Why we are like this

“In their article Fitness Beats Truth in the Evolution of Perception, Chetan Parakash et al. use evolutionary game theory to show that the likelihood for higher organisms to have evolved to see the world as it is (to have veridical perception) is exceedingly small.

… [A]n evolutionary game is a game where at least two types of organisms compete over the same resources. By comparing different possible strategies, one can compute the likelihood for a stable equilibrium.

Parakash et al. apply this concept to the evolution of perception. Simplifying a bit, we can take a veridical perception to be a perceptual state x of an organism such that x corresponds to some world state w. Suppose there are two strategies. One where the organism estimates the world state that is most likely to be the true state of the world. And another where the organism estimates which perceptual state yields the highest fitness. Then, the first strategy is consistently driven into extinction.”

Sven Beecken
Is Semantics in Fact Syntax?