Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

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

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:38 pm

Sweet pea.

You are telling me that killing off lots more of a population has nothing to do with the population becoming endangered. Wow. You must be so smart, since logic says the exact opposite.

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

Post by SweetPea » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Sweet pea.

You are telling me that killing off lots more of a population has nothing to do with the population becoming endangered. Wow. You must be so smart, since logic says the exact opposite.
Lance,
That's a strawman.
Show your reference please.
How do the Deniers get so lucky?
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=24129" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:42 am

Sweet pea.

You said that natural selection acts to improve stock through removal. Sure, I agree. But removing too many leads to a population drop and eventual extinction. It is kinda obvious, and does not need a reference. I could give lots of examples. The Dodo did not immediately become extinct when humans arrived. First, a lot were removed for meat, and the population dropped. Then too many were removed and they became extinct.

The the case we are discussing, if a bunch of prehumans began consuming psilocybin, they would lose a degree of perception accuracy, making them vulnerable to predators. This would cause the population to drop. If psilocybin was consumed by too many prehumans for too long a period, the population would simply continue to fall until they went extinct.

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

Post by SweetPea » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:34 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Sweet pea.

You said that natural selection acts to improve stock through removal. Sure, I agree. But removing too many leads to a population drop and eventual extinction. It is kinda obvious, and does not need a reference. I could give lots of examples. The Dodo did not immediately become extinct when humans arrived. First, a lot were removed for meat, and the population dropped. Then too many were removed and they became extinct.
Lance, you've edged and edged away from your first claim, which was
Evolution simply does not work that way. Take a drug which interferes with cerebral function, and it reduces odds of survival. Counter to evolution.
You were oversimplifying to the point of being wrong. You did not admit your error.

Then you tried
...taking drugs is contrary to survival.
But it isn't necessarily so. You over-simplified to the point of being wrong. But you did not admit your error.

Then you tried argumentum ad ignorantiam
I am unaware of even one drug that could be called an aid to survival in the wild, for our prehuman ancestors.
Now you've creeped to the edge..
The dodo became extinct when invasive species (humans) arrived bringing other invasive species, in a limited geographical region. That is not considered natural selection any more than a nuke attack on the island would be.

While it's true that most sizable species do become extinct, eventually, you've moved far from your original wrong statements regarding an item that has a perceived disadvantage ( but also can have advantages), so it must be counter to evolution.

The argument was not about about something obviously devastating enough to wipe out the whole species.
It was about individuals who might be poorer specimens and developed permanent disability after tripping, thus being weeded out of the population.

If your oversimplification was correct, then there would not have been surviving tribes who use drugs. Like Europeans, Lance!

Like the {!#%@} birds on the bush of over-ripe berries. They'd all be extinct. An overly susceptible bird might not be able to fly, fall off onto the ground, and so fall prey. But that only helps the druggy bird species to become more fit.
How do the Deniers get so lucky?
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=24129" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:57 am

Sweet pea

Psilocybin distorts human perception. As such, it makes an individual under its influence more likely to die from an encounter with a predator or some other life threatening situation. If such psilocybin influence is small, it may not be an extinction threat. But if a prehuman population was using it widely, as the silly theory appears to suggest, then the impact on their survival would be dramatic, and very easily could lead to extinction.

The fact that lots of people claim psilocybin opens the mind and leads to spiritual experiences has nothing to do with improving the odds for either survival or evolution. Becoming more 'spiritual' is not going to make you more likely to survive or more likely to breed. In fact, from what I have read, the 'opening of the mind' and the 'spiritual experience' sounds to me more like temporary insanity, which we know can be induced by many different drugs.

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

Post by SweetPea » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:07 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Sweet pea

Psilocybin distorts human perception. As such, it makes an individual under its influence more likely to die from an encounter with a predator or some other life threatening situation.
Same as alcohol, probably much less inhibiting of speed and reaction time. No snoozing at the wheel.
If such psilocybin influence is small, it may not be an extinction threat. But if a prehuman population was using it widely, as the silly theory appears to suggest, then the impact on their survival would be dramatic, and very easily could lead to extinction.
Not necessarily. Drugs and booze have long been used and still are by many species. It's that tendency to highly oversimplify the situation, I've been arguing against.
The fact that lots of people claim psilocybin opens the mind and leads to spiritual experiences has nothing to do with improving the odds for either survival or evolution.
The claims don't. We're not talking about the claims, though, Lance. We're talking about the effects.
Becoming more 'spiritual' is not going to make you more likely to survive or more likely to breed. In fact, from what I have read, the 'opening of the mind' and the 'spiritual experience' sounds to me more like temporary insanity, which we know can be induced by many different drugs.
Drugs (including alcohol) can make breeding easier. Temporary relaxation of social inhibitions and perhaps aphrodisia.
How do the Deniers get so lucky?
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=24129" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:40 am

Sweet pea

Inhibitions to indiscriminate sexual activity are not contrary to reproductive success. Instead, they provide a woman with the chance to establish a good, long term relationship, before getting pregnant, which increases the chances of her and her child surviving. Drugs like alcohol that remove sexual inhibitions reduce the chances of survival and successful reproduction, when taken by primitive peoples.

Drugs taken in the modern world are not quite the same, of course, since our survival is cushioned by our social set up and by technology. Thus we can drink a lot of alcohol without it significantly reducing our chances of surviving and reproducing. But this was not the case more than 10,000 years ago.

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

Post by doctorlao » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:08 pm

Mar 12, 2014 “(T)he high priest of psychedelic pseudo-philosophy ... coined a theory of human evolution ... that sounds right to those who want it to... I mention this bit of obscure rave-hippie pseudoscience ... because Jackson is a magic mushroom, the ultimate evolutionary shortcut to relevance. Or, a bit of hippie huckster pseudoscience.” – Netw3rk (http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-n ... pe-theory/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

“Grantland staff writer Netw3rk suggested the Phil Jackson/NY Knicks thing was a classic case of ... McKenna’s ‘stoned ape theory.’ ... Lawyers for stoned apes could not be reached for comment.” (http://nbcbayarea.csnbayarea.com/articl ... tch-sketch" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

Just info, sourced, cited, linked. Latest breakthroughs in stoned ape theory, intriguing new evidence and analysis. And how about those Knicks?

Now back to regularly scheduled programming.

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

Post by SweetPea » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:07 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Sweet pea

Inhibitions to indiscriminate sexual activity are not contrary to reproductive success.
I didn't say they were. Adherence to speed limits for driving isn't, either, but sometimes ignoring them can improve chances. Over-simplification is the problem, Lance.
Drugs like alcohol that remove sexual inhibitions reduce the chances of survival and successful reproduction, when taken by primitive peoples.
It's all in the dose and frequency, Lance. Over-simplification is the problem.
Drugs taken in the modern world are not quite the same, of course, since our survival is cushioned by our social set up and by technology. Thus we can drink a lot of alcohol without it significantly reducing our chances of surviving and reproducing. But this was not the case more than 10,000 years ago.
Booze and drugs are old hat. Humans and other animals used them. One could argue that zero total abstainers survive to tell the tale. :lol:
How do the Deniers get so lucky?
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=24129" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:06 pm

Sweet pea

I mentioned the time 10,000 years ago. There is zero evidence that those peoples used alcohol.

I am not sure, Sweet pea, that you understand how evolution works. It is not an "all or nothing" influence that kills or ignores. Rather, it is a selection process that increases or decreases the frequency of specific genes in the gene pool.

So, if a gene predisposed a person to alcoholism, evolution would work to reduce the level of that gene in the gene pool, but would not be likely to eliminate it immediately, since it was not utterly lethal. If you look at the various genetic diseases afflicting humans, you will see an elimination rate that varies enormously.

Some genes, like the one that causes the fatal illness progeria, get eliminated within a couple generations. Hemophilia may take a dozen generations to remove. But Huntingtons chorea, which kills only later in life, may survive 50 to 60 generations. Other genes that are harmful, but even less so than Huntingtons (like alcoholism) may never be eliminated.

The situation changes with circumstance, of course. If you had a primitive society which made alcoholic drinks, and were prone to death by predator, then susceptibility to alcohol and drunkenness would be far more lethal, and evolution would rapidly remove that gene from the gene pool. In the same way, a tendency to use magic mushrooms would be removed quite quickly, because those who did so would die off.

In our more modern society, over the past 10,000 years, when alcohol has been readily available, but not so lethal (not so many predators), evolution has gone in a different direction, creating (in Europeans) the ability to metabolise alcohol with fewer harmful side effects - less hangover compared to Asians.

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

Post by SweetPea » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:49 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Sweet pea

I mentioned the time 10,000 years ago. There is zero evidence that those peoples used alcohol.
So you picked a time when such evidence is virtually impossible to find. So what? We have much reliable evidence that alcohol was used by ancient civilizations. Where we have history, we have the evidence.
I am not sure, Sweet pea, that you understand how evolution works. It is not an "all or nothing" influence that kills or ignores.
Your oversimplifications are precisely what I was protesting, Lance. :)
Rather, it is a selection process that increases or decreases the frequency of specific genes in the gene pool.
Lance. 2+2=4 ( I'm not sure that you're aware of this).
So, if a gene predisposed a person to alcoholism, evolution would work to reduce the level of that gene in the gene pool
Thus making a fitter population, as I said, and as you said earlier.
Also animals in a weakened state or of lesser fitness would theoretically suffer preferential elimination even without habitual use. Fall off the branch and you might be a dead canary.

Your efforts were doomed to failure from the start. The overly simplistic concepts you pushed are unsupportable.
How do the Deniers get so lucky?
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=24129" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Post by zeuzzz » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:23 pm

SweetPea wrote:Drugs (including alcohol) can make breeding easier. Temporary relaxation of social inhibitions and perhaps aphrodisia.
Likely half the parents in the UK would not currently be parents if it were not for our boozy culture and lowering of social inhibitions allowing more instances of successful copulation.

'successful copulation'.

Whatever you do don't say that afterwards out loud. Apparently it's a 'major turnoff'.

Seriously though I think that you could probably come up with a fair few reasons why alcohol is kind of neutral evolutionarily, lots of negatives to counteract any positives. It might hinder some cultures whilst curing others of social ailments. What we are really looking for is a substance that would have been readily available to humanity over a very very long period (a million years or so, but not necessarily required to catalyze until about 20,000-50,000), requires little preparation or chemical knowledge to create (fermentation would have been beyond most apes), and has a net benefit that outweighs the negatives on a cross cultural scale. To my mind mushrooms are still the obvious choice to meet this criteria, even if the only studies showing them to be extremely beneficial have been allowed in the last few years, as I ranted about a lot in this thread.

It's the creativity and new ideas they give people that think could have been pivotal in breaking us out of our archaic behavior patterns and caused us to take a turn into culture, language, art, morals, spirituality (whatever that means), etc.

Evolutionary biologists have always said that the key to understanding why our consciousness is different to other primates likely lies in our diet, well it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the diet that most drastically altered our consciousness was most likely the one that most influenced our evolution from ape to human. A society with a regular ritual usage of an evolutionary advantageous substance in their diet would outlive, out breed and out survive any of their counterparts, to the point of evolving into an entirely new species.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Matthew Ellard » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:32 pm

zeuzzz wrote:Likely half the parents in the UK would not currently be parents if it were not for our boozy culture and lowering of social inhibitions allowing more instances of successful copulation.


Russia has depopulated due to alcohol consumption.

Drunken Nation: Russia’s Depopulation Bomb
http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/arti ... ation-bomb" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

THE GORBACHEV ANTI-ALCOHOL CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA’S MORTALITY CRISIS
https://iriss.stanford.edu/sites/all/fi ... crisis.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Post by scrmbldggs » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:42 pm

Seems drinking could be detrimental rather than helpful beyond the loss of inhibition?
Alcohol and reproduction

...Alcohol can affect men’s and women’s reproductive systems, and damage fertility (1). For women it causes imbalances in the hormonal system that controls reproduction. Even small amounts of alcohol can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle and reduce the chance of conceiving.
...
Alcohol can reduce a man’s testosterone levels, leading to loss of libido. It can also damage the quality, structure and movement of sperm by stopping the liver from properly metabolising vitamin A, which is needed for sperm development (4).

Alcohol is toxic to the testes. This can harm sperm when they’re produced and stop them developing properly or reaching the egg.
http://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-f ... roduction/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Poodle » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:21 pm

zeuzzz wrote:... Likely half the parents in the UK would not currently be parents if it were not for our boozy culture and lowering of social inhibitions allowing more instances of successful copulation.
What a pile of steaming, unadulterated {!#%@}! Where've you been? Mars?

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:32 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:Seems drinking could be detrimental rather than helpful beyond the loss of inhibition?
Amanda and I are going through IVF at the moment. We have had two rounds with no luck yet ( but improving controls and hormone levels being determined). We had to give up alcohol as it is detrimental according to statistical fertility rates for all ages.

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

Post by scrmbldggs » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:43 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
scrmbldggs wrote:Seems drinking could be detrimental rather than helpful beyond the loss of inhibition?
Amanda and I are going through IVF at the moment. We have had two rounds with no luck yet ( but improving controls and hormone levels being determined). We had to give up alcohol as it is detrimental according to statistical fertility rates for all ages.
:shock: You're gonna be a dad! :-D


I'll have a beer to your success. :-P
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:48 pm

Poodle wrote:What a pile of steaming, unadulterated {!#%@}! Where've you been? Mars?

Hang on ... ... You're single, aren't you?
Ok I over blew the example. Doesn't change the fact that alcohol acts as social lubricant for many people, whether as an initial way to get close to and bond a partner that might be a lifelong thing, or as a brief sexual lubricant, for lack of a better term.

Have you seen most of the highstreets in the UK on a Friday and Saturday night?! I'm a student so maybe I get out more than you.

Also I thought you had me on ignore. I'm touched you would take the time to reply to one of my posts, really.
Last edited by zeuzzz on Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:53 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:Seems drinking could be detrimental rather than helpful beyond the loss of inhibition?
Alcohol and reproduction

...Alcohol can affect men’s and women’s reproductive systems, and damage fertility (1). For women it causes imbalances in the hormonal system that controls reproduction. Even small amounts of alcohol can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle and reduce the chance of conceiving.
...
Alcohol can reduce a man’s testosterone levels, leading to loss of libido. It can also damage the quality, structure and movement of sperm by stopping the liver from properly metabolising vitamin A, which is needed for sperm development (4).

Alcohol is toxic to the testes. This can harm sperm when they’re produced and stop them developing properly or reaching the egg.
http://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-f ... roduction/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I agree with this tbh. Alcohol might make it easier in the short term to find a partner due to lowering of usual social inhibitions but overall I don't think it really gives much advantage when you start factoring in (extra to your above point) things like acetaldehyde, physical/psychological addiction, liver damage, memory loss, locomotor impairment, and the other usual side effects that tend to counteract the desired effects.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:01 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:Amanda and I are going through IVF at the moment. We have had two rounds with no luck yet ( but improving controls and hormone levels being determined). We had to give up alcohol as it is detrimental according to statistical fertility rates for all ages.
Congrats, best of luck to you :)
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Poodle » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:07 am

zeuzzz wrote:Also I thought you had me on ignore. I'm touched you would take the time to reply to one of my posts, really.
You came in under my general Christmas amnesty. Only two people went back on in short order.

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

Post by zeuzzz » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:09 am

Parallel to mushrooms (in terms of ease of access and ingestion for primates in pre-history) would be cannabis. But I find it a lot harder to see evolutionary benefits from this than mushrooms for some reason. Maybe just subjective bias as I've learnt a lot more from shrooms than MJ personally, as MJ just makes me content with being bored. Probably not a productive effect overall.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Matthew Ellard » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:44 am

zeuzzz wrote:Have you seen most of the highstreets in the UK on a Friday and Saturday night?!
Yes and they all have condoms because of the adverts in pub toilets. They are all breeding at a later age. This is a bad example.

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

Post by SweetPea » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:11 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
zeuzzz wrote:Have you seen most of the highstreets in the UK on a Friday and Saturday night?!
Yes and they all have condoms because of the adverts in pub toilets. They are all breeding at a later age. This is a bad example.
No, it's not a bad example, because it relates to alcohol and sex. That modern humans prevent conception has nothing to do with the worth of the example.
How do the Deniers get so lucky?
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=24129" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Post by zeuzzz » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:45 am

A brief except from an interview. A very nice idea, very hard to prove, but probably now much more easily argued with the recent studies by JohnHopkins university into the boundary dissolving properties of psychedlicss and the positive effects on peoples neurotic mental health.

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

Post by zeuzzz » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:29 pm

From another thread at JREF that was extremely productive, please point out whatever points you think are bunk.
Going to do a brief mental dump of what I recall from the thread.

Against:

* In cold climates only grow one to two times a year
* No definitive way to test psychoactive effects in the fossil record
* Poisonous species would have to be taught to the young else fatalities
* Not a well known part of modern apes diets
* Little evidence in modern western history of mass cultural consumption
* Problems with farming and storage for continual yearly use for temperate areas
* Other natural psychedelics with similar effects are just as likely
* This makes differentiating between exact dietary psychoactives hard and inexact
* Only been known to western science for sixty years since Hoffman discovered indigenous cultures consuming it in 1950
* Scientific inquiry into psychopharmacological effects banned for decades till recently, obscuring detailed effects profile research or potential medical benefits to become well known to evolutionary biologists
* Most research done by scientists that have never tried it, whilst research by users suffered cultural alienation and sometimes loss of tenure
* Genetics has not found an 'eat psilocybin' disease gene
* Spiritual experiences or religious experiences are not particularly helpful for survival
* Hunting and visual acuity advantages need further study
* Time scale too large to notice neurological changes in modern day psychedelic cultures and t-total cultures
* Drugs are bad, m'kay, save the kids

For:

* Historical Shamanism
* Evolution of Psychedelic art and cave art
* Medicinal foods with psychotropic uses documented in ancient civilizations
* Zoopharmacognosy behavior in chimps
* Human fungi symbiosis with coprophilic mushrooms
* Possible disruption of mammalian male dominance hierarchies increasing community and altruism
* Enhanced sexual sensations maybe leading to population boom
* Possible advantages in hunting, reflexes and visual acuity
* Self introspective and spiritual experiences enhanced
* Linguistic thinking and internal dialogue enhanced and cognition speed increased
* Epigenetic inheritance of behavioral traits implies prolonged psychological states of mind are far more readily transferred from generation to generation than previously thought
* Provides potential reason for decreased tree dwelling for prolonged forraging, furthered development of bipedal locomotion
* Psilocybin is a relative of serotonin and trypohan, and binds to 5ht2A and 2b receptors, one of the most primitive parts of our brain
* The 5ht2a receptors are located mostly in the frontal cortex, one of the main brain regions responsible for our cognitive uniqueness
* They grow on every continent on Earth in various strains, all with the same active compound
* No special preparation needed, eat when you see
* Clinically proven to cure compulsive and obsessive behaviors in humans
* Evidence of mushroom ingesting cultures worldwide
* Non addictive and largely physiologically side effect free
* Human stomach not big enough to physically fit enough in to overdose on
* Other psychedelic ingesting groups of varying species have shown marked differences to other cultures without access to them (reindeer in Muscimol mushroom containing land will forage further and mate more)
* Some examples of monkeys discovering hallucinogenic substances and continuing to use them by searching for them thereafter (millipedes like buzonium crassipes and glomeris marginata seem the most actively sought out)

Too many variables :|
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:01 pm

How ahead of the curve was Bill Hicks?! RIP.

Bill Hicks - Magic mushrooms and evolution
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Fri May 09, 2014 10:36 pm

New paper on psilocybin. I like that these studies are now being done despite the previous 50 years of suppression by legislation. However I do wonder if lowering of fear based responses would have been a positive evolutionary trait back in pre-history, it certainly seems to be one now in our culture, but the situation was quite different for out ancestors. I guess it comes down to lowering fears between our fellow species after a point where we outsmarted all other predators.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23727882" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"Effects of psilocybin on hippocampal neurogenesis and extinction of trace fear conditioning.

Drugs that modulate serotonin (5-HT) synaptic concentrations impact neurogenesis and hippocampal (HPC)-dependent learning. The primary objective is to determine the extent to which psilocybin (PSOP) modulates neurogenesis and thereby affects acquisition and extinction of HPC-dependent trace fear conditioning. PSOP, the 5-HT2A agonist 25I-NBMeO and the 5-HT2A/C antagonist ketanserin were administered via an acute intraperitoneal injection to mice. Trace fear conditioning was measured as the amount of time spent immobile in the presence of the conditioned stimulus (CS, auditory tone), trace (silent interval) and post-trace interval over 10 trials. Extinction was determined by the number of trials required to resume mobility during CS, trace and post-trace when the shock was not delivered. Neurogenesis was determined by unbiased counts of cells in the dentate gyrus of the HPC birth-dated with BrdU co-expressing a neuronal marker. Mice treated with a range of doses of PSOP acquired a robust conditioned fear response. Mice injected with low doses of PSOP extinguished cued fear conditioning significantly more rapidly than high-dose PSOP or saline-treated mice. Injection of PSOP, 25I-NBMeO or ketanserin resulted in significant dose-dependent decreases in number of newborn neurons in hippocampus. At the low doses of PSOP that enhanced extinction, neurogenesis was not decreased, but rather tended toward an increase. Extinction of "fear conditioning" may be mediated by actions of the drugs at sites other than hippocampus such as the amygdala, which is known to mediate the perception of fear. Another caveat is that PSOP is not purely selective for 5-HT2A receptors. PSOP facilitates extinction of the classically conditioned fear response, and this, and similar agents, should be explored as potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Fri May 09, 2014 10:46 pm

Another
Interest in the neurobiology of illicit drugs has been growing in recent years, and the hallucinogen psilocybin (found in 'magic mushrooms') is no exception. Scientists at the University of Zurich have found that psilocybin acts on the amygdala, where it can help prevent our brain from processing negative emotions. Studies using fMRI showed that psilocybin acts on specific serotonin receptors, including those found in the amygdala. The study in Biological Psychiatry reveals that this is how psilocybin exerts its mood-lifting effects. Researchers are also interested in this drug to potentially lead to new depression treatments, since an overactive response to negative stimuli is one of the hallmarks of depression. Finding ways to ease that hyperactive response may help improve depression symptoms, the researchers say.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1nkApzf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Journal article: Psilocybin-Induced Decrease in Amygdala Reactivity Correlates with Enhanced Positive Mood in Healthy Volunteers. Biological Psychiatry, 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.04.010
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Matthew Ellard » Fri May 09, 2014 11:53 pm

For:

* Historical Shamanism
No evidence that all shamans used psychedelic drugs. Evidence exists that many used no psychedelic drugs at all.

* Evolution of Psychedelic art and cave art
The surrealists and other well know providers of psychedelic art didn't use psychedelics at all.

* Human fungi symbiosis with coprophilic mushrooms
McKenna has not identified the species of mushroom at all. Why are we concerned with other species of mushrooms.

* Possible disruption of mammalian male dominance hierarchies increasing community and altruism
Because that's got nothing to do with psychedelics but rather resource sharing as the working group is more efficient than individuals. It would be like claiming modern economics is due to psychedelic drugs.

* Enhanced sexual sensations maybe leading to population boom
The evidence is clear. Psychedelic drugs reduces sexual contact.

* Possible advantages in hunting, reflexes and visual acuity
We did this together based on facts. Soldiers on psychedelic drugs have a significantly lower performance than those using no drugs.

* Self introspective and spiritual experiences enhanced
Humans buried bodies with flowers 80,000 years ago with out any psychedelic drugs. That is evidence of the start of spiritualism. ( Shanidar)

* Linguistic thinking and internal dialogue enhanced and cognition speed increased
Complete unfounded crap. The evidence says exactly the opposite.

* Provides potential reason for decreased tree dwelling for prolonged forraging, furthered development of bipedal locomotion
Complete unfounded crap and just stupid. If the mushrooms were in the Savannah then hominids were already down from the trees.

* They grow on every continent on Earth in various strains, all with the same active compound
McKenna was unable to state which species of mushroom existed at the time of his claim in the location he claimed it took place. Who cares about the rest of the world today.

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

Post by zeuzzz » Sat May 10, 2014 12:16 am

Epic, thanks mat. Will reply when I'm not just going to bed.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by SweetPea » Sat May 10, 2014 12:17 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:For:

* Historical Shamanism
No evidence that all shamans used psychedelic drugs. Evidence exists that many used no psychedelic drugs at all.
Strawman. And you've no point there in "No evidence that all shamans used psychedelic drugs".
* Evolution of Psychedelic art and cave art
The surrealists and other well know providers of psychedelic art didn't use psychedelics at all.
Your evidence for this claim?
Possible disruption of mammalian male dominance hierarchies increasing community and altruism
Because that's got nothing to do with psychedelics but rather resource sharing as the working group is more efficient than individuals.
"Male dominance hierarchies" does not mean "no group".
* Enhanced sexual sensations maybe leading to population boom
The evidence is clear. Psychedelic drugs reduces sexual contact.
The evidence is not clear.
* Possible advantages in hunting, reflexes and visual acuity
We did this together based on facts. Soldiers on psychedelic drugs have a significantly lower performance than those using no drugs.
Soldiers' function is different from the function of a tribe of animals.
* Self introspective and spiritual experiences enhanced
Humans buried bodies with flowers 80,000 years ago with out any psychedelic drugs. That is evidence of the start of spiritualism. ( Shanidar)
That evidence does not pertain to the claim.
Last edited by SweetPea on Sat May 10, 2014 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Major Malfunction » Sat May 10, 2014 12:37 am

I attended an open lecture on teenage psychology and brain development at Melbourne uni the other night. I found it interesting that people who have experimented with drugs have better mental health outcomes than people who never have. The professor was quick to highlight those who develop addiction have by far the worst outcomes.

I've always thought total abstainers are a bit... weird.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:07 pm

^ Yeah they are. At least the ones who have never tried anything ever; people who have an issue or choose to stop altering consciousness and abstain I can understand.

Anyway a post for Matty boy here. Since he keeps crying everywhere that no evidence of psilocybin mushrooms in africa I've found a couple. But also bear in mind this is retroactive evidence, as 20,000-100,000 years ago the climate in Africa was a lot more kind to the type of environments where the worldwide phenomenon of psyilocybin mushrooms could come into fruition. We are dealing with a scewered environment in Africa now.

The first is a paper by Georgio Samorini "The oldest representations of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the world (Sahara Desert, 9000–7000 B.P.)". published in Integration 2 (3): 69–78. Don't really need to say much more, everything is in the paper.

The second is a reference to modern psilocybe demographics, Species Diversity of the Genus Psilocybe (Basidiomycotina, Agaricales, Strophariaceae) in the World Mycobiota, with Special Attention to Hallucinogenic Properties which is a kind of meta analysis of all the varieties of the psilocybe genus.

An exhaustive world revision of all names considered in the genus Psilocybe s.l. is presented, of which the hallucinogenic species were treated with special emphasis. Seven hundred eighteen names related to Psilocybe were found reported in the bibliography, of which only 227 are accepted taxa in Psilocybe. The concept of the genus followed here is that of Guzman 1983; therefore Hypholoma, Melanotus, and Stropharia were excluded. Moreover, 53 species of Psathyrella, many times related with Psilocybe, were also excluded. The hallucinogenic species are 144, which are distributed in all the continents, of which Latin America (including the Caribbae), has the top, with more than 50 species. There are only 22 species in Canada and the US, while Mexico is the country with the higest number in the world, with 53 species. Europe has only 16 species, Asia 15, Africa 4, and Australia and eastern islands 19. Some Psilocybe species are common in several countries or regions, as are P. cubensis and P. subcubensis in all the tropics; P. coprophila in many temperate and tropical regions; P. argentina in several high mountains or in the Austral and Boreal regions; and P. fimetaria and P. semilanceata in Europe, Canada, and the US, but unknown in Mexico.
So even with the climate as dramatically different as it is today there are still some there. There of course would have been many more by many factors 10k or even 20k years ago as the temparature was far less and much of Africa was more rainforest than desert. Much more like the amazon type environment where these mushrooms thrive.

Just learned from Brian cox that the most dramatic changes in the human neocortex in the fossil record are documented in the great rift valley (argued, as data is sparse), which is what piqued my interest in reviving this thread. As the geological properties of that area seem to be highly congruent with the conditions needed for the sucessful sporulation of psilocybin mushrooms.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:43 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:For:

* Historical Shamanism
No evidence that all shamans used psychedelic drugs. Evidence exists that many used no psychedelic drugs at all.
Before I attack all your other points (sweetpea did a pretty good job already)... really?

You are really saying this?

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

Post by zeuzzz » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:03 pm

Also I will trump card this thread with a fossil record picture of a stoned ape, recently released by the smithsonian institute.

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

Post by Scott Mayers » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:10 pm

Zeuszz, I've only begun reading this and haven't caught up. But from what I read so far from your linked article, I think that while whatever this theory may present as a possible possibility, since there can be many others, unless we can pinpoint anything definitive, such a theory can only act as a speculative idea. But it is even further than other potential ideas since it already lacks any significant evidence....by the claims of your article according to this Terrence....that the mushrooms had disappeared. It may be not as far fetched as those Ancient Alien claims, but is similar logically.

For instance, on the top of my head, I can think of this as a possible reason for why the human brain grew to its present proportions: It could have been due to some ancient social fad to favor mates with big foreheads because some strong leader of one tribe who had such an unusual head also happened to have been successful at surviving an attack from a Sabertooth Tiger. Secretly, it might be the actual case that this 'hero' leaned on some rock on a cliff that accidentally fell on the head of this cat and he was falsely credited for doing something incredible. Thus he became popular with all the ladies and voila, these children became more popularly favored.

Imagine too that the reason that this 'hero' may have had a bigger head to begin with could have been due to inbreeding, something that would normally be a potential destructive quality. Had those ancient ancestors knew of that their hero was only a fluke, humanity may never have evolved.

I'm sure an infinite set of possible things can be thought of too. I don't think that the mushroom theory is necessarily irrational (I haven't read everything you wrote on this so I could be giving you too much credit). I just think it is not enough to narrow it to a theory for practical purposes,
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:37 pm

So is this theory called the forehead theory of human evolution?

There is much more material in this thread you could probaly sink your teeth into.

I get your physical evolutionary idea of attributable human constructs as selectors, but I don't think this would effect the mental realm as much as the very things that effect the mental realm by a factor of 100 more by their very neurochemistry. Natural selection or no.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Scott Mayers » Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:39 pm

zeuzzz wrote:So is this theory called the forehead theory of human evolution?

There is much more material in this thread you could probaly sink your teeth into.

I get your physical evolutionary idea of attributable human constructs as selectors, but I don't think this would effect the mental realm as much as the very things that effect the mental realm by a factor of 100 more by their very neurochemistry. Natural selection or no.
To the question: Sure! Why not?.

To the following statement, probably....I'm kinda lazy at the moment and trying to get myself out of a rut of depression from this cabin fever I think.

To the last, You'd be surprised at how effective evolution works. Don't forget we are kind of biased to presume that our 'thinking' is somehow 'wiser'. Our significant difference to me as humans is NOT our intelligence per se but rather our generic adaptability to varying environments. It is like thinking of computers. A general purpose computer nowadays has the same potential logical chips as other more special purpose devises, like cell phones or other embedded computer devices. But the capacity to hold memory for the generalized computer makes it more universally adaptable even though the intellectual mechanisms in both can be identical. Inversely, you can have a poor CPU but higher capacity memory for some general purpose computer (like some older computer server, say) but have a modern specific device with less memory but greater powered CPU that functions better for some given environment.

Our bigger brains alone doesn't make us more intelligent. It is more likely that a set of multiple co-evolutionary factors contribute to human's 'intellectual' capacity.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:41 pm

I hate big foreheads.

Next theory.
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