Leading Scientist Says Everything, Including Our World, Is An Illusion

Top scientist says our perception of the world is an illusion

The world that humans see around them is nothing more than a very convincing illusion, according to one of the world’s leading cognitive scientists. 

Donald Hoffman, a scientist at the University of California, claims that people are being tricked into believing their own reality, and what they see around them is nothing more than a facade that enables humans to get through their daily lives without having to deal with the “hidden matrix” that lurks behind everything.

Hoffman says that when you see something that you think is solid, such as a red tomato, you cannot be sure that when you close your eyes that it still exists. He says what you are actually seeing is entirely constructed inside your mind. The tomato doesn’t actually exist.

Dailymail.co.uk reports:

Galileo once wrote: ‘I think that tastes, odors, colours, and so on reside in consciousness.

‘Hence if the living creature were removed, all these qualities would be annihilated.’

And Hoffman says, in some ways, he agrees with this statement.

‘Neuroscientists tell us that they are creating, in real time, all the shapes, objects, colours, and motions that we see,’ he said in a Ted Talk.

‘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.’

Neuroscientists believe our perceptions of the world are an evolutionary trait that gave our ancestors the advantage when having to make quick decisions with little information.

But this is where Hoffman disagrees.

‘The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised,’ he tells Quanta magazine.

‘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.’

He uses a desktop icon to illustrate his point.

‘The icon is blue and rectangular and in the lower right corner of the desktop,’ he says.

‘Does that mean that the text file itself in the computer is blue, rectangular, and in the lower right-hand corner of the computer? Of course not.

‘Anyone who thought that misinterprets the purpose of the interface.

‘It’s not there to show you the reality of the computer. In fact, it’s there to hide that reality.’

He says you could not form a true description of the inside of the computer if your entire view of reality was confined to the desktop. But the desktop is still useful.

The blue rectangular icon guides your behaviour, and it hides a complex reality that you don’t need to know.

‘That’s the key idea,’ said Hoffman. ‘Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive.

‘They guide adaptive behaviours. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know.

‘And that’s pretty much all of reality, whatever reality might be. If you had to spend all that time figuring it out, the tiger would eat you.’

  • Johnny Vulcan

    …don´t worry -be happy–according to this ,doctor Hoffman does not exist-so why take his words too serious??

    • KVind I

      Now that you have commented on it, you have taken it seriously and I have taken your comment seriously. That is how cognitive illusion works.

  • imre cali

    Ah yes a cognitive scientist, a walking delusion, someone who has perfected the art of living totally in his own head. A little blue icon proves it all. Really?

    • Richard Rahl

      you mistake proof with example

  • sharma a

    What he say has been taken from hindu mythology which calls world a “maaya jaal” I.e.a matrix of illusions.

  • http://jamessssmith.com/2015/04/04/john-woodman-an-epilogue/ James Smith

    Why would a scientist try and confirm and age old Rothschild whooper of a bold face lie? You must not want Muslims to realize their government written Koran lied to them?

  • Sudipta Barat

    Arre Bhai, the VEDAS, the UPANISHADS, THE BHAGWAT GEETA has said
    thousands of times, Thousands of Years ago that the UNIVERSE is
    IMPERMANENT , it is just an ILLUSION – A MAYA, a Temporary Event .

  • Sudipta Barat

    The word for the Universe itself is BRAMHAND which in Sanskrit means an
    ILLUSORY EGG , the Scientists are JUST ONLY now Discovering this Truth
    , that is why it is called RE SEARCH , Re finding what already EXISTS

    But we Sanatani Hindus NEVER FORGOT it , so this is just a RECONFIRMATION of our FAITH

  • Romi Abhimanyu

    When the ISIS executioner come to cut your throat because you are not Muslim but Yazedi, does it make the terrorist stop if you remember that the ‘tomato is not really there’?

    The scientist might have a point, but he DOES NOT CARE enough to be use an alternate vocabulary to expess his point. He is merely confusing the public. And we do not need scientists to create confusion. We have enough people for that already.

  • Rboo

    If we’ve made everything up in our minds, what & where are we? I think these scientists have been taking too much LSD! I also thought scientist were suppose to be smart!

  • Ashbro Whalen

    talking about it being an illusion is one thing but if u cant cast off the illusion its not very helpful.

    i doubt very much it doesnt exist or that it isnt there when u dont look at it. it just isnt there for the person who isnt looking, why, coz they are here, as consciousness, and if its not manifesting in there conscious attention then u could say they are innocent to the fact that there is a tomatoe in front of them.

    life itself and the real world are at least in my view perfectly real, however i think that the perspective that the common man of today takes for granted is likely an imperfect way of looking at what is real. he i think looks at the symbols and conditioning that he has (that is time, relativity, expectation, belief, past experience, knowledge) and then trys to see the world through those, that is he compares what he knows to what he sees, he puts what he knows first, and then looks at the world through this.

    i think this is the imperfect view, the illusion, and it means everyone is seeing there own reality made up of what they know to be true. there is another view, a perfect view, which doesnt lend itself to success or failure, suffering or pleasure, love or hate, it cant even be tired. that view is called fact of reality. i just made it up now. thats when u forget all that u know, you look at what is right in front of u at this very minute, and what u feel at this very minute. you do not name it, u just accept it is a fact. you dont try to explain it, you dont try to make it important or not important, you just realise you are seeing it, or u are seeing, and that is the fact. you feel an emotion, maybe u once knew it as anger, you look at it, u accept it as fact, you dont try to run, u dont try to fight it, its just a fact. now see whats here.

    because we are sooo conditioned, our brains are at least, we forget there is something percieving, that perciever is perfect, it dont lie. so if u accept all things u see and feel as fact, you are infact seeing perfectly. with practice you will notice all the illusions u had been holding because they will fall away until your completely free.

    now from here u have no illusions and your truely seeing. only from here can u uncover if the world is illusion, because before u werent even seeing the world, u were seeing through a fog and u didnt even know it.

  • Rock Peterson

    remember one of my earliest thoughts on subjective perception (long
    before I was able to properly use the words “subjective perception”) was
    whether what I see is what others see. When I look at a stop sign, I
    see what I have been trained to associate as a version of the color Red.
    But does someone else see a version of the color Red? Might they see a
    version of the color Blue instead? Of course, they think it’s Red,
    because they were trained to define the color they see as Red, just like
    I was. Because our perceptions are uniquely our own however, we can
    never be sure that we are seeing what someone else is seeing when we
    look at the same thing, only that we have both been taught to define it
    by the same word, and that for most practical matters, it doesn’t
    matter if what we see is different, as long as we hit the brakes and
    check for traffic.