Originally Posted by Bikewer
I'm currently re-reading Ornstein's The Evolution Of Consciousness. This is an older book that was re-issued in the early 90s with an updated edition. It's quite an eye opener for anyone interested in neuroscience and how our little brains work... And how they got that way.
Ornstein points out that all of our sensory perceptions developed through history essentially to keep us alive. We are presented a construct of reality sufficient to let us identify danger sources, food sources, and the like.
Memory, for instance, is seldom an accurate representation of the past, as all we police officers know. Rather, it is continually edited and altered into a "story" that we find coherent.
We are not equipped to perceive physical reality, though we have developed the means, through science, to examine it in great detail.
If we pick up a rock, we see it's shape and color and feel it's weight and know that it's heavy and perhaps even know what kind of mineral it is.
However, we do not see it radiating heat in the infrared if it's been sitting in the sunshine, nor do we have any notion of it's atomic structure.
Most would not believe that the actual matter represented by the rock would take up a microscopically-small space if the inter-atomic distances could be removed.
These things are not necessary for us to live in the world.
However, the notion that we are "creating reality" by our perception of it, so common in philosophical circles, is nonsense. The universe existed for many billions of years before it was possible for anything living to exist and have perceptions.
As one biologist said..." If we generate reality with our minds, I wonder what the universe looked like when there was nothing more evolved than a sea slug?"