Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

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

Post by zeuzzz » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:54 am

I think that his theory about language is a squirly argument on the face of it. His arguments from what I gathered go something like this: high doses of psilocybin or it's chemical cousin DMT can induce glossolalia, syntactical noises in the absence of meaning. So when primates started using psilocybin and catalysing their imaginations far beyond their primitive habits they started to produce a myraid of sounds that had never been spoken or heard before. It then took a while for them to attach various meanings to each sound they had produced over time to come up with symbolic language.

I think he's clutching at straws here, as I can also see this happening completely independent of ingesting psychoactives. In fact I can't even really see how psychoactives would help this at all to be honest. I might delete the language part from the article unless I can find any references to how psychedelics could enhance the language forming parts of the brain.

"Language was invented so that people could lie". I like that idea :)

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

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:21 pm

We have a tree here in NZ, that produces bright yellow flowers with lots of nectar, that contains a narcotic. The birds that pollinate this tree eat the nectar and get stoned, almost literally 'out of their tree'. I suspect that the narcotic works to attract more pollinating birds. While some of them are good at bird song, none talk to each other.

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

Post by Tom Palven » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:57 pm

zeuzzz wrote:I'd love some actual informed criticism, I'm more than willing to learn why the article is wrong.
Semi-informed criticism at best: This complicated theory doesn't seem to stand up to Occam's Razor, which asks for the simplist explanation, which probably would be that human language evolved the same way that rudimentary communication between birds, bees, and wolves evolved, though a process of natural selection without the need for mushrooms.

BTW, novelist Diana Gabaldon said that "Life among academics has taught me that a well-expressed opinion is usually better than a badly expressed fact, so far as professional advancement goes," although I don't know how or if this related to McKenna's theory.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Matthew Ellard » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:19 pm

zeuzzz wrote:So when primates started using psilocybin and catalysing their imaginations far beyond their primitive habits they started to produce a myraid of sounds that had never been spoken or heard before. It then took a while for them to attach various meanings to each sound they had produced over time to come up with symbolic language. ................I think he's clutching at straws here.
I don't like the "make new noises and then attach meaning to the new noises" bit. I have two reasons.

Firstly, the meaning of words are "locked in" collectively into vocabulary. This is the point of Sapir Worf's theory. The "meaning" is held collectively. A tripping individual Australopithecus making new sounds is just going to confuse the rest of the family unit and reduce cooperative efficiency. For example, a tripping individual Australopithecus sees a black jackal and goes "Pzizzpop!". Unless his trip randomly makes him say "Pzizzpop!" when he sees a jackal again, how will this random sound lock into a collective language with meaning?

Secondly, even if we ignore direct onomatopoeic words like "bang" "boom" we can still say that human vocabulary prefers existing words. That is why English and Indians use the same root words for "Two" and "Deity" after 5,000 years of language separation.

Thirdly, (don't laugh) I've taken LSD with friends. Everyone is "thinking" in their own tangent and the meanings of conversations become subjective and really open to misinterpretation.



The Duck Bread Story
So I was 20 years old. I was with a group of ten punk rockers. We were tripping in Centennial Park near the ponds. There was a caravan selling ice creams and sandwiches. Along the back wall were packets of "duck bread". Someone says "You can't make duck flavoured bread" and all of us fell straight into that line of thought without question. Someone purchased a packet and we all tasted it to see if we could taste the duck flavouring. (In reality, the bread was stale bread for feeding ducks)

I imagine a hunting team of tripping Australopithecus having similar misadventures.
:D

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

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:29 pm

It is all bullsh!t anyway. Evolution works by random mutations creating genetic variation, which is acted upon by natural selection. Those genes that assist in survival and reproduction will be increased in number and those that harm will be reduced in number.

There is no way that a bunch of apes getting stoned will affect this, except that the odd marauding pack of predators will find stoned apes easy prey, and the tendency to get stoned will be selected against. The fact that modern people still seek every opportunity to make fools of themselves with alcohol and drugs suggests that this trend of evolution has not gone very far.

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:41 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote: It is all bullsh!t anyway.
Yes. You're right. I was bogging down on language issues and ignoring the big picture.
Lance Kennedy wrote:There is no way that a bunch of apes getting stoned will affect this, except that the odd marauding pack of predators will find stoned apes easy prey,
Absolutely. I went off on a tangent and tried to think of drugs that were associated with hunting. The only fun thing I can offer is "Assassin"

Etymology "Assassin"
1530s (in Anglo-Latin from mid-13c.), via French and Italian, from Arabic hashishiyyin "hashish-users,

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

Post by OlegTheBatty » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:49 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote: It is all bullsh!t anyway.
Yes. You're right. I was bogging down on language issues and ignoring the big picture.
Lance Kennedy wrote:There is no way that a bunch of apes getting stoned will affect this, except that the odd marauding pack of predators will find stoned apes easy prey,
Absolutely. I went off on a tangent and tried to think of drugs that were associated with hunting. The only fun thing I can offer is "Assassin"

Etymology "Assassin"
1530s (in Anglo-Latin from mid-13c.), via French and Italian, from Arabic hashishiyyin "hashish-users,
You also let Terence 'Stoned ape' McKenna define the terms. Language did not evolve, communication evolved. Language is a means to that end.

Communication requires a transmitter and a receiver. They need to be capable of understanding each other, and be able to trust each others' transmissions and receptions. Any hallucinogen will impede that, not enhance it.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Daedalus » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:42 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote: It is all bullsh!t anyway.
Yes. You're right. I was bogging down on language issues and ignoring the big picture.
Lance Kennedy wrote:There is no way that a bunch of apes getting stoned will affect this, except that the odd marauding pack of predators will find stoned apes easy prey,
Absolutely. I went off on a tangent and tried to think of drugs that were associated with hunting. The only fun thing I can offer is "Assassin"

Etymology "Assassin"
1530s (in Anglo-Latin from mid-13c.), via French and Italian, from Arabic hashishiyyin "hashish-users,

Which may be true, or may be a very old slander handed down through the centuries. It's hard to tell, and frankly hard to imagine that eating a wad of cannabinoids would enhance one's wetworking skills.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Matthew Ellard » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:01 am

Etymology "Assassin"
1530s (in Anglo-Latin from mid-13c.), via French and Italian, from Arabic hashishiyyin "hashish-users,[/quote]
Daedalus wrote: .....and frankly hard to imagine that eating a wad of cannabinoids would enhance one's wetworking skills.
I think you are being harsh......perhaps if the target was dressed as a huge "Mars Bar" or "Cherry Ripe" and the assassins were trained to get the "overwhelming munchies".

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

Post by Daedalus » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:15 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:Etymology "Assassin"
1530s (in Anglo-Latin from mid-13c.), via French and Italian, from Arabic hashishiyyin "hashish-users,
Daedalus wrote: .....and frankly hard to imagine that eating a wad of cannabinoids would enhance one's wetworking skills.
I think you are being harsh......perhaps if the target was dressed as a huge "Mars Bar" or "Cherry Ripe" and the assassins were trained to get the "overwhelming munchies". [/quote]

:lol:

A gruesome killing, to be sure.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by OlegTheBatty » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:21 am

Daedalus wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote: It is all bullsh!t anyway.
Yes. You're right. I was bogging down on language issues and ignoring the big picture.
Lance Kennedy wrote:There is no way that a bunch of apes getting stoned will affect this, except that the odd marauding pack of predators will find stoned apes easy prey,
Absolutely. I went off on a tangent and tried to think of drugs that were associated with hunting. The only fun thing I can offer is "Assassin"

Etymology "Assassin"
1530s (in Anglo-Latin from mid-13c.), via French and Italian, from Arabic hashishiyyin "hashish-users,

Which may be true, or may be a very old slander handed down through the centuries. It's hard to tell, and frankly hard to imagine that eating a wad of cannabinoids would enhance one's wetworking skills.
It's a derogatory epithet applied by their enemies. They called themselves Fida'in (Fidayeen Anglicised).
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Matthew Ellard » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:06 am

OlegTheBatty wrote: It's a derogatory epithet applied by their enemies. They called themselves Fida'in (Fidayeen Anglicised).
I didn't think Latin Christians of the 14th century were calling Ottoman assassins "Darling bud" "my lovely eastern cherub" or "sugar bottom". "Stoned swine" would seem more in order.
If syphilis was a bit earlier, I'm sure Christian would have added that epithet to their name too.

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

Post by scrmbldggs » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:07 am

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

Post by Major Malfunction » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:23 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:There is no way that a bunch of apes getting stoned will affect this, except that the odd marauding pack of predators will find stoned apes easy prey, and the tendency to get stoned will be selected against. The fact that modern people still seek every opportunity to make fools of themselves with alcohol and drugs suggests that this trend of evolution has not gone very far.
Or that the communal bonding experience of all getting ripped together is a more important selection pressure than predation.
This being was produced using the same process as other beings, and therefore, may contain traces of nuts.

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:55 am

Major Malfunction wrote:Or that the communal bonding experience of all getting ripped together is a more important selection pressure than predation.
Now that's an interesting observation. I take the view that sharing a joint is like breaking bread in Judaism. Its a communal ritual. Doing something illegal, like pot, might make it an adult rite of passage. Getting "out of it" isn't that important.

I do assume that Australopithecus shared food, like other predators. However, I also assume he yelled at any other tribal member trying to sleep in his long term comfy leaf patch.


2,000,000 BC Extinction Event
Mr Australopithecus: Grunt Grunt! ( Darling, you are sleeping on my side of the bed)
Mrs Australopithecus Grunt Erp Grunt! (So what! You never take me walking in the savanna, you never take me to the waterhole, you never take me anywhere!)
Mr Australopithecus: Ohhh rooty grunt (Let's have sex!)
Mrs Australopithecus Urg Grunt rooty (You can bet your banana that won't happen for a while!)
Odd couple..jpg
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:59 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:It is all bullsh!t anyway. Evolution works by random mutations creating genetic variation, which is acted upon by natural selection. Those genes that assist in survival and reproduction will be increased in number and those that harm will be reduced in number.

There is no way that a bunch of apes getting stoned will affect this, except that the odd marauding pack of predators will find stoned apes easy prey, and the tendency to get stoned will be selected against. The fact that modern people still seek every opportunity to make fools of themselves with alcohol and drugs suggests that this trend of evolution has not gone very far.
You're thinking of apes under the influence all the time, which I stated would not even be necessary.

Anyway can you agree that any species changing it's diet as the environment changes will introduce into their diet a whole bunch of new mutagens, some (most) of these will be catastrophic to them, but some will confer a mutagenic advantage?
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:28 pm

Zeuzz

Not needed. The idea that more mutagens means faster evolution has not really been borne out. Mutagens are normally not exactly useful, since they are generally also carcinogenic. Most mutations are harmless or harmful. Even the useful ones normally have little impact until some change in the environment makes them valuable. A primitive diet with lots of plant leaves tends to be pretty rich in mutagens/carcinogens anyway.

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:32 pm

double post by accident
Last edited by Matthew Ellard on Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:40 pm

zeuzzz wrote:You're thinking of apes under the influence all the time, which I stated would not even be necessary.
Did hominids also drink fermented berries? Do we have any evidence that hominids were drunk more or tripping more?

I'd like to see what exact species of Psilocybin mushroom (Magic Mushroom) is meant to grow in ungulate poop in the same areas hominids were evolving. The paper on Psilocybin mushrooms has a map of these mushroom's distribution and its not matching up with McKenna's theory. If we can't place any Psilocybin mushroom in ungulate poo in the savanna, then the theory is dead in the water.


(This story reminds me of "The Solar Ark" thread where Chris Jordan claimed Arks of the covenant were really solar ovens. He found tons of secondary evidence and had an enormous expanded theory based on "solar arks". However he could never get his original solar ark to even heat up. )

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

Post by zeuzzz » Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:56 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
zeuzzz wrote:The paper on Psilocybin mushrooms has a map of these mushroom's distribution and its not matching up with McKenna's theory.
Which map?
If we can't place any Psilocybin mushroom in ungulate poo in the savanna, then the theory is dead in the water. [/color]
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:12 am

zeuzzz wrote:Which map?
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

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

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

Post by zeuzzz » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:41 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
zeuzzz wrote:Which map?
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

"Fig 19 "Distribution of the neurotropic species of Psilocybe Mushrooms"
Cool. That is mapping the current global distribution.

Image

100,000 years ago central Africa would have been more like the current amazon. Interesting too, looks like the Asians all but gobbled up all the mushrooms :D

Tangential reference, cows seem enshrined still in many contemporary religions today: Cattle in religion. Picked up this quote from the article:

"In his book Food of the Gods, ethnobotanist Terence McKenna postulates that the most likely candidate for Soma is the mushroom Psilocybe cubensis, a hallucinogenic mushroom that grows in cow dung in certain climates. In India, Wasson identified Psilocybe cubenis as "easily identified and gathered, and are effective", and went so far as to hypothesize, "the possible role of Stropharia cubensis growing in the dung of cattle in the lives of the lower orders remains to this day wholly unexplored. Is P. cubensis responsible for the elevation of the cow to a sacred status?" McKenna cites both Wasson's and his own unsuccessful attempts using Amanita muscaria to reach a psychedelic state as evidence that it could not have inspired the worship and praise of Soma. McKenna further points out that the 9th mandala of the Rig Veda makes extensive references to the cow as the embodiment of soma. He draws comparison to other cultures who venerate the source of the ecstatic state such as the Chavin in Meso-America who venerate the cactus as the source of peyote."
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:42 am

zeuzzz wrote:Image
I would love to superimpose over that the locations of worldwide major technological and creative breakthroughs.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Matthew Ellard » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:40 am

zeuzzz wrote:100,000 years ago central Africa would have been more like the current amazon.
Can you see the paradox? Hominids are becoming bi-pedal and developing language in the savanna. To say this savanna was like the "current amazon" (jungle) is simply fudging different environmental time periods to allow mushrooms to be with humans.

Either McKenna has identified the exact species of mushroom and placed it in savannas, when and where hominids evolved language, or he hasn't. He hasn't.

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:45 am

zeuzzz wrote:
zeuzzz wrote:Image
I would love to superimpose over that the locations of worldwide major technological and creative breakthroughs.
Try Eastern Australia. There are many species of magic mushroom and not one technological development.

There are almost no magic mushrooms in the Fertile crescent yet I still use a base 36 number system for time and eat grain developed in Mesopotamia.

Is there any correlation at all?

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

Post by zeuzzz » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:57 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
zeuzzz wrote:
zeuzzz wrote:Image
I would love to superimpose over that the locations of worldwide major technological and creative breakthroughs.
Try Eastern Australia. There are many species of magic mushroom and not one technological development.

There are almost no magic mushrooms in the Fertile crescent yet I still use a base 36 number system for time and eat grain developed in Mesopotamia.

Is there any correlation at all?
The right conditions would have existed then.

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php ... -stone-age" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"The researchers have pieced together how rainfall patterns varied in southern Africa over the last 100,000 years, by analysing river delta deposits at the edge of the continent, where every millimetre of sediment core corresponds to 25 years of sedimentation. The ratio of iron (dissolved from the rocks by the water during the rains) to potassium (present in arid soils) in each of the millimetre layers is a record of the sediment carried by rivers and therefore of the rainfall throughout the whole period.

The reconstruction of the rainfall over 100,000 years shows a series of spikes that occurred between 40,000 and 80,000 years ago. These spikes show rainfall levels rising sharply over just a few decades, and falling off again soon afterwards, in a matter of centuries. This research has shown that the climate changes coincided with increases in population, activity and production of technology on the part of our ancestors, as seen in the archaeological records. In turn, the end of certain stone tool industries of the period coincides with the onset of a new, drier climate.

The findings confirm one of the principal models of Palaeolithic cultural evolution, which correlates technological innovation with the adoption of new refuges and with a resulting increase in population and social networks.
"

I think our state of consciousness is in fact inherited not just from your parents but also from your environment via epigenetic processes.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Matthew Ellard » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:10 am

zeuzzz wrote: The right conditions would have existed then.
For what? Mushrooms in the jungle or hominids in the savanna?

"The researchers have pieced together how rainfall patterns varied in southern Africa over the last 100,000 years......."
Language in hominids started evolving a lot earlier than 100,000 years ago. Try 2.33 to 1.44 million years ago.

"Homo habilis was the first hominid in the fossil record to show the curiously human trait of marked brain enlargement (nearly 50 per cent greater than A. africanus), the human pattern of cerebral sulci (or fissures between convolutions), cerebral asymmetry, cerebral impressions coincident with the cortices of spoken language, Broca’s area and the parieto-occipitotemproral region (including Wernicke’s area).”
Language Capabilities of Homo erectus & Homo neanderthalensis /Anya Luke-Killam / 2001
http://www.lllf.uam.es/~clase/acceso_lo ... pabili.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
zeuzzz wrote:I think our state of consciousness is in fact inherited not just from your parents but also from your environment via epigenetic processes.
Maybe, but language is physical, for example, the evolution of the larynx in hominids.

Don't laugh, but perhaps Australopithecus simply had to shout louder as they moved from close jungle to open savanna, simply due to distance. Habilis took advantage of the new larynx. ( Matthew's "Swiss Yodeling theory of language development in hominids"
Habilis Yodeling album.JPG
I don't dismiss new theories quickly and am open minded. In the 70s we were taught to apply "hunter gatherer models" to hominids. It was rubbish. Hominids were scavengers. The first stone tools were used to break bones left by other predators to obtain marrow. You can see the stone scratches "over" the tooth marks of predators on many bone examples. However, the "magic mushroom" theory of language hasn't even placed mushrooms at the "crime scene".
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:47 am

This reminds me of another thread, in which it was asked why we believe other minds exist. After debate, it was pointed out that the whole subject is bullsh!t. Yet the thread does on, and on, and on, interminably.

The subject of this thread also is bullsh!t. Yet people keep debating, and debating, and debating. Makes you wonder about the intelligence of my fellow skeptics. Duh!

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:37 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:This reminds me of another thread, in which it was asked why we believe other minds exist. After debate, it was pointed out that the whole subject is bullsh!t. Yet the thread does on, and on, and on, interminably.
I think this thread is more like Chris Jordan's claim that "Ark of the Covenants" were used to cook bread using solar power. It took two months before Chris Jordan admitted he never actually did it himself......but he still published a book......
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/19957" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Lance Kennedy wrote: The subject of this thread also is bullsh!t. Yet people keep debating, and debating, and debating. Makes you wonder about the intelligence of my fellow skeptics. Duh!
Zuezzz has brought McKenna's theory to this forum. It is Mckenna's theory that is being explored. That's how this forum finds out about "what's going on out there". Sometimes the conversation is fast. Sometimes it bogs down. Zuezz has forced me to re read papers to check my claims. That's a good thing. I may be wrong.

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

Post by Tom Palven » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:11 am

Just finished My Life as a Turkey that my sister emailed me. Some of the communication and vocalization comments reminded me of this thread. It runs about an hour. Some of you may enjoy it very much if you haven't seen it already. It runs for almost an hour.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes ... sode/7378/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Mankind will not be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. --Denis Diderot
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by carbonbasedlifeform » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:28 pm

I read this years ago and have never been able to put it in the pile with all the other rubbish for the one simple reason that we cannot know for sure what synergistic reactions took place in primitive minds...psylocybin and DMT are some pretty incredible compounds that do some pretty unique things...

it stays in the undecided basket for me...
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:25 am

carbonbasedlifeform wrote:I read this years ago and have never been able to put it in the pile with all the other rubbish for the one simple reason that we cannot know for sure what synergistic reactions took place in primitive minds...psylocybin and DMT are some pretty incredible compounds that do some pretty unique things...

it stays in the undecided basket for me...
I was in this same basket too for a while until for the first time in over fifty years studies into the effects of psilocybin were allowed, conducted mainly by Roland Fischer. That and I happened to try them to see what the fuss was all about. After that I could very clearly see the perspective of how they could act as a kind of evolutionary wedge and further catalyst to changing our past evolution. Not just mushrooms really but other substances, like DMT/ayahuasca, ibogaine, etc, could be equally good candidates, just mushrooms seem the most plausible for inclusion in a primates diet. DMT requires some type of cooking and preparation.

Selected references:

Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance (Psychopharmacology August 2006, Volume 187, Issue 3, pp 268-283)
http://link.springer.com/article/10.100 ... 006-0457-5" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later (J Psychopharmacol August 2008 vol. 22 no. 6 621-632)
http://jop.sagepub.com/content/22/6/621.short" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: immediate and persisting dose-related effects (Psychopharmacology, December 2011, Volume 218, Issue 4, pp 649-665)
http://link.springer.com/article/10.100 ... 011-2358-5" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness
J Psychopharmacol November 2011 vol. 25 no. 11 1453-1461
http://jop.sagepub.com/content/25/11/1453.short" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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]
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:28 am

Far from definitive proof but the fact that a daily diet is not needed, and volunteers showed positive changes in personality and 'openness' up to 14 months after a one off dose shows that these are very powerful and therapeutic agents. It's likely there would be epigenetic changes to gene expression from gene methylation from the altered perceptions and perspectives these substances cause to the brain that were inheritable down the generations for a culture consuming these in their diet.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by scrmbldggs » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:39 am

zeuzz wrote:...
Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance (Psychopharmacology August 2006, Volume 187, Issue 3, pp 268-283)


Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later (J Psychopharmacol August 2008 vol. 22 no. 6 621-632)


Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: immediate and persisting dose-related effects (Psychopharmacology, December 2011, Volume 218, Issue 4, pp 649-665)


Mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness
J Psychopharmacol November 2011 vol. 25 no. 11 1453-1461
...
Oh krap. If any of this topic be true, that reads as much of humankind's misery could be based solely on some early doped up brains imagining a god thing. :(


...and it said "celebrate". Not "celibate"!
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by zeuzzz » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:58 am

scrmbldggs wrote:
zeuzz wrote:...Oh krap. If any of this topic be true, that reads as much of humankind's misery could be based solely on some early doped up brains imagining a god thing. :(
...and it said "celebrate". Not "celibate"!
Depends on how you define a spiritual experience.

I would never link a spiritual experience with religion or god, but that's just my world view. A spiritual experience to me would be introspection into relationships and life that I did not have before I had the experience, in a very broad sense.

But it's likely that psychedelics lie at the root of many religions, artwork and swirly ideas of god or 'transcendence' also, they can be interpreted in all sorts of ways by all sorts of people/cultures.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by scrmbldggs » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:21 am

From what I've read, it could be defined as "something else, something different altogether", no? Maybe even powerful. Something nonexistent in reality, but seemingly very real while tripping.

And all that to a less sophisticated mind. Voila.
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Re: Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:30 am

I do not care how many 'spiritual' experiences mushrooms give, or even if they have epigenetic changes as a result of such doses. Neither is part of evolution, which requires permanent changes to the genome.

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

Post by Matthew Ellard » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:52 am

carbonbasedlifeform wrote:I read this years ago and have never been able to put it in the pile with all the other rubbish for the one simple reason that we cannot know for sure what synergistic reactions took place in primitive minds...psylocybin and DMT are some pretty incredible compounds that do some pretty unique things...
I disagree. Look at the above distribution map. McKenna can't place a psylocybin mushroom at the location. He has not actually ever found any psylocybin mushroom in ungulate poo where humans evolved!

Secondly, well fed humans "bonding" today after taking psylocybin, AFTER language has evolved, has got nothing to do with hominids subsisting in the savanna BEFORE language evolved.

Thirdly, language requires physical parts of the larynx to evolve and these changes do not match the chronology of McKenna's claim.

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

Post by carbonbasedlifeform » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:46 am

I want to say this to get it off my chest...and I truly believe what I'm going to say..

If you are the sort of person who questions everything in life, is adamant there is no god, believe in finding answers through science and observation ( that's most here right..?) then an experience on DMT can answer all those questions and more BUT...i find it impossible to translate the info garnished from the experience into anything that I can pass on as usable or helpful information. I actually find that aspect of this chemical utterly frustrating, it's like being shown and told the answers to everything, but being stripped of the ability to bring that info back here to reality...

I recall Sting saying after he experienced ayahuasca, that it was the only time he had ever had a GOD like experience...he also struggled trying to explain it.

There is a film just being released now called Aya Awakenings, will be worth a watch...
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