her physical processes and the pageant of her Evolution are my touchstones. Understanding Evolution, and the biosphere I'm part of, and how we got here, is the foundation of all I know.
Religions, political beliefs, science, art, god they are all products of the human mindscape, generations of imaginings built upon previous generations of imaginings, all the way down.
Something real and to be reckoned with, yet in the end, it's only our mindscapes at work. While the real creation, the physical reality, keeps on unfolding outside of our minds regardless and we are left to hang on for dear life as time speeds us through our day to days.
September 1, 2018
May 31, 2018
February 22, 2020
December 7, 2019
December 6, 2019
December 7, 2019
March 8, 2020