Evolution Favors Fitness, Not Reality 😯


Evolution Favors Fitness, Not Reality 😯

It blew my mind when I first watched Cognitive Scientist Donald Hoffam’s 2015 TED Talk, Do we see reality as it is?

Woah.  What a question!  

Donald Hoffman says that our senses do NOT report objective reality and do NOT tell us the “truth.” 

Instead “natural selection favors perception that hides the truth, guides us toward useful action, shaping our senses to keep us alive and reproducing.” 

He says our senses are more like desktop or iPhone icons, “rather than a genuine representation of what a computer file looks like” and argues that “the objects we see every day are merely icons, allowing us to navigate the world safely.” 

Basically, you only see, hear, smell, and feel what you need in order to not die before you make babies. 😯


Why does this matter to Transformative Tech? 

Or to me personally? 

For Transformative Tech

We do not see all of reality.  

We do not see all the light, nor hear the sound, nor smell or feel the planet that way the creatures of the world can. 

But, Dr. David Eagleman suggests that we can expand our sensory perception and create “New Senses for Humans.” 

My questions are:

  • 1st – Can these extrasensory abilities help us counteract the digital age?
  • 2nd – Imagine expanding our reality to sensing one another more deeply and more intentionally?

Candidly, I want to smell, see, touch, taste, and feel more…

But, I’m more interested in how understanding and enhancing sensory perception can help humans become closer.

Could it enhance human syncing? Imagine how that might change conflict and collaboration.  

Surely we could solve our greatest challenges.

I believe that sensory-linked wellness and wellbeing interventions are the next big thing.

I believe understanding human perception will help deconstruct the “Brains-in-Jars” view of ourselves that does not serve us well and will hobble our intelligence in the digital age


I’ve read ancient lineage descriptions of experiences that require faith to believe.

I have had sensory experiences in and through meditation that I cannot explain.

What if heavy-duty meditation exposes more objective reality to the human brain?

What a wonderful time to be alive.


P.S. – To hear more about Donald Hoffman here’s a deeper follow-up Interview HERE and a book HERE.

P.S.S. – David Eagleman has a wonderful talk (HERE) about bridging the gap between “reality” and human senses.   

P.S.S.S. We will probably read this book together in the Multi-player Book Club!

P.S.S.  Here’s the rest of the series:

Comment (1)

  1. Mary Alber

    Nicole – I just love this thought-provoking discussion (and all your mind-blowing sharings!).
    Like you, my heart is more full, my connection to others is deepened, and my awe is more expanded about the beauty of this world when through meditation, shamanic practice, and integral yoga, and yes, use of plant medicines. I crave to be in that place where joy resides and bubbles up effortlessly.

    I want to explore what you describe: “how understanding and enhancing sensory perception can help humans become closer….enhance human syncing… change conflict and collaboration.”

    Indeed doing so CAN solve our greatest challenges!

    My burning question on the enhanced sensing tech is if they help us get into FLOW STATES of peak performance – with OTHERS: How to get more quickly into deep meditative states in community – overcoming fears and vulnerabilities to let hearts connect, dialogue flow, and love and creativity emerge. We have HEART MATH research to show that just breathing and imagining a joyful experience can shift us into that healthy state of brain-heart synchronization from which ideas and creativity can flow. MIT’s uLAB program works with simple group movement and visualizations to create conditions for co-creative dialogue for community transformation.

    I’m taking an MIT class on VR/AR/XR Design – and am having some cool experiences of community building in the metaverse – such as through Gather Town, Spacial, VR chat. There’s no bigger stretch of my senses than when I’m immersed in a VR experience of drawing, dancing, playing a game.

    I see a lot more room for creating beautiful spaces and contexts in the metaverse where people can come together – to convene – with shared intentions to co-envision and co-create new stories about the future.

    Perhaps we create our ideal world VIRTUALLY with the intention to manifest it physically.

    To bring heaven to earth – isn’t that what the ancients tell us is our mission!?

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