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Apes stoned on drugs became modern man

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user posted image rKen Korczak: Several hundred thousand years ago, a group pre-human apes accidentally discovered the joys and wonders of taking hallucinogenic drugs, and that’s what lead to eventual development of us -- homo sapiens. According to this bold theory, we have stoned apes to thank for the development of modern man, the human ego, and our current, highly developed self-reflective consciousness.This is the theory of the late ethnobiologist Terence McKenna, who makes an extremely compelling case for his stoned-ape theory is his marvelously well-written book, “Food of the Gods.”McKenna contends that somewhere in the distant mists of the past, certain hominids stumbled upon mushrooms containing the powerful psychoactive drug, psilocybin. Assuming the mushroom were merely a tasty food, the hominids discovered that they were much more -- when they ingested them, their minds expanded, evolved and innovated, and most important of all, became self-reflective. In other words, for the first time, and animal could recognize itself as a unique individual within the vast pantheon of nature.

They discovered that higher mental concepts were possible. McKenna writes:“The evolutionary breakouts that led to the appearance of language and, later, writing are examples of fundamental, almost ontological, transformations of the hominid line. Besides providing us with the ability to code data outside the confines of DNA, cognitive activities allow us to transmit information across space and time.”McKenna notes that significant evolutionary development in most species needs a minimum of a million years, and more often, tens of millions of years. Yet, the emergence of modern human from primate ancestors, happened in fewer than three million years. That included an astoundingly rapid increase in brain size, and also sophisticated social and cultural behaviors.Natural psychoactive chemicals may not only have expanded the minds of proto-humans, but also triggered key mutations that caused sudden and rabid increase in brain size. Additionally, psychotropic mushrooms induce key behaviors in those who eat them -- increased visual acuity, a higher sex drive, stronger physical stamina, and most importantly, access to higher levels of thought. All of these factors would have helped them outcompete, outbreed and springboard ahead of other primate species.

It’s interesting to note that the kind of mushroom with the most psilocybin, stropharia cubensis, grows best in cattle dung. That means that as humans grew smarter, they eventually were able to domesticate cattle, which in turn provided more manure, which was excellent for growing more mushrooms.McKenna suggested there was a symbiotic relationship between human beings and mushrooms. The mushrooms provided humans with transcendent consciousness, and in return, humans learned to cultivate them, and part of that process was the successful domestication of livestock -- which provided even more food and stability for human beings.McKenna goes even further, and boldly (or perhaps wildly) suggests that there is much more to hallucinogenic mushrooms than meets the eye. He posits that psychoactive chemicals in mushrooms may be nothing less than a kind of “plant consciousness” and that by ingesting such plants, human ancestors tapped into it and joined with that plant consciousness. McKenna also suggests that this was our planet’s method of developing or uplifting the planet as a whole into one mass being of higher consciousness -- Gaia.“Food of the Gods” is a book that goes far beyond McKenna theory of drug-assisted evolution -- he also explores with sharp insight mankind’s long relationship with drugs of all kinds, from mushrooms and cannabis, to our moderns obsession with hard drugs like alcohol, cocaine -- and soft drugs, like caffeine, nicotine and even refined white sugar.Whatever you think of McKenna’s ideas -- which are controversial to say the least -- I strongly recommend his book to anyone with an open mind and who enjoys extremely creative suggestions that pertain to human evolution.

Please take a moment to visit Ken's Website: www.starcopywriter.com

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Bearly

I don't really see the link between magic mushroom ingestion and increase of brain size though. One could easily just as easily argue that alcohol consumption was the cause of brain size increase or other drugs as will. Perhaps he explains his reasoning in the book.

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IronGhost

I don't really see the link between magic mushroom ingestion and increase of brain size though. One could easily just as easily argue that alcohol consumption was the cause of brain size increase or other drugs as will. Perhaps he explains his reasoning in the book.

Alcohol has to be manufactured most of the time. Although it can be found naturally in nature, such as in rotting fruit, hominids would not have been able to emcounter it as easily or on a regular basis as they could mushrooms, which could be found anytime and in many locations.

Also, alcohol does not have the same pyschotropic efffects on the mind -- it is not a hallucinogen.

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Reincarnated

This widely accepted theory has been around for awhile and I believe it. I guess it would harder to understand if you do not have any experience with psychedelic drugs. There was a mushroom worshipping tribe in Mexico called the Mazatec's as well as many others in South America.

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Bearly

This widely accepted theory has been around for awhile and I believe it. I guess it would harder to understand if you do not have any experience with psychedelic drugs. There was a mushroom worshipping tribe in Mexico called the Mazatec's as well as many others in South America.

Actually, I have had similar thoughts before, and have also heard it put forth before by other people many years ago. I also went through an experimental stage in my younger years (it's true confessions time), and so I do have some experience with mushrooms :rofl:

I am way past that stage now however, as I find that life is crazy enough as it is. It also triggered psyhic experineces for me, but that's another long long story all together.

PS- I don't and am not encouraging consumption of shrooms

Yes, i think shrooms, and other mind altering drugs, have influenced many a religion.

I was just questioning the brain growth in size part, that's all.

You point is valid though, Ironghost, thanks for the reply.

If this theory is true, i wonder about it's influence or impact on other animals as humans are not the only animals that eat mushrooms? Any thought on this??

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ThickasaBrick

This is interesting. I will volunteer my body and mind to science to see if a higher conciousness could be achieved by mushroom use. Although I may just want to trip out for a job. :D

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IronGhost

Actually, I have had similar thoughts before, and have also heard it put forth before by other people many years ago. I also went through an experimental stage in my younger years (it's true confessions time), and so I do have some experience with mushrooms :rofl:

I am way past that stage now however, as I find that life is crazy enough as it is. It also triggered psyhic experineces for me, but that's another long long story all together.

PS- I don't and am not encouraging consumption of shrooms

Yes, i think shrooms, and other mind altering drugs, have influenced many a religion.

I was just questioning the brain growth in size part, that's all.

You point is valid though, Ironghost, thanks for the reply.

If this theory is true, i wonder about it's influence or impact on other animals as humans are not the only animals that eat mushrooms? Any thought on this??

Your points are well taken. Animals are often observed getting high, and seem to enjoy it. Elephants, for example, seem able to recognize certain over-ripe fruits which have fermented. They get drunk eating them, and seem to love it. Birds have been seen doing this as well.

Also, there seems to be a natural drive to get high -- some point out that a small child will spin around and around until he or she gets dizzy -- enjoying that feeling of disorientation. It may be a natural drive twoard achieving higher or alternate states of mind.

Edited by IronGhost

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Bio-Mage

This is the most idiotic theory ever. Maybe Mr McKenna would like to explain how animals develop a language system without use of mushrooms.

Looks like another attempt to justify a drug habit to me....anyone interested in petitioning to get his PhD back?

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IronGhost

McKenna has no Ph.D., nor even a graduate degree. I think he had a bachelor's in biology. At any rate, it makes little difference now -- he'd dead.

Edited by IronGhost

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Reincarnated

This is the most idiotic theory ever. Maybe Mr McKenna would like to explain how animals develop a language system without use of mushrooms.

Looks like another attempt to justify a drug habit to me....anyone interested in petitioning to get his PhD back?

^fine example of an uneducated ignorant post that we see here too often. i'm not going waste my time arguing, trying to prove a point, or doing research for you so why don't you study up on the subject some more yourself and maybe it won't sound like an idiotic attempt to justify a drug habit. :tu: Edited by Reincarnated

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Hermetic Hermit

This is the most idiotic theory ever. Maybe Mr McKenna would like to explain how animals develop a language system without use of mushrooms.

Looks like another attempt to justify a drug habit to me....anyone interested in petitioning to get his PhD back?

Have you ever experimented with hallucinogens?

I'm not saying anyone who disagrees with this theory hasn't and everyone who does agree has but I would like to know if you've had any first-hand experiences.

Personally I'm not convinced of this theory and am curious to know his reasoning, I guess I'll have to read the book.

But in regards to mushrooms and other hallucinogens raising ones conciousness, I would have to agree. From my own experiences of course.

To be honest I use a hallucinogen almost every day and I feel I would be years behind where I am now in regards to level of thought if I hadn't. Though it is only one of many tools that an individual can use as an aid.

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WoDoByMe

This is obviously a drug induced idea, I had similar thoughts when I used to get stoned on the honey oil of a particular strain of dope that had hallucinogenic properties. Maybe I should have wrote it down into a book and made money off of it.... next time.

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snuffypuffer

Makes sense to me. I think it could be primates have just the right sort of chemistry to allow this kind of evolution to happen. All it really boils down to is that an outside factor played a part in our own evolution, it didn't happen all by itself. This sort of thing happens all through history.

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Sc4v3ng3r

The first mean of global communication that homo sapien invented was pariethal art. This allowed different tribes to communicate between each other, despise their diffrerent oral language.

Pariethal art was made during a spiritual session, where the shamans comsum hallucinogic substance.

Every single piece of pariethal art known by this day was done by some really stoned individuals.

That was over 50000 years ago.

The reason why this theory is not much well received, its because of today's point of view upon drugs. The problem with them it is either they are chemicaly altered or are overused.

It wasnt a problem seen in the begining of its use. They were no junkies at the begining of our time. our ancestors knew to live in harmony with them.

Anyway im not much into this theory. But I do believe we are what we are because of the drugs, and never shall we live without them.

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Raptor

Very interesting. :yes:

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FireMoon

J M Allegro's book Mushroom and the Cross is well worth reading... and you think the Da Vinci code caused a storm.. It is nothing compared to the furore this book evoked on it's release. :yes:

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mklsgl

Mr. McKenna lived among many different indigenous groups for years and wrote of his studies and experiences (see Archaic Revival). Yes, many dismiss him because of the subject matter but most cultivated minds find his work quite credible and scholarly.

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Shuriken

Have not heared of this before, but it definitely makes sence.

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jobot37

God rest ye Terrence McKenna.

All of you who dismiss this man because you think he is "trying to justify a drug habit" are clearly completely ignorant of his life's work. Read his books, listen to his interviews (i could send a couple to you if you wish) and once you've listened and ead carefully and considered what he is trying to say, maybe you can become a productive part of the discussion. His brother Dennis is still alive, I believe, and continuing the research they spent so many years together on. I would highly reccomend his book True Hallucinations, the last book published before his death, it tells of the experiences of Terrence and Dennis while living among natives of the Brazilian Amazon.

Terrence was also a theoretical mathematician and pioneered the "Timewave Zero" theory.

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Nwat

Interesting Theory

a few things though...

1. It has been shown that increased amount of protein in the diet causes enlarged brains leading to high brain functions

2. This theory fails to state why only homo sapiens brains evolved so much farther then any other hominid.

3. Psilocybin, mimics serotonin. Serotonin effects mood, sleep, emesis, sexuality and appetite. serotonin has not been shown to affect cognition expect through mood.

4. Mental and physical tolerance to psilocybin builds and dissipates quickly. Taking psilocybin more than three or four times in a week (especially two days in a row) can result in diminished effects.

5. It has not been proven that we have the ability to code data outside the confines of DNA.

6. It has not been proven that we have cognitive activities that allow us to transmit information across space and time.

7. the evolution of primate to human goes back 60 million years with hominids evolving within the last 6-8 millions years, not the 3 million stated in this article.

8. Psilocybin does not increase visual acuity, give stronger physical stamina, or grant access to higher levels of thought.

9. If there was a symbiotic relationship between human beings and mushrooms, in which humans started to cultivate mushrooms, when and why did we stop. NOTE: In Shamanic tradition hallucinogens are gathered in nature, not cultivated. So if we originally cultivate the mushrooms then shamanic tribes would be the most likely to still do it.

10. Plants have not been shown to be conscious.

11. Ontology and religion do not relate to evolution.

If I left anything out, or I am wrong about anything please tell me

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IronGhost

You make many cogent and intelligent points, but not all of them stand. Let me try some answers, with the idea in mind that I am not necessarily right and you wrong -- but your comments can be challenged.

1. It has been shown that increased amount of protein in the diet causes enlarged brains leading to high brain functions

Yes, but this does not preclude the effect of psilocybin. Both could have contributed to faster evolution.

2. This theory fails to state why only homo sapiens brains evolved so much farther then any other hominid.

A particular type of hominid may have had a preference for certain foods, such as mushrooms, or better access to them.

3. Psilocybin, mimics serotonin. Serotonin effects mood, sleep, emesis, sexuality and appetite. serotonin has not been shown to affect cognition expect through mood.

Psilocybin is not seratonin. Not even close. Ask anyone who has taken Prozac, and compare the experience to hallucinogenic mushrooms, and the vast difference in clear.

4. Mental and physical tolerance to psilocybin builds and dissipates quickly. Taking psilocybin more than three or four times in a week (especially two days in a row) can result in diminished effects.

True, but there is still always an effect. The dissipation factor can be overcome by massive/increased doses.

5. It has not been proven that we have the ability to code data outside the confines of DNA.

Yes it has -- this refers to our ability to read and write. It's a way of coding information outside of DNA.

6. It has not been proven that we have cognitive activities that allow us to transmit information across space and time.

Yes it has -- written or symbolic language transmits information across space and time.

7. the evolution of primate to human goes back 60 million years with hominids evolving within the last 6-8 millions years, not the 3 million stated in this article.

The jusy is still out on this.

8. Psilocybin does not increase visual acuity, give stronger physical stamina, or grant access to higher levels of thought.

This is highly debatable.

9. If there was a symbiotic relationship between human beings and mushrooms, in which humans started to cultivate mushrooms, when and why did we stop. NOTE: In Shamanic tradition hallucinogens are gathered in nature, not cultivated. So if we originally cultivate the mushrooms then shamanic tribes would be the most likely to still do it.

There are many reasons -- one is the discovery of alcohol -- which displaced mushrooms as the "drug of choice." McKenna deals with this very eloquently. He equated the eshewing of mushroom in favor of alcohol with "The Fall" in the Eden myth sense.

10. Plants have not been shown to be conscious.

The jury is still very much out on this.

11. Ontology and religion do not relate to evolution.

Completely untrue. As humans and their consciousness evolves, they necessarily reshape their views on religion.

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Master Sage

LSD: We owe ore lifes to it. Mabey thats how we developed "imagination". :innocent:

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shun

Some mushrooms are nutritious. Some mushrooms are poisonous. And, some mushrooms are a complete waste of time.

I say this whole line of "tampering with nature" is pop-science, and the means by which to sell books to pseudo-scientific types, IMHO.

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rane

wow, wtv!

i agree its possible primitive man took hallucinogens...but it didn't help them develop the "human ego"

uuuugh, we need some scientists who live in in the 21st century...not a bunch of 70's era theory producing flapjacks

ya dig..

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rane

pop-science

wow thats the best term i have heard used for this problem with scientists!!

pop-science is just as evil, and limiting to human technological evolution, as fashionable trends like surrendering your free will to a nonexistant god

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