Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

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Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:34 am

Someone please kindly shoot this article down in any conceivable way.

Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Any valid points made here will be added into the article, I plan to make it more a wikipedia entry with all sorts of informed criticism than a dictated bit of text from my own mind. Wikipedia is not very fond of this theory, the evolutionists there still seem to think that eating fish and cooking is the only possible conceivable way to explain why we took an 'orthogonal right hand turn out thew slowly evolving hominid line'.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:42 am

You should, instead, submit it to fringepedia.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:46 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:You should, instead, submit it to fringepedia.


Doesn't seem to be suitable ?

"FringePedia is a wiki-powered online encyclopedia of information regarding the American science fiction television series Fringe. Launched on July 23, 2008 by Dennis Acevedo,[2] the site uses MediaWiki software to maintain a user-created database of information. It is the largest, fan-generated, online encyclopedia for Fringe, and is intended to be the most comprehensive source data about the show.[3] The site is not affiliated with Warner Bros. Entertainment, Bad Robot Productions, FB2 Films Inc., DC Comics/Wildstorm, or any other persons or organizations responsible for the production, promotion or distribution of Fringe.[2]"

Eh?
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:44 pm

I was should have said lunaticfringepedia.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:00 pm

Oh ha ha ha ha fooken ha.

Anything productive now?
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:27 pm

I'd love some actual informed criticism, I'm more than willing to learn why the article is wrong.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:32 pm

Might as well copy/paste it here so it's on forum. Some of the pictures are quite important to the text so I recommend reading my blog entry rather than the text alone.

Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Terence McKenna was the first proponent of this theory, which theorizes that as the North African jungles receded toward the end of the most recent ice age, giving way to grasslands, a branch of our tree-dwelling primate ancestors left the branches and took up a life out in the open - following around herds of ungulates, nibbling what they could along the way.

Among the new items in their diet were psilocybin-containing mushrooms growing in the dung of these ungulate herds. The changes caused by the introduction of this drug to the primate diet were many -- McKenna theorizes, for instance, that synesthesia (the blurring of boundaries between the senses) caused by psilocybin led to the development of spoken language: the ability to form pictures in another person's mind through the use of vocal sounds. About 12,000 years ago, further climate changes removed the mushroom from the human diet, resulting in a new set of profound changes in our species as we reverted to pre-mushroomed and frankly brutal primate social structures that had been modified and/or repressed by less frequent consumption of psilocybin.

McKenna's theory is necessarily based on a great deal of supposition interpolating between the few fragmentary facts we know about hominid and early human history. In addition, because McKenna (who describes himself as "an explorer, not a scientist") is also a proponent of much wilder suppositions, his more reasonable theories are usually disregarded by the very scientists whose informed criticism is crucial for their development. In a review of his book Food of the gods, Village Voice stated 'if only a fraction of Mckenna thoughts are true, he will someday be regarded as the Copernican for consciousness'

This page links to resources that should help to fill in some of the gaps with the theory with data from various sciences and will try to address other cultural myths about Apes unprecedentedly quick brain and minds evolution from Ape to Human.

"The 20th century mind is nostalgic for the paradise that once existed on the mushroom-dotted plains of Africa, where the plant-human symbiosis occurred that pulled us out of the animal body and into the tool-using, culture-making, imagination-exploring creature that we are." - Mckenna

The precedent

The main shortcoming for evolutionary theory as it applies to human origins is the human neocortex. Carl Sofus Lumholtz who was a pretty straight evolutionary biologist, described the evolution of the human neocortex as 'the most dramatic transformation of a major organ of a higher animal in the entire fossil record'.

“Only Homo sapiens have a knowledge base that itself grows exponentially, and is passed down from one generation to another.”


— Ray Kurzweil

This causes a tautology, as it's the organ that thought up the theory of evolution (or rather, depending on your perspective, discovered it). So it is necessary in evolutionary theory to account for the dramatic emergence of the human neocortex in this very narrow window of time. In about two million years Apes went from being higher primates, hominids, to being true humans, as truly human as you and I.

Human Plant Symbiosis

Mutualistic symbiosis in biology means two distinct types of life form that have mutual benefit from their company. A example would be a sucker fish that lives off of plankton on a whale's back; by this the relationship both partners gain an evolutionary, survival and biological advantage; the whale gets cleaned and seems to enjoy the sensory contact aspect, and the fish gets food and protection by the huge whale. Likewise, as plants have come to depend on humans for the dispersal of seeds and other benefits, Mckenna posited that it was very likely that we in turn benefited from forest vegetation, including the psychedelic mushrooms.

It was later determined that some mushrooms do rely symbiotically on mammals to aid in spore dissemination. Some fungi and mushrooms can survive through our digestive system and germinate after being excreted, sometimes referred to as coprophilic mushrooms.

Apes use of plants as medicine

At Gombe Steam National Park was one of the fist institutions that noticed Apes would tend to even eat food that they did not appear to like the taste of, or were not able to digest very well. Despite previously not enjoying this food, the Apes would still selectively go looking for it [1] Eventually a redish oil was found called Rhiarubrine-A. Neil Towers of British Columbia University soon found out that this oil kills bacteria in their dozens, but just below the significant 10 in a million to make it clinically dangerous. [2]

Thus it seemed that even if the food they learn to eat was unpleasant, if it has a positive effect on it's well being, health or mind in some way, they would tend to continue eating it by self medicating themselves through their choice of food selection from their surrounding natural pharmacy [3][4][5]

Since other animals enjoy psychoactive drugs, like cats love catnip, or monkeys enjoy alcohol they scrounge from humans, it is only natural to expect chimps to also; and numerous studies have found this if they enjoy the medicinal effects they continue to ingest it despite of the taste [5][6] This is sometimes referred to zoopharmacognosy [7][8][9] The basic premise of zoo- pharmacognosy is that animals utilize plant secondary compounds or other non-nutritional substances to medicate themselves. Among primatologists a major focus of concern about plant secondary compounds in the diet has been on how and why pri- mates can cope with their presence

You are what you think, as well as what you eat

Rather than theorizing our sudden evolution was merely due to an expanded diet as our ancestors moved around, Mckenna argues there is a a primary factor often overlooked, and he made the argument for a select few psychedelic foods we found, that centuries of ingesting and experimenting with set us down the road of evolving into the true Humans we are today. Back then each encounter with a new food would have been thought of the same, whether it was a fruit, a drug or an insect a lot of care would at first have to be taken.

As our diets increased so did our perception of varieties of new foods and tastes, Gastronomy was born shortly after our taste for novel pharmacology, which must have preceded it, as maintenance of health and thought is a regulation of diet seen in most animals.[10]

Mckenna explains how the mental changes elicited from psychedelics may have played an even bigger role than the nutritional diet in how we evolved socially and culturally:

"The primate tendency to form dominance heirarchies was temporarily interrupted for about 100,000 years by the psilocybin in the paleolithic diet. This behavioral style of male dominance was chemically interrupted by psilocybin in the diet, so it allowed the style of socialorganization called partnership to emerge, and that that occurred during the period when language, altruism, planning, moral values, esthetics, music and so forth -- everything associated with humanness -- emerged during that period. About 12,000 years ago, the mushrooms left the human diet because they were no longer available, due to climatological change and the previous tendency to form dominance hierarchies re-emerged. So, this is what the historic dilemma is: we have all these qualities that were evolved during the suppression of male dominance that are now somewhat at loggerheads with the tendency of society in a situation of re-established male dominance.

The paleolithic situation was orgiastic and this made it impossible for men to trace lines of male paternity, consequently there was no concept of 'my children' for men. It was 'our children' meaning 'we, the group.' This orgiastic style worked into the effects of higher doses of psilocybin to create a situation of frequent boundary dissolution. That's what sexuality is, on one level, about and it's what psychedelics, on another level, are about. With the termination of this orgiastic, mushroom using style of existence, a very neurotic and repressive social style emerged which is now worldwide and typical of western civilization." (Terence McKenna: Mushrooms Sex and Society Interview by Philip H. Farber)

The evolutionary benefits of novel psychedelics

Mckenna comments that although his theory focuses mainly on mushrooms there is far more broader scope for a vast array of other psychoactives[10].

The mutation-inducing influence of diet on early humans and the effect of exotic metabolites on the evolution of their neurochemistry and culture is still unstudied territory. The early hom- inids' adoption of an omnivorous diet and their discovery of the power of certain plants were decisive factors in moving early humans out of the stream of animal evolution and into the fast-rising tide of language and culture. Our remote ancestors discovered that certain plants, when self-administered, suppress appetite, diminish pain, supply bursts of sudden energy, confer immunity against pathogens, and synergize cognitive activities. These discoveries set us on the long journey to self-reflection. Once we became tool-using omnivores, evolution itself changed from a process of slow modification of our physical form to a rapid definition of cultural forms by the elaboration of rituals, languages, writing, mnemonic skills, and technology.

Catalyzing lower consciousness to higher consciousness

Mckennas contention was that is was just not variety in physical food alone that aided the expansion and sudden power of the human mind to evolve, that means various plant alkaloids would have to be involved, and some of these would be DMT, Psilocybin and Harmalin.

In research done back in the 1960's by Roland Fisher experimented by giving students small doses of psilocybin and then testing their visual acuity by moving lines around on a piece of paper. He found that their visual accuracy and awareness of surrounding visual stimuli was greatly improved [11] Unfortunately due it's legality only limited further tests have been done, but many subjective reports report the same at threshold dosages. If this is the case, for a species of tree dwelling primates and hunter gatherers this would provide a tremendous advantage in hunting for food and climbing trees. And they would have to come down out of the trees out of their comfort zone to do this, as the only place this miracle hunting food grew was on the floor of the forest, thus starting the human evolutionary process. The relevance of Fishers studies have been questioned by skeptics, citing small sample size and inconclusive results. The fact that many psychotropic plants in the environment could have potentially conferred an evolutionary advantage to those members of the population that seek it out is not in dispute however (see zoopharmacognosy above)

The next major steps for the full evolution of humankind

The main three advantages McKenna identified as being of critical importance to the survival of Apes are that in higher doses, McKenna claims, the mushroom acts as a sexual stimulator, which would make it even more beneficial evolutionary (it would result to more offspring), and at even higher doses the mushroom would have given humans the ability for self-reflection, which McKenna believed was unique to humans, and the first truly religious experiences (which, as he believed, were the basis for the foundation of all subsequent religions to date). Another factor that McKenna talked about was the mushroom's potency to promote linguistic thinking. This would have promoted vocalization, which in turn would have acted in cleansing the brain (based on a scientific theory that vibrations from speaking cause the precipitation of impurities from the brain to the cerebrospinal fluid), which would further mutate our brain.

All these factors according to McKenna were the most important factors that promoted our evolution towards the Homo sapiens species. After this transformation took place, our species would have begun moving out of Africa to populate the rest of the planet Later on[10].

Mckenna points out many consciousness catalyzing effects on human development when we realized that there were opiate plants that made us not feel pain, stimulants that enabled us boundless energy, psychoactives that enabled deep states of introspection and changes to sensory acuity, tranquilizing agents to aid sleep and rest and other consciousness catalyzing efffects. The question becomes not did ancient man use such agents, that would be unavoidable, but how much various cultures did[10].

Sensory

Noticeable changes to the audio, visual, and tactile senses may become apparent around an hour after ingestion. These shifts in perception visually include enhancement and contrasting of colors, strange light phenomena (such as auras or "halos" around light sources), increased visual acuity, surfaces that seem to ripple, shimmer, or breathe; complex open and closed eye visuals of form constants or images, objects that warp, morph, or change solid colors; a sense of melting into the environment, and trails behind moving objects. Sounds seem to be heard with increased clarity; music, for example, can often take on a profound sense of cadence and depth. Some users experience synesthesia, wherein they perceive, for example, a visualization of color upon hearing a particular sound [13] Similar psychedelics such as marijuana are used to increase visual acuity for conditions like glaucoma as well as for therapeutic use in numerous conditions, including pain, stroke, cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, fertility, neurodegenerative diseases, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory diseases, among others[26], and further studies have been done on it's enhancement of visual accuracy and general benefits to the retina at nighttime as well as in the day time.[27][28] These seem especially true when the subject is moving and not in a stationary position[29].

Increased spirituality

In 2006, the United States government funded a randomized and double-blinded study by Johns Hopkins University, which studied the spiritual effects of psilocybin in particular. That is, they did not use mushrooms specifically (in fact, each individual mushroom piece can vary wildly in psilocybin and psilocin content[14]). The study involved 36 college-educated adults (average age of 46) who had never tried psilocybin nor had a history of drug use, and who had religious or spiritual interests. The participants were closely observed for eight-hour intervals in a laboratory while under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms[15].

One-third of the participants reported that the experience was the single most spiritually significant moment of their lives and more than two-thirds reported it was among the top five most spiritually significant experiences. Two months after the study, 79% of the participants reported increased well-being or satisfaction; friends, relatives, and associates confirmed this. They also reported anxiety and depression symptoms to be decreased or completely gone. Despite highly controlled conditions to minimize adverse effects, 22% of subjects (8 of 36) had notable experiences of fear, some with paranoia. The authors, however, reported that all these instances were "readily managed with reassurance."[15]

Roland Griffiths has conducted pioneering research at John Hopkins university showing that the correct dose of psilocybin mushrooms can cause mystical type experiences that have substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance [31] At 2 months, the volunteers rated the psilocybin experience as having substantial personal meaning and spiritual significance and attributed to the experience sustained positive changes in attitudes and behavior consistent with changes rated by community observers. These effects were still apparent even 14 months after taking the ingesting the psilocybin [32][33] Obviously for evolving apes a plant/fungi that produces such a drastic change that the effects are still felt 14 months after ingestion would have produced huge interest and effected their long term physiology. Other studies of his have also shown that these mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness [34], which would greatly effect the perspective of habit forming apes in prehistory.

As Medicine

There have been calls for medical investigation of the use of synthetic and mushroom-derived psilocybin for the development of improved treatments of various mental conditions, including chronic cluster headaches,[16] following numerous anecdotal reports of benefits. There are also several accounts of psilocybin mushrooms sending both obsessive-compulsive disorders ("OCD") and OCD-related clinical depression (both being widespread and debilitating mental health conditions) into complete remission immediately and for up to months at a time, compared to current medications which often have both limited efficacy[17] and frequent undesirable side-effects.[18] The effect of mushrooms to break OCD habits when applied to primates would be a lot more apparent, as animals operate on habits and instincts with less conscious introspection than humans do.

"Developing drugs that are more effective and faster acting for the treatment of OCD is of utmost importance and until recently, little hope was in hand. A new potential avenue of treatment may exist. There are several reported cases concerning the beneficial effects of hallucinogenic drugs (MDMA, psilocybin and LSD), potent stimulators of 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors, in patients with OCD (Brandrup and Vanggaard, 1977, Rapoport, 1987, Moreno and Delgado, 1997) and related disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder (Hanes, 1996)."[19]

Emotional evolution

As with other psychedelics such as LSD, the experience, or "trip," is strongly dependent upon set and setting. A negative environment could likely induce a bad trip, whereas a comfortable and familiar environment would allow for a pleasant experience. Many users find it preferable to ingest the mushrooms with friends, people they're familiar with, or people that are also 'tripping', although neither side of this binary is without exception.[18][19] This would make users more socially aware of who they are emotionally close to, and give an amount of introspection into their emotions they would not have without the use of the psychedelics.

Archeological evidence

There is some archaeological evidence for their use in ancient times. Several mesolithic rock paintings from Tassili n'Ajjer (a prehistoric North African site identified with the Capsian culture) have been identified by author Giorgio Samorini as possibly depicting the shamanic use of mushrooms, possibly Psilocybe.[20] Hallucinogenic species of Psilocybe have a history of use among the native peoples of Mesoamerica for religious communion, divination, and healing, from pre-Columbian times up to the present day.

Mushroom-shaped statuettes found at archaeological sites seem to indicate that ritual use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is quite ancient.[21] Mushroom stones and motifs have been found in Mayan temple ruins in Guatemala,[22] though there is considerable controversy as to whether these objects indicate the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms or whether they had some other significance with the mushroom shape being simply a coincidence.

More concretely, a statuette dating from ca. 200 AD and depicting a mushroom strongly resembling Psilocybe mexicana was found in a west Mexican shaft and chamber tomb in the state of Colima. Hallucinogenic Psilocybe were known to the Aztecs as teonanácatl (literally "divine mushroom" - agglutinative form of teó (god, sacred) and nanácatl (mushroom) in Náhuatl) and were reportedly served at the coronation of the Aztec ruler Moctezuma II in 1502. Aztecs and Mazatecs referred to psilocybin mushrooms as genius mushrooms, divinatory mushrooms, and wondrous mushrooms, when translated into English.[22] Bernardino de Sahagún reported ritualistic use of teonanácatl by the Aztecs, when he traveled to Central America after the expedition of Hernán Cortés.

At present, hallucinogenic mushroom use has been reported among a number of groups spanning from central [23] Mexico to Oaxaca, including groups of Nahua, Mixtecs, Mixe, Mazatecs,[24] Zapotecs, and others.

Current research

Although not often framed in the psycho-pharmacological context of psychedelic consuming humans in prehistory, the ever evolving field of epigenetic inheritance of behavioral traits seems to add some plausibility to the stoned ape theory previously not allowed by genetic determinism based ideologies. The extent to which behavioral traits based on changes to gene expression, from states of mind and perception, is still a matter of scientific contention.

Criticism

Many people have accused the theory of only focusing on psilocybin, when there are numerous other psychedelic candidates that could satisfy the same criterion.

Andy Letcher, Author of Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom, comments on his blog:

There’s a danger here that if we don’t question ourselves we’ll end up ossifying into a kind of entheogism, replete with its own mythology, founding fathers, saints, orthodoxies and cherished truths. I’m with the brothers McKenna: it behoves us to question.

So, to restate my position: that these strange, daubed figures might indeed depict psilocybin mushrooms, used within a shamanistic context, remains a possibility but one that is far from proven and which rests on several unsupported assertions.[30]

References


[1] Huffman, Michael (2007) Current evidence for self-medication in primates: A multidisciplinary perspective - YEARBOOK OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 40:171–200

[2] G. H. Neil Towers (1996) 'Leaf-swallowing by chimpanzees: A behavioral adaptation for the control of strongyle nematode infections' - International Journal of Primatology August 1996, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 475-503

[3] Dale H. Clayton Nathan D. Wolfe (1998) The adaptive significance of self-medication Volume 8, Issue 2, February 1993, Pages 60–63

[4] Andrew Fowler, Yianna Koutsioni, Volker Sommer (2007) Leaf-swallowing in Nigerian chimpanzees: evidence for assumed self-medication January 2007, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 73-76

[5] Harold Altshuler (1975) 'Intragastric self-administration of psychoactive drugs by the rhesus monkey' Volume 17, Issue 6, 15 September, Life Sciences Pages 883–890

[6] Glander KE (1994) Nonhuman primate self-medication with wild plant foods - University of Arizona Press, pp. 239–256.

[7] Huffman, A (2001) 'Self-Medicative Behavior in the African Great Apes: An Evolutionary Perspective into the Origins of Human Traditional Medicine 'BioScience 51(8):651-661. 2001

[8] Huffman MA et al (1994) 'The diversity of medicinal plant use by chimpanzees in the wild.' Chimpanzee Cultures. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 129–148.

[9] Rodriguez E et al (1993) Zoopharmacog 'The use of medicinal plants by animals. In KR Downum, JT Romeo, and H Stafford' Recent Advances in Phytochemistry, vol. 27: Phytochemical Potential of Tropic Plants. New York: Plenum, pp. 89–105.

[10] Terence McKenna (1999) 'Food of the gods: the search for the original tree of knowledge: a radical history of plants, drugs, and human evolution - Medical Book Publication

[11] Fischer, Roland; Hill, Richard (1970). "Psilocybin-Induced Contraction of Nearby Visual Space". Agents and Actions 1 (4): 190–197.

[13] D.M. Turner Psilocybin Mushrooms: The Extraterrestrial Invasion Of Earth? The Essential Psychedelic Guide - By D. M. Turner, First Printing - September 1994 Copyright ©1994 by Panther Press ISBN 0-9642636-1-0

[14] Stafford PJ. (1992). Psychedelics Encyclopedia. Berkeley, California: Ronin Publishing. ISBN 0-914171-51-8

[15] Griffins et al Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance Psychopharmacology187(3):268-83. August 2006.

[16] Arran Frood (2007) Cluster Busters NATURE MEDICINE VOLUME 13 | NUMBER 1 | JANUARY 2007, Paper endorsed and made public by MAPS.

[17] Christopher Wiegand, M.D (2060) Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy of Psilocybin in 9 Patients With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder J Clin Psychiatry. 2006 Nov;67(11):1735-40.

[18] Stamets, Paul (1996) Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World. Ten Speed Press. ISBN 0898158397.

[19] Simon G.Powell The Psilocybin Solution:Prelude To A Paradigm Shift

[20] Giorgio Samorini (1992) The oldest Representations of Hallucinogenic Mushrooms in the World. Integration, vol. 2/3, pp. 69-78,

[21] John M. Allegro The Sacred Mushroom And The Cross Gnostic Media Research & Publishing; 40 Anv edition (12 Nov 2009)

[22] Stamets, Paul (1996) [1996]. Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World. Ten Speed Press. p. 11. ISBN 0898158397.

[23] Stamets, Paul (1996) [1996]. Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World. Ten Speed Press. p. 7. ISBN 0898158397

[24] Johnson, Jean Bassett (1939). "The Elements of Mazatec Witchcraft". Gothenburg, Sweden: Ethnological Studies, No. 9.

[26] Ben Amar M (2006) Cannabinoids in medicine: A review of their therapeutic potential (2006) Journal of Ethno-Pharmacology 2006 Apr 21;105(1-2):1-25

[27]Stephen Yazull (2009) Endocannabinoids in the retina: From marijuana to neuroprotection Progress in Retinal and Eye Research 27 (2008) 501–526

[28]Stephen Yazulla (2006) Cannabis improves night vision: a case study of dark adaptometry and scotopic sensitivity in kif smokers of the Rif mountains of northern Morocco Survey of Ophthalmology Volume 46, Issue 1, July–August 2001, Pages 43–5

[29] MICHAEL SIVAK HUMAN FACTORS AND HIGHWAY-ACCIDENT CAUSATION: SOME THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS Acrid Anal & Prw.. Vol 13. pp 614, MICHAEL SIVAK

"Adams et al. [ 19751 have found that static visual acuity is unaffected by alcohol or marijuana intoxication. On the other hand, the results of Brown et al.[1975] indicate a significant effect of alcohol and marijuana on dynamic visual acuity. Thus, dynamic visual acuity has been shown to be more affected by frequently present transient human states (i.e. alcohol and marijuana intoxication) than static visual acuity. Therefore, according to the present rationale, dynamic visual acuity would be rated as more critical to safe driving than static visual acuity. (Obviously, before reaching any firm conclusions, effects of other transient states on both of the skills in question would have to be ascertained.)"

[30] http://andy-letcher.blogspot.co.uk/2011 ... r-not.html

[31] Griffiths, Roland R., et al. "Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance" Psychopharmacology 187.3 (2006): 268-283.

[32] Griffiths, Roland R., et al. "Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later" Journal of Psychopharmacology 22.6 (2008): 621-632.

[33] Griffiths, Roland R., et al. "Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: immediate and persisting dose-related effects" Psychopharmacology 218.4 (2011): 649-665.

[34] MacLean, Katherine A., Matthew W. Johnson, and Roland R. Griffiths. "Mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness" Journal of Psychopharmacology 25.11 (2011): 1453-1461.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:38 pm

zeuzzz wrote:Oh ha ha ha ha fooken ha.

Anything productive now?

Post something worth talking about first.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:41 pm

See above.

Really not my problem if you can not even begin to engage in a productive dialogue.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:34 pm

Testing post to see if problem solved

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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:47 pm

It is a silly theory with no merit.

We agree that early hominid environments changed from jungle to savanna.
We agree that bi-pedal locomotion evolved in hominids as their food resource gathering areas massively increased in this changing environment. We know from tool usage that hominids also evolved non-sexual division of labour at this time.

All the above activities required improved communication and thus language and eventually speech evolved in the gene pool.

Terrance McKenna has asserted that a particular psychedelic mushroom was in areas that human evolution was occurring and also that the same mushroom suddenly disappeared. He offers no explanation why he thinks this. He doesn't bother to look at modern African savannas today to see what the distribution of mushrooms actually is as a model for his theory. He is making up this story as he goes.

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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Flash » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:09 am

No, no, I've got another sure bet theory. I think the neocortex evolved because of the fermented fruits and berries that the early man consumed in large volumes. Simply put, our ancestors were drunk most of the time and from here on the humanoid ape should be referred to as the "boozy ape". Thank you.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:44 am

I just re read the theory and started reviewing the citations. It's bogus. For example:

"Mushroom-shaped statuettes found at archaeological sites seem to indicate that ritual use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is quite ancient.[21] "

So I got to footnote 21......as I don't know of any mushroom statues.

"[21] John M. Allegro The Sacred Mushroom And The Cross Gnostic Media Research & Publishing; 40 Anv edition (12 Nov 2009)"

This book, by John Allegro, has nothing to do with mushroom statues or provided any evidence to the claim.

"Allegro believed he could prove, through etymology, that the roots of Christianity, as of many other religions, lay in fertility cults, and that cult practices, such as ingesting visionary plants (or "psychedelics") to perceive the mind of God, persisted into the early Christian era"

"The book has been described as "notorious" and as "one of the strangest books ever published on the subject of religion and pharmacology".[4] There was a media frenzy when it was published at the dawn of the 1970s. This caused the publisher to apologize for issuing it and forced Allegro's resignation from his university position"

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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:29 am

Flash wrote:No, no, I've got another sure bet theory. I think the neocortex evolved because of the fermented fruits and berries that the early man consumed in large volumes. Simply put, our ancestors were drunk most of the time and from here on the humanoid ape should be referred to as the "boozy ape". Thank you.


Boozy apes would surely be selected against with time. Not to mention liver damage and addictiveness.

I would hardly call alcohol 'mind expanding' or a psychedelic, more an addictive intoxicant that impairs perception and locomotion.

Not many people would consider high dosages of psilocybin mushrooms a fun or recreational thing to do, rather a mystical experience than can at times be terrifying as you confront bad habits and parts of your ego that you would not usually like looking at; allowing a certain level of introspection into your state of consciousness you would not usually be afforded without taking the substance.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:39 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:I just re read the theory and started reviewing the citations. It's bogus. For example:

"Mushroom-shaped statuettes found at archaeological sites seem to indicate that ritual use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is quite ancient.[21] "

So I got to footnote 21......as I don't know of any mushroom statues.

"[21] John M. Allegro The Sacred Mushroom And The Cross Gnostic Media Research & Publishing; 40 Anv edition (12 Nov 2009)"

This book, by John Allegro, has nothing to do with mushroom statues or provided any evidence to the claim.

"Allegro believed he could prove, through etymology, that the roots of Christianity, as of many other religions, lay in fertility cults, and that cult practices, such as ingesting visionary plants (or "psychedelics") to perceive the mind of God, persisted into the early Christian era"

"The book has been described as "notorious" and as "one of the strangest books ever published on the subject of religion and pharmacology".[4] There was a media frenzy when it was published at the dawn of the 1970s. This caused the publisher to apologize for issuing it and forced Allegro's resignation from his university position"


So he resigned due to pressure from religion for whipping up a {!#%@} storm that christian mythology could have been catalyzed by the imagination alone by the ingestion of psychedelic plants, thus showing a real world materialistic underpinning for them rather than literally being the word of god. No surprise there. I notice that the references wikipedia article lists a theological book as it's main reference for the part you quoted about his resignation: "Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way. By Philip Jenkins". I

To quote a review of the book at amazon:

"The concerted and biased attempts to destroy Allegro's discoveries have failed. The confirmatory evidence is mounting in his favor. The critics can now raise their voices again. Let us hope that they do, since the matter is not settled, but they should be advised to do so with more careful consideration. This book that many have prized in secret is now available again. It demands the serious consideration of theologians, mythologists, and students of religion. No account of the history of the Church, both West and East, can afford to leave the poor despicable fungus unconsidered, nor the role that entheogens in general have played in the evolution of European civilization."
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:52 am

zeuzzz wrote:So he resigned due to pressure from religion for whipping up a {!#%@} storm that christian mythology could have been catalyzed by the imagination alone by the ingestion of psychedelic plants,
by using etymology

Our root words are 5,000 year old. How is etymology going to held understand human behaviour 80,000 years ago? You didn't pick up on that flawed logic.

We already know from normal archaeology that rope was made from cannabis in prehistoric settlements. McKenna can't explain why he thinks his magic mushrooms were everywhere or why they disappeared. He hasn't even looked at actual mushrooms in Africa to see if any mushroom is distributed in the manner he claims.


zeuzzz wrote:"The concerted and biased attempts to destroy Allegro's discoveries have failed. The confirmatory evidence is mounting in his favor.
What evidence? Show me some.

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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:05 am

I can't I haven't read the book, only reviews. I'll have to look into it again, but im fairly sure I remember him addressing ancient cave paintings of mushrooms type psychedelic art of some sort. It's noteworthy that in terms of Christianity and mythology there are rather cogent arguments to think that Christmas and other related phenomenon are due to mushrooms and hallucinations of some sort, as Amanita Muscaria as drunk from the recycled urine of reindeer (muscimol is one of the only hallucinogenic drugs that can effect your mind but gets excreted completely un-metabolized) creates sensations and hallucinations of flying.

Magic mushrooms & Reindeer - Weird Nature - BBC animals

And to address your point about psilocybin in Africa mushrooms are very distinct from plants in the fact that they seem to have a worldwide distribution rather than an environment specific location where they evolved. This has to do with the lightweight nature of spores in the wind, and their ability to be carried through the digestive tract of birds and germinated later. It seems that mushrooms tend to grow in which and whatever environment suits them, no matter where it may be on the planet. Someone growing mushrooms in china could walk to Europe and spread spores the entire breath of their journey for instance.

I have here in front of me "Psilocybin mushrooms of the world" (http://www.fungi.com/photo-galleries/ps ... rooms.html) by Paul Stammets, and many are in Africa even now it's dried up, I think it's safe to assume when Africa was more like the current amazonian rainforest there would have been more. I will have to check the fossil record to see if there is any literature on this exact thing, would make a fine addition to the article.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:28 am

zeuzzz wrote: I im fairly sure I remember him addressing ancient cave paintings of mushrooms type psychedelic art of some sort.
I think I will wait for the evidence. I can't exactly remember any psychedelic cave paintings of men hunting mushrooms from anthropological prehistory. However, I'll keep an open mind.

zeuzzz wrote:And to address your point about psilocybin in Africa mushrooms are very distinct from plants in the fact that they seem to have a worldwide distribution rather than an environment specific location where they evolved.

How many mushrooms of any type grow in ungulate poo in the food gathering range of a hunter gatherer? Do they grow every day or only after rain? What is the level of psilocybin in a kilo of these mushrooms? Is there any evidence that these specific mushrooms have been found in ungulate poo in the savanna?

These are really basic questions that McKenna simply ignores.

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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby JO 753 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:25 am

It seemz like wun uv thoze inspired little speculationz that make sense long enuf to merit further investigation, but usually fall apart frum lack uv evidence or frum accumulating contradictory evidence.

I like the basic idea. Most people are cement hedz, so sumthing that can at least temporarally suspend the karakteristic coud hav allowed the shroom imbiber to invent sumthing that started us on the path to sivilization, and knowing it wuz the shroomz that helped him, he coud hav continued and spred the newz to hiz palz.

But there are big problemz with the idea. Mainly, why not any uv the other animalz that ate the shroomz? And why didnt it happen duzenz uv timez befor over the millionz uv yirz that creaturez hav been munching on sikoaktiv plants? Certainly there must hav been countless speciez uv dinosourz gobbling all sorts uv loco weedz. Even if its a freak combination uv jenetic effect, pre-existing condition, and environmental circumstance, its still a long shot that it woudnt hav happened alredy.

“Only Homo sapiens have a knowledge base that itself grows exponentially, and is passed down from one generation to another.”


Duble balony. 1. Assumez other animalz are not communicating. 2. Its not a part uv our nature, its a rezult uv: at minimum a stable and extensiv spoken language, but that only gets you so far (at our averaj intellejens level), so also a durable visual record.

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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:42 am

Good points, before I dig into that a lil deeper google's yielded a rather amusing page from wired: 7 Species That Get High More Than We Do
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:51 am

Ok this is funny the first (an only by the look of things) book I've found documenting other animals eating psychedelics is this one "Animals and Psychedelics: The Natural World and Its Instinct to Alter Consciousness of which the description goes like this:

"An Italian ethnobotanist explores the remarkable propensity of wild animals to seek out and use psychoactive substances.
* Throws out behaviorist theories that claim animals have no consciousness.
* Offers a completely new understanding of the role psychedelics play in the development of consciousness in all species.
* Reveals drug use to be a natural instinct.

From caffeine-dependent goats to nectar addicted ants, the animal kingdom offers amazing examples of wild animals and insects seeking out and consuming the psychoactive substances in their environments. Author Giorgio Samorini explores this little-known phenomenon and suggests that, far from being confined to humans, the desire to experience altered states of consciousness is a natural drive shared by all living beings and that animals engage in these behaviors deliberately. Rejecting the Western cultural assumption that using drugs is a negative action or the result of an illness, Samorini opens our eyes to the possibility that beings who consume psychedelics--whether humans or animals--contribute to the evolution of their species by creating entirely new patterns of behavior that eventually will be adopted by other members of that species. The author's fascinating accounts of mushroom-loving reindeer, intoxicated birds, and drunken elephants ensure that readers will never view the animal world in quite the same way again.
"
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:21 am

JO 753 wrote:
“Only Homo sapiens have a knowledge base that itself grows exponentially, and is passed down from one generation to another.”


Duble balony. 1. Assumez other animalz are not communicating. 2. Its not a part uv our nature, its a rezult uv: at minimum a stable and extensiv spoken language, but that only gets you so far (at our averaj intellejens level), so also a durable visual record.


I've just looked into Kurzweil and it appears he's not a scientist more a futurist with some pretty outlandish theories such as 'the singularity'. And it occurred to me that you're right, even with every fact and thought being documented this amounts to at most a linear increase of knowledge with succeeding generations, and some will be lost, some ignored, some erased. It could be argued that the internet has increased the gradient quite a lot now though.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:30 am

Press release from a few days ago:

http://altering-perspectives.com/2013/1 ... cells.html

Evidence of Psilocybin “Magic Mushrooms” Growing New Brain Cells

New studies from The University of South Florida indicate that psilocybin found in “shrooms”, triggers new brain cell growth, and erases frightening memories from mice.

The studies showed that mice treated with low doses of psilocybin had significant growth of new brain cells, because the mushroom binds to a brain receptor that stimulates new brain cell growth, and short term memory formation.

This interesting discovery has given more plausibility to the Stoned Ape Theory, Terence Mckenna’s suggestion that human evolution was initiated by the mind expanding benefits of psychedelic experiences.

Researchers are eager to look into the idea of using magic mushrooms to cure mental problems like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and chronic depression but the legal status of shrooms restricts freedom in experiments.

Mice trained to fear electric shock when hearing a noise associated with the shock, stopped reacting in fear to the noise when given a small dose of psilocybin, much more quickly, in contrast to mice given no psilocybin.

The science behind psilocybin treating depression is, depressed individuals typically have over active medial prefrontal cortex regions of the brain, and psilocybin eases this, and makes the brain function normally here.

Despite its harmlessness, amazing medical potential, and ability to produce phenomenal spiritual/mystical experiences, the governments across the world have nearly all banned Psilocybin Mushrooms. Dangerous pharmaceutical pills can’t compete with the toxic cell purging benefits of cannabis and the positive mental state that shrooming promotes.

[....]
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby kennyc » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:34 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:...
How many mushrooms of any type grow in ungulate poo in the food gathering range of a hunter gatherer? Do they grow every day or only after rain? What is the level of psilocybin in a kilo of these mushrooms? Is there any evidence that these specific mushrooms have been found in ungulate poo in the savanna?

These are really basic questions that McKenna simply ignores.


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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:18 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:How many mushrooms of any type grow in ungulate poo in the food gathering range of a hunter gatherer?

Addressed in his book Food of the Gods. The above article is the most salient points of his book in effect, the details are therein.

Do they grow every day or only after rain?

Mainly seasonally. Rain does seem to be an inputting factor but not necessary.

What is the level of psilocybin in a kilo of these mushrooms?

High-performance liquid chromatography has shown that in the main global strain of psilocybe mushrooms psilocybe cubensis a roughly 0.5-1% psilocybin content. A dried kilogram would contain about 10g of psilocybin.

Splitting these between dosages:

A 20mg dose of pure psilocybin (Griffiths. R. 2008) gives gives a mystical experience and deep introspection of consciousness and would yield 500 doses from a kilogram.

A 10mg dose that gives mild visuals, a catalysis of the imagination, a cursory level of introspection into consciousness, and sexual arousal would yield 1000 doses from a kilogram.

A 5mg dose that would produce mild visuals, sociability and humor much like a mild intoxicant would yield 2000 doses from a kilogram.

A 2.5mg dose that would increase edge detection and visual acuity and color vibrancy would yield 4000 doses from a kilogram.

Considering that when picked 70% the the mushroom weight is in water until it is dried out about 4kg of pickings would be needed for the above. Considering fields can be full of these mushrooms as far as the eye can see for a foraging society carrying a 20kg yield a day between people would not be unreasonable in season.

They could be stored in honey to preserve them. Paul Stammets has also documented the preservation of a mushroom using this method from 10,000 years ago. But this is not necessary, as the point that the recent John Hopkins study has raised is that you don't need to continually take these mushrooms to gain the positive effects they have, in fact their most recent publication shows that the positive effects on people psyches lasts over a year. So just a dose 2x yearly would be enough to confer a long term advantage in terms of altering their neurophysiology to become more spiritually aware and open to new ideas [Mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness Journal of Psychopharmacology 25(11) 1453–1461, (2011)]

"At 2 months, the volunteers rated the psilocybin experience as having substantial personal meaning and spiritual significance and attributed to the experience sustained positive changes in attitudes and behavior consistent with changes rated by community observers. These effects were still apparent even 14 months after taking the ingesting the psilocybin [32][33]

[31] Griffiths, Roland R., et al. "Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance" Psychopharmacology 187.3 (2006): 268-283.

[32] Griffiths, Roland R., et al. "Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later" Journal of Psychopharmacology 22.6 (2008): 621-632.
"

An active high Is there any evidence that these specific mushrooms have been found in ungulate poo in the savanna?


They are found in the majority of all tropical and non tropical forests in the world today, such as would have been the near exact conditions of the tropical environment of prehistoric Africa, but not so much anymore as the land has suffered desertification. They grow primarily in grassland fields, and not exclusively where there are suitable tropical conditions, pretty much anywhere where you get ungulate grazing animals or the correct conditions without such ungulate animals. As I said they are spread all over the world, with various species (over 200) in all sorts of different environments.

These are really basic questions that McKenna simply ignores.


But luckily nowadays mycology does not. Back when Mckenna wrote this theory such techniques to work these things out did not exist, and since psilocybin is extremely unstable when light is incident on it in aqueous solutions it's very hard to isolate without it rapidly breaking down.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:23 pm

kennyc wrote:WOW! I've heard the phrase "{!#%@} for Brains" but never thought anyone would claim it as a scientific reality.


Being useful as ever KennyC :roll:
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby JO 753 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:21 pm

I put sum sugar on my kichen counter once to distract the ants from the food I wuz preparing for myself. They luvd it, ignoring everything but the sugar. I poked wun with my finger & he just kept eating. The next day they were still gathered around the remaining sugar, all ded!

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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:28 pm

JO 753 wrote:I put sum sugar on my kichen counter once to distract the ants from the food I wuz preparing for myself. They luvd it, ignoring everything but the sugar. I poked wun with my finger & he just kept eating. The next day they were still gathered around the remaining sugar, all ded!


Sugared themselves to death! Oh noes.

I highly recommend you buy Terences book food of the gods then (or ebook it for free somewhere online ;) ). He challenges many assumptions about drugs in our culture, alcohol, sugar, refined drugs, and many others. We don't tend to focus on sugar as a drug really anymore, we forget that it was the primary cause of slavery and a host of other thing in medieval times. I'm simplifying his points here, but that is it in a roundabout way.

Here are some reviews of the book, which is still one the most highly rated on amazon and goodreads to this day, despite being over 20 years old.

"Have you ever thought about the mind altering power of purified sugar, the politics of coffee, and the parallels between these and what we consider to be more dangerous drugs like cocaine? "

"Then we proceed to give a summary of dominator culture drugs (sugar, alcohol, and tobacco) and how they ruined society and are far worse than natural plants that are part of an archaic, shamanistic tradition. Again the arguments to prove this are sometimes shaky and based on his subjective opinions as he achieved his masters in shamanic studies, but since the west has banned such clinical studies due to such substances being illegal this is all we have to go on at this point. But ... there is still some cool stuff in their as part of the research. Like how sugar plantations were the first massive slave based agriculture system used by the west since the Roman Empire and how that led to the slavery that was such a problem in the USA. Also that alcohol distillation was discovered late (1600's), that marijuana use was known in Eurasia fairly early but no one smoked it until after Columbus saw Native Americans smoke tobacco, or how the whole isolation of compounds such as heroin and cocaine happened in the 1800's and that forever after lead us down the road of purifying chemical from plants to the point where people can become hopelessly addicted to them. Interesting stuff really."

I have to say, since I cut down on sugar, processed foods, and high salt content food from my diet my productiveness has shot through the roof. It just takes a few weeks of willpower putting up with resisting food you usually like and replacing it with food that can taste bad for a few days, but your taste buds soon adjust and then you get all the other flavours back rather than the additives that make eating such high salt and sugar content foods so enjoyable.

/ tangent over.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:59 pm

The idea that magic mushrooms will change our evolution is kinda crazy. Sounds like Lamarckism to me.

Evolution requires a genetic change (mutation) and selection of favourable mutations, while unfavourable are being eliminated. Eating magic mushrooms is not going to do that.

Language is much more likely to have evolved to improve our ability to cooperate in groups. Pre-humans able to communicate better are more likely to survive, by being more successful at getting food and avoiding predators.

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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:17 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:The idea that magic mushrooms will change our evolution is kinda crazy. Sounds like Lamarckism to me.

Evolution requires a genetic change (mutation) and selection of favourable mutations, while unfavourable are being eliminated. Eating magic mushrooms is not going to do that.

Language is much more likely to have evolved to improve our ability to cooperate in groups. Pre-humans able to communicate better are more likely to survive, by being more successful at getting food and avoiding predators.


It is in effect Lamarckism, but the recent emerging and extremely successful field of epigenetics adds far more plausibility to this idea than was previously allowed by such materialistic genetic determinism ideologies as you just stated. effectively epigenetics allows for the input of consciousness into inheritance in some way, although the mechanism is still disputed (inherited subtle memory from life experiences of some sort, or rather the physiological changes these cause, seems to be the predominant view at the moment, the main mechanism being DNA methylation, but there are three main others)

If you check the wiki entry on Lamarckism they now have to openly say this in the opening paragraphs, I quote: "When Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution by natural selection in On the Origin of Species, he continued to give credence to what he called "use and disuse inheritance", but rejected other aspects of Lamarck's theories. Later, Mendelian genetics supplanted the notion of inheritance of acquired traits, eventually leading to the development of the modern evolutionary synthesis, and the general abandonment of the Lamarckian theory of evolution in biology. Despite this abandonment, interest in Lamarckism has continued (2009) as studies in the field of epigenetics have highlighted the possible inheritance of behavioural traits acquired by the previous generation.[1][2]

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19150054
[2] http://www.jneurosci.org/content/29/5/1496.full.pdf
"

This epigenetic rabbit hole goes a lot deeper than you might suspect. I actually added this into the article, but have not updated by blog entry with a more complete explanation of epigenetics, I don't want to turn it into an article about epigenetics. I have another blog article explain that so I felt it necessary to keep them separate.

Here is what I added the the stoned ape theory article on the matter:

"Current research and other resources

Although not often framed in the psycho-pharmacological context of psychedelic consuming humans in prehistory, the ever evolving field of epigenetic inheritance of behavioral traits seems to add some plausibility to the stoned ape theory previously not allowed by genetic determinism based ideologies. The extent to which behavioral traits based on changes to gene expression, from states of mind and perception, is still a matter of scientific contention. One of the most concrete examples of this effect to date is the inheritance of PTSD found in the offspring of witnesses to the 9/11 world trade centre attacks[37], although there exist many others.

[37] Yehuda, Rachel, and Linda M. Bierer. "Transgenerational transmission of cortisol and PTSD risk." Progress in brain research 167 (2007): 121-135."
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:32 am

To zeuzz

You cannot revive Lamarckism through epigenetics. Epigenetic changes do not support evolution, since they generally apply only over 2 to 3 generations. Evolution requires permanent genetic changes - not the temporary methylations of epigenetics.

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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:46 am

zeuzzz wrote: A dried kilogram would contain about 10g of psilocybin.


Well that ends the theory.

Psilocybin has an LD 50 of 280mg ("LD 50" means the chemical kills half the test animals given this dose). Your research indicates there are 35.7 fatal doses in a kilo of dried mushrooms.

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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:02 pm

Terence McKenna may well be a stoned ape, but that does not constitute evidence for his hypothesis.

Language is symbolic. Animal sounds are direct. A cat's purr is a window into its emotional state. The cat can't fake it, or mean something else. A dog's bark of alarm is just that - an alarm. The dog can't give its higher pitched "play with me" bark when it is alarmed. The meanings are clear.

If I say "the sky is blue", you understand me if we speak the same language. Otherwise, you do not. The meaning is not direct.

If you are under the influence of a halucinogenic, then I do not understand you. For all I know, you are experiencing synesthesia, and may actually mean that the sky is producing a sound in your perception.

Hallucinogens can only interfere with the development of language, they cannot facilitate it, because two humans will not experience exactly the same things while under their influence, so symbolic meanings might not be shared.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby zeuzzz » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:52 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
zeuzzz wrote: A dried kilogram would contain about 10g of psilocybin.


Well that ends the theory.

Psilocybin has an LD 50 of 280mg ("LD 50" means the chemical kills half the test animals given this dose). Your research indicates there are 35.7 fatal doses in a kilo of dried mushrooms.


You seem confused. The LD50 in mice is 280mg/kg, and is the same in rats. So how many mushrooms would you have to take if you weighed 70 kg to reach the LD50.

280mg/kg x 70kg = 19600mg or 19.6g.

So assuming the above % of psilocybin content for dried mushrooms at 1% by dimensional analysis you can work out:

19.6g / (1g psilocybin / 100g mushrooms) = 1960g of mushrooms.

So for a 70kg kilogram rat you'd need nearly 2 kilograms of mushroom material. Enough to provide a strong dose to about 700 people. As I said before (maybe not in this thread), the LD50 of these psychedelics is so titanic that overdose is probably physically impossible. Try eating 2kg of anything. Overdoses from pseudo-neurotransmitters like this do not work like you typical drug overdoses, though I expect it might take you a good few days to return to Earth after trying.

Also it should be noted there are a couple of assumptions here, the LD50 would probably be even higher as these doses for rats and mice are for injected dosages, where the effects are nearly instant. By eating them your body has all sorts of other defence mechanisms to defend against it against such a chemical onslaught, such as being sick and a more gradual come up that is not so much of a shock to the system. There have been no reported overdoses of psilocybin mushrooms in al the scientific autopsy data, just like with cannabis. Apart from maybe one or two cases of people with rare pre-existing medical conditions, but I'm not even sure of that.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:39 pm

zeuzzz wrote:You seem confused. The LD50 in mice is 280mg/kg, and is the same in rats. So how many mushrooms would you have to take if you weighed 70 kg to reach the LD50.


Fair enough. I made a mistake.

For "Magic Mushrooms"
An Australopithecus male weighs 45 kilos. The LD50 is 280mg/kg for psilocybin.
A dried kilogram of Psilocybin mushrooms ("Magic Mushrooms") would contain about 10g of psilocybin. Therefore a Australopithecus male would need to eat 1.26kilos of dried "Magic Mushrooms" to have a 50% chance of dying.

However this doesn't help the theory at all.

1) Of the 200 species of "Magic Mushrooms" only 4 are found in Africa. McKenna hasn't stated which of these four mushrooms grow in ungulate poo. Considering these mushrooms grow in "soils rich in humus and plant debris" the open savanna doesn't seem to match.

Can you identify the exact species of Psilocybin mushrooms McKenna claims grows in ungulate poo in the savanah? Does he explain why this same species suddenly disappeared as required by his theory?

2) If I look at Coprophilous mushrooms (Mushroom that grow in poo) I discover that mushrooms are unique to a particular species poo.

Has McKeena observed one of the four species of African Psilocybin mushroom growing in ungulate poo? (This would define the species he claims was everywhere hominids were evolving which also suddenly disappeared) Which species was it?

3) Of interest were toxic mushrooms with LD 50s of 4mg/kg (compared to 280mg/kg for Magic Mushrooms). It would seem that evolved communication between early hominids, to prevent the eating of poisonous mushrooms would have more evolutionary advantage, that the chance eating of "Magic Mushrooms" that would give "Synesthesic psychedelic trips" leading to short term random language improvement in one male.

4) I found the "prehistoric Mushroom art" that is evidence for the claim. Let me use a pun and suggest the claim that these are mushrooms is a bit of a phallusy
mushroom.gif
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:50 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:4) I found the "prehistoric Mushroom art" that is evidence for the claim. Let me use a pun and suggest the claim that these are mushrooms is a bit of a phallusy [/color]
mushroom.gif

Re-dickulous.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:47 am

A Worldwide Geographical distribution of the Neurotropic Fungi, an analysis and discussion by Gaston Guzman.
http://www.museocivico.rovereto.tn.it/U ... 0&%20C.pdf

(scroll down to page 207 of the book ( not the PDF page no#)

"Fig 19 "Distribution of the neurotropic species of Psilocybe Mushrooms"

It does seem that McKenna's theory has nothing to do with reality concerning hominids in North Africa eating magic mushrooms.

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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Major Malfunction » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:45 am

And they're usually associated with trees.

Still, not to be a Landrew, but I wouldn't dismiss the idea that hunters & gatherers were fully aware of the trippy {!#%@} they were eating. On a porpoise.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:53 am

Major Malfunction wrote:And they're usually associated with trees.

Still, not to be a Landrew, but I wouldn't dismiss the idea that hunters & gatherers were fully aware of the trippy {!#%@} they were eating. On a porpoise.


Well....here are some drunk African animals that eat fermented berries. None of them evolved speech as far as I know.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmQPwgV-WbQ

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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Postby Flash » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:14 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Well....here are some drunk African animals that eat fermented berries. None of them evolved speech as far as I know.

You can't hear them talk near the south pole where you are. Fermented berries... I drink them and I talk.
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