Donald Hoffman’s Theory on Consciousness – The Most Puzzling Mystery in the Universe – Video

Donald Hoffman’s Theory on Consciousness – The Most Puzzling Mystery in the Universe – Video

Donald Hoffman’s Theory on Consciousness is a mind-bending exploration into the very nature of reality and perception. The idea that our senses could be misleading us, creating an illusion of the world around us, challenges our fundamental understanding of existence. Hoffman’s groundbreaking work in cognitive psychology invites us to question if what we perceive as reality is simply a sophisticated computer interface skillfully designed by our brains.

Hoffman’s theory proposes that consciousness, rather than space-time and physical objects, is fundamental. This challenges traditional notions of reality and calls into question the very essence of objective truth. He suggests that evolution has shaped our perceptions to guide adaptive behavior, rather than reveal the truth of reality. Our brains, according to Hoffman, create the shapes, objects, colors, and motions that we perceive in real-time, constructing the world around us based on the input from our senses.

By questioning the foundational principles of space-time and matter, Hoffman opens the door to a new way of understanding consciousness and its relationship to the world. His theory challenges the idea that consciousness is simply a byproduct of brain function, proposing instead that it is a pervasive and fundamental force in the universe. This shift in perspective invites us to explore the mystery of consciousness in a whole new light, pushing the boundaries of our understanding of the human experience.

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Video Transcript

Have you ever thought that our senses could be misleading us about the real nature of the universe reflecting back who and what we are and the choices we make the worlds we build they also confront us with questions what if the reality we perceive is nothing more than an

Elaborate illusion crafted by our minds this concept that brings to mind science fiction is at the heart of the groundbreaking work by cogn psychologist Donald Hoffman we used to think the Earth is flat because it looks that way Pythagoras discovered that we were wrong then we thought that the Earth is the

Unmoving center of the universe again because it looks that way kernus and Galileo discovered again that we were wrong Galileo then wondered if we might be misinterpreting our experiences in other ways he wrote I think that tastes odors color ERS and so on reside in Consciousness hence if the living

Creature were removed all these qualities would be annihilated could Galileo be right could we really be misinterpreting our experiences that badly well neuroscientists tell us that about a third of the brain’s cortex is engaged in Vision when you simply open your eyes and look about this room billions of

Neurons and trillions of synapses are engaged now this is a bit surprising because to the extent that we think about Vision at all we think of it as like a camera that just takes a picture of objective reality as it is now there is a part of vision that’s like a camera

The eye has a lens that focuses an image on the back of the eye where there are 130 million photo receptors so the eye is like a 130 megapixel camera but that doesn’t explain the billions of neurons and trillions of synapses that are engaged in Vision what are these neurons up to well

Neuroscientists tell us that they’re creating in real time all the shapes objects colors and motions that we see it feels like we’re just taking a snapshot of this room the way it is but in fact we’re constructing everything that we see we don’t construct the whole

World at once we construct what we need in the moment imagine for a moment that what you perceive as reality is more akin to a sophisticated computer interface skillfully designed by your brain to simplify the complex workings of the world this is the essence of Hoffman’s Theory challenging the idea that our

Senses give us a direct line to the outside world his work stirring discussions in cognitive science philosophy and physics invites us to question the very nature of reality as we understand it according to Hoffman the complexity of reality causes it to remain hidden from our understanding He suggests that our perception of the

World is not a direct representation of objective reality we’ve assumed that there is a pretty tight relationship between our perceptions and reality if I look up and see the moon then there is something that uh exists in space in time that matches what I perceive and that if you take evolution by natural

Selection seriously then that is precluded our perceptions are there they’re there to guide adaptive Behavior full stop they’re not there to show you the truth in fact the way I think about it is they’re there to hide the truth because the truth is too complicated it’s just like if you’re trying to you

Know use your laptop to write an email what you’re doing is toggling voltages in the computer but good luck trying to do it that way the reason why we have a user interface is because we don’t want to know that quote unquote truth the diodes and resistors and all that that

Terrible Hardware if you had to know all that truth yeah your friends wouldn’t hear from you so what evolution gave us was perceptions that guide adaptive behavior and part of that process it turns out means hiding the truth and giving you eye candy hofman’s approach requires a radical reformulation of our

Notion of the nature of objective reality and of our notion of time in light of the evolutionary results he proposes that Consciousness rather than SpaceTime and physical objects is fundamental latitude is our best science is telling us that SpaceTime is not fundamental so why is that important here well for centuries deep thinkers

Thought of earth air fire and water as the fundamental elements it was a reductionist kind of idea nothing was more Elemental and you could sort of build everything up from those when we got the periodic table of elements we we realize that of course we want to study

Earth air Fire and Water there’s combustion science for fire there’s you know there’s Sciences for all these other things water and so forth so we’re going to do science for these things but fundamental no no if you’re looking for something fundamental those are the wrong building blocks Earth has many

Many different kinds of elements that project into the one thing that we call Earth if you don’t understand that there’s silicon that there’s iron that there’s all these different kinds of things that project into what we call Earth you’re hopelessly lost you you’re not fundamental you’re not going to get

There and then after the periodic table then we came up with quirks leptons and gluons the particles of the standard model of physics and so we actually now know that if you really want to get fundamental the periodic table isn’t it it’s good for chemistry it’s just wonderful for chemistry but if you’re

Trying to go deep fundamental what is the fundamental science that’s not it you’re going to have to go to quarks leptons and gluons and so forth well now we’ve discovered SpaceTime itself is doomed quarks leptons and gluons are just irreducible representations of the symmetries of SpaceTime so the whole framework on which Consciousness

Research is being based right now is doomed and for me these are my friends and colleagues that are doing this they’re brilliant my feeling is I’m so sad that they’re stuck with this old framework because if they they weren’t stuck like with earth air Fire and Water

You could actually make progress so it doesn’t matter how smart you are if you start with earth air Fire and Water you’re not going to get anywhere I’m looking for a theory Beyond SpaceTime that’s a dynamical theory I would love to find a theory of Consciousness in which the Dynamics of Consciousness

Itself will give rise to the geometry that the physicists are finding Beyond SpaceTime if we can do that then we’d have a completely different way of looking at how Consciousness is related to what we call the brain or the phys physical world more generally right now all my brilliant colleagues they’re

Assuming space time is fundamental they’re assuming that particles are fundamental quirks gluons leptons and so forth elements atoms and so forth are fundamental and that therefore neurons and brains are part of objective reality and that somehow when you get matter that’s complicated enough it will somehow generate conscious experiences

By its functional properties but they’re all doing it within space time all of the work that’s being done on Consciousness and this relationship to the brain is all assumed something that our best theories are telling us is doomed SpaceTime there’s no such thing as SpaceTime fundamentally in Theos of physics there is no

Threshold that makes us greater than some of our parts no inflection point at which we become fully Alive we can’t define consciousness because Consciousness does not exist addressing the hard problem of Consciousness Hoffman proposes a bold idea Consciousness isn’t just a byproduct of our brain’s workings but a

Fundamental aspect of the universe this shifts the conversation from trying to find Consciousness in the brain like searching for a tiny pilot inside to seeing Consciousness as a pervasive and fundamental Force consider for example the way Hoffman addresses the complex relationship between Quant Theory and Consciousness He suggests that the

Bizarre Observer dependent nature of quantum phenomena might mirror the way Consciousness shapes our reality think of a tree falling in a forest with no one around in quantum mechanics it’s as if the tree both Falls and doesn’t fall until someone observes it Hoffman proposes that our Consciousness could

Play a similar role in creating the reality we experience perhaps reality is some vast interacting Network of conscious agents simple and complex that cause each other’s conscious experiences actually this isn’t as crazy an idea as it seems and I’m currently exploring it but here’s the point once we let go of our massively

Intuitive but massively false assumption about the nature of reality it opens up new ways to think about life’s greatest mystery I bet that reality will end up turning out to be more fascinating and unexpected than we’d ever imagined Hoffman’s ideas have sparked considerable interest and debate but

It’s worth mentioning that they are an active area of research the scientific Community is actively investigating the validity and consequences of his theories critics while intrigued by Hoffman’s ideas highlight their speculative nature and the challenges of empirical testing these theories also provoke discussions about their implications for our comprehension of

Consciousness and the connection between the mind and reality

Video “Donald Hoffman’s Theory on Consciousness – The Greatest Mystery in The Universe” was uploaded on 01/13/2024 to Youtube Channel Science Time