Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Terence McKennas "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution

 


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

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


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


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


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


The precedent 

 The main shortcoming for evolutionary theory as it applies to human origins is the human neocortex. Carl Sofus Lumholtz described the evolution of the human neocortex as "the most dramatic transformation of a major organ of a higher animal in the entire fossil record". A review of the evolution of the human neocortex in 2009 by Pasko Rakic stated "It is, therefore, surprising how little modern research has been done to elucidate how this human difference emerged. It appears that we are sometimes so seduced by similarities between species that we neglect the differences"[35]

Therefore it is necessary in evolutionary theory to account for the dramatic emergence of the human neocortex in this very narrow window of time. In about two million years Apes went from being higher primates, hominids, to being true humans.

Human Plant Symbiosis

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

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


Mckennas view was that humans have been involved in a mutualistic symbiosis with psychedelic mushrooms and other related chemical cousins for tens of thousands of years, which have been used to catalyze human imagination, spawning religions, mystical states, artwork, linguistic thinking, spirituality, introspection about the nature of consciousness not possible without such agents, the development of cultures, and many more aspects that distinguish us from other primates.[10]

Apes use of plants as medicine


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

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


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

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



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

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


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

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

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

 

The evolutionary benefits of novel psychedelics

 

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

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

 

Catalyzing lower consciousness to higher consciousness


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

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

 

The next major steps for the full evolution of humankind


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

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


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

 

   Sensory

 

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


Increased spirituality

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

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


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

There have been calls for medical investigation of the use of synthetic and mushroom-derived psilocybin for the development of improved treatments of various mental conditions, including chronic cluster headaches,[16] following numerous anecdotal reports of benefits. There are also several accounts of psilocybin mushrooms sending both obsessive-compulsive disorders ("OCD") and OCD-related clinical depression (both being widespread and debilitating mental health conditions) into complete remission immediately and for up to months at a time, compared to current medications which often have both limited efficacy[17] and frequent undesirable side-effects.[18] The effect of mushrooms to break OCD habits when applied to primates would be a lot more apparent, as animals operate on habits and instincts with less conscious introspection than humans do.
"Developing drugs that are more effective and faster acting for the treatment of OCD is of utmost importance and until recently, little hope was in hand. A new potential avenue of treatment may exist. There are several reported cases concerning the beneficial effects of hallucinogenic drugs (MDMA, psilocybin and LSD), potent stimulators of 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors, in patients with OCD (Brandrup and Vanggaard, 1977, Rapoport, 1987, Moreno and Delgado, 1997) and related disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder (Hanes, 1996)."[19]

Emotional evolution


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


Archeological evidence

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

Mushroom-shaped statuettes found at archaeological sites seem to indicate that ritual use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is quite ancient.[21] Mushroom stones and motifs have been found in Mayan temple ruins in Guatemala,[22] though there is considerable controversy as to whether these objects indicate the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms or whether they had some other significance with the mushroom shape being simply a coincidence. 
More concretely, a statuette dating from ca. 200 AD and depicting a mushroom strongly resembling Psilocybe mexicana was found in a west Mexican shaft and chamber tomb in the state of Colima. Hallucinogenic Psilocybe were known to the Aztecs as teonanácatl (literally "divine mushroom" - agglutinative form of teó (god, sacred) and nanácatl (mushroom) in Náhuatl) and were reportedly served at the coronation of the Aztec ruler Moctezuma II in 1502. Aztecs and Mazatecs referred to psilocybin mushrooms as genius mushrooms, divinatory mushrooms, and wondrous mushrooms, when translated into English.[22] Bernardino de Sahagún reported ritualistic use of teonanácatl by the Aztecs, when he traveled to Central America after the expedition of Hernán Cortés.


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


Current research and other resources

 

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

In his book "Animals and psychedelics: The natural world and the instinct to alter consciousness" [36] Giorgio Samorini "Offers a completely new understanding of the role psychedelics play in the development of consciousness in all species. [...] Rejecting the Western cultural assumption that using drugs is a negative action or the result of an illness, Samorini opens our eyes to the possibility that beings who consume psychedelics--whether humans or animals--contribute to the evolution of their species by creating entirely new patterns of behavior that eventually will be adopted by other members of that species."

Criticism


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

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


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

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


References



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[30] Letcher. A The Selva Pascuala mushroom mural. Or not.
Blog entry, 19 July 2011

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

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

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

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

[35] Rakic. P "Evolution of the neocortex: Perspective from developmental biology" Nat Rev Neuroscience. 2009 October; 10(10): 724–735. 

[36] Samorini, Giorgio. Animals and psychedelics: The natural world and the instinct to alter consciousness. Park Street Press, 2002.

[37] Yehuda, Rachel, and Linda M. Bierer. "Transgenerational transmission of cortisol and PTSD risk." Progress in brain research 167 (2007): 121-135.

28 comments:

  1. About this: "epigenetic inheritance of behavioral traits seems to add some plausibility to the stoned ape theory ..."

    Oh, does it - really? Have you contacted biologists about this? Surely they might like to know?

    In the McKennasphere 'the world is made of language.' Decoded, it means: anything said by TM's following becomes 'true' automatically. Such 'abracadabra theorizing' makes potent propaganda. TM siren-sang his pied pipelings, to their awe-struck delight:

    "It becomes true, when we talk about it!" (www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6N3z2Ag-9M) He sweetened his sermon by telling his eager flock: "Nobody's smarter than you!"


    Bandying 'epigenetics,' neither knowing a thing about it - nor giving a rat's patootie - is among ploys the TM movement has scrounged up for stoned apes, desperate to rescue it. This has been noted, and remarked upon:

    "Environmental stimuli can turn genes on or off ... by 'epigenetic' processes ... Some of TM's more educated fans have heard of this, and a few stake last-ditch hopes on it to salvage "stoned apes" as theory; but mainly for purposes of keeping issue alive it seems." (www.realitysandwich.com/terence_mckennas_stoned_apes)

    Most of those ensnared by it seem permanently affected. Propaganda and disinfo are meant to be stronger than fact, truth, reality, meaning, or any critical standard of informed understanding. By design they're manipulation and deception, grimly determined in their purpose.

    No different that 'Scientific' Creationism - insistence on being 'seriously considered' and forcible resistance to serious consideration, in the same note.

    For epigenetics, and why stoned apes isn't its damsel in distress (gonna be rescued by it) suggested reading, an informative summary article: www.sciencenet.cn/upload/blog/file/2008/9/20089364752445952.pdf


    Among other things, evolution requires heritable stability - info it holds has to hold up. DNA replication has that. Copying of base sequences (genetic info) is super accurate - error rate, only about one base copied wrong, for every ten-to-a-hundred million bases. That provides a solid foundation for inheritance through many generations, and thus evolution.

    But epigenetic states of bases change readily. The error rate of state-copying during DNA replication is high - one epigenetic state copied wrong for every twenty-five bases.

    And the epigenetic state tends to change readily, not just during replication.

    Epigenetics just doesn't have long-lasting stability DNA sequences do. Sequence info persists over evolutionary time, thus provides a solid ground for natural selection. Epigenetic states (e.g., whether a base is methylated) can be passed on to a next generation - but they change 'just like that!'

    Unlike genetic info - epigenetics doesn't persist over the long haul of evolutionary time. States of a give base may persist for one or two generations - no indication of any evolutionary significance.

    I modestly suggest, the kind of pseudoscientific crap promulgated in sermons glorifying TM 'theorizing' ... like the one above .... will never cease and desist. No more than 'Scientific' Creationists will ever knock off their bs about evolution.

    The pretense in common between 'stoned apes' and the religious right's pseudoscience is - the whack fringes always know more and better about science, especially its details, than scientists - the latter are just a bunch of 'close-minded, conventional Darwinist' dogmatists etc. Exact same line from both extremes, new age pseudopsychedelia ... and old time religion.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well thank you for your input Brian. But I have to ask you do you honestly think that our ancestors never went through prolonged phases of using plants medicinally in the past?

    Your criticism of some of Mckenna more outlandish claims are totally valid, but they are not what this article is about.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can read the article and see for myself what its about, thanks. Not to question anything you 'theorize' (true to TM form). Lets see if this post even appears, or gets mysteriously blocked, shall we?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh good. Why not provide some sourced info - straight from the horse's mouth. See what the record actually reflects about this idiotic 'stoned apes' bs:

    TM was asked by Gracie & Zarkov (1992): “Why did you write FOOD OF THE GODS?” He replied:

    “I felt if I could … convince people that drugs were responsible for the emergence of large brain size … get drugs insinuated into a scenario of human origins, then I would cast doubt on the whole paradigm of Western Civilization… So it was consciously propaganda …” (http://deoxy.org/t_mondo2.htm)

    That distinction's among critical standards for evaluating witness testimony in court. When cross-examined, is the witness trying to sell a story? Maneuvering to persuade a jury how honest and truthful they are? Even as they dodge and evade cross exam? Or are they replying to questions factually, on the level? If they're giving straight answers to straight questions - conveying info.

    For all the pretense of conveying information -TM's 'theories' are fake - his actual IDEA, turns out was strategic and tactical (in a covert culture war) - to convince, anyone gullible enough - not convey. The role of info in his propaganda operations was - for distorting, misrepresenting, and falsifying.

    It seems you're trying to 'change the subject' - substitute your own questions to distract, divert, digress (like "do you honestly think that our ancestors ...:?).

    Now that we're clear what TM said his little stoned apes ploy was REALLY about (evolution merely a means toward his ends, as with our "Scientific" Creationist friends) - let's consult lit he exploited for his little purposes: Fischer and colleagues. Especially that 1970 article you cite so faithfully in allegiance to TM's misuse of it. Obviously, like TM fans high and low - you've not checked your facts. Haven't read it. I'm not saying you'd be interested, in fact, avoiding its actual content is crucial for elaborating TM's lies about it. Lies that need more lies, to 'support' them - oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

    Let's fill in some blanks, about that Fischer research ...

    ReplyDelete
  5. (con't)

    Let me fill you in a little. (This will also reply to your editorial advent, just detected, at the Wikipedia entry for "Terence McKenna"):

    I guess you notice, WP’s “Terence McKenna” entry offers a nice TM-approved ‘message’ to highlight the disinfo, mindlessly reciting its basic line:

    “(TM) based his theory on the main effects, or alleged effects, produced by the mushroom. One of the effects that comes about from the ingestion of low doses, which agrees with one of scientist Roland Fischer’s findings from the late 1960s-early 1970s,[25] is it significantly improves the visual acuity of humans” ([25] Fischer, R; Hill, R (1970). “Psilocybin-Induced Contraction of Nearby Visual Space”. Agents and Actions 1: 190–197.)

    There it is, that Fischer article. And here, based on reading it (not some TM bedtime story about it) are a few little flies in the ointment TM made from it:

    1) Put aside obfuscating riddles like which of Fischer’s ‘findings’ does the above excerpt pretend to mean? As it rurns out – no ‘improvement of visual acuity’ (the supposed “effect” on which TM "based his theory”) -has ever been reported, at any dose, in any study – especially [25], one McKenna pinned this donkey tale on.

    2) “Low dose” of psilocybin - huh? What ‘low dose?' One thing that glares, easily observable - its never specified, never clarified. How many µg/kg? Neither TM nor any source promoting this ‘infaux’ have ever said. Nor even asked. How come, got a theory for that? Like yourself, TM and his missionaries merely tell and retell this story as if it were even remotely true or factual.

    3) Beyond the overt falsity of “improved visual acuity” (and guessing games of which “finding” and what “low dose”) – Fischer et al didn’t even study ‘low dose’ effects.

    Here’s dosage range, research-sourced (Wackermann J, M Wittmann, F Hasler, FX Vollenweider, 2008. Effects of varied doses of psilocybin … Neuroscience Newsletters 345: 51-55):

    12 µg/kg = Very Low Dose
    115 µg/kg = Medium Dose
    250 µg/kg = High Dose:

    As reported in [25] (not McKenna and Co. !) – dosage Fischer used to study effects was (drum roll …) 160 µg/kg. Compare with the range values, if you will.

    Amid lively ‘explanations’ and ‘interpretations’ of TM’s ‘ideas’ – Fischer’s pubs are never quoted. The claims are parroted, with mindless fervor, adamant - yet, never substantiated. Apparently, the lit – so vital to the ‘theory’ – has never even been consulted by any enthusiasts of stoned apes, i.e., of McKenna.

    Y'all TMies are really something, with the disinfo, and the ideologically driven propaganda about what a great and brilliant 'ethnobotanist' - and above all, how heroically honest! TM as paragon of virtue, unimpeachable character above question ... and those who follow his example along with him, heroes. YEAH, RIGHT

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  6. I agree with much of what you just said Brian, thanks for the input. By any chance are you called Bakers on JREF? Early on in his talk 'the tree of knowledge' he openly admits that when he wrote foods of the gods he constructed, what he terms as 'a trojan horse', where he admits that even though the book is written in the style of a scientific paper with references he actually did not create a scientifically rigorous document.

    He just wanted to leave this 'psychedelic trojan horse' in the academia for others more capable to comment on later. In other words, he's insinuating his trojan horse smuggling of psychedlics into academia was done away from the informed criticism of scientists themselves, implying that there is a rich history of psychedelics in human pre history that was taken away by litigious drug laws and not allowed to be seriously studied in academia for the last 50 years or so since the laws were passed.

    Can I ask you what your opinions about psychedelics being illegal are, and how you think this has effected legitimate scientific inquiry over the last 50 years?

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  7. Oh really? TM “openly admitted” his fraud? As if “I’m lying” is an epitome of honest? That comes off as a lame, anti-ethical exercise in whitewash.
    Nice try. But held up to the light – that crap turns out transparent as a cheap lace curtain.

    And – what's this I see before me? You’re suddenly trying to change subject to - law, policy? And some mock interest in ‘legitimate’ research? And my "opinions" about something along such line as you cast? Interesting bait.

    Interesting sequence too. My 1st post noted rampant fallacies of your Epigenetics Ploy. Your pretentious effort to try and rescue stoned apes. As if you can breathe some staged illusion of life into the ‘theory’ - by magic wordplay, Pygmalion-like.

    And how did you answer? By trying to airily dismiss the holes in your pseudoscience cheese - by fog machine rhetoric. By trying to imply, vaguely as possible (not to get caught in your own web), that such fatal flaws - of which your entire exposition is composed -- are “not what this article is about.”

    (You mean, a sermon in disguise, pretending to be something scientific – isn’t really about science after all? Will wonders cease ... and DUH)

    But now you want to go off into issues of laws? On mock concern about ‘legitimate’ (as you breeze it) research. Is that what stoned apes is actually about, then – drug laws?

    If so, then why the elaborated act - like “Scientific” Creationism (another prize exercise in evolutionary pseudoscience) - like its some kind of theory?

    If not, why are you trying to steer away from stoned apes' dramatized subject, evolution and ‘the role of psilocybin’ - as a ‘catalyst’ dontcha know?

    Or have you quietly moved the goalposts of discussion? Your ‘stay on subject’ rule - the one you tried to misapply to my post before (like, bait and switch) no longer in effect? So now, suddenly – posts no longer need address ‘what this article is about’?

    Or is it only YOUR comments that needn't be about stoned apes? Is that the explanation - merely the old ‘double standard’ routine?

    That'd explain the weird shift in your direction, if so. It'd make sense if you have two sets of rules. Special privileges all yours. You can bring up, jaw about whatever, no need to be on topic. But for me to note your distortion of ‘epigenetics’ – using it like a magic word, desperately try to conjure some shred of validity for stoned apes - is somehow ‘not what this article is about' - as you airily rule.

    It all comes off as a smug excuse, to avoid correcting your blatant errors (if not the spirit behind them) - on some kind of stuffy parliamentary basis. A violation of some rule or order. Its tactically understandable since on substance, you’ve no leg to stand on. Going defensive, you've left yourself with no other recourse.

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  8. (con't)

    You've got yourself cornered with this ridiculous sermon-in-disguise you’ve posted, in TM's name (amen), and defensive theatrics. Your exhibit reflects no more knowledge of epigenetics, or evolution, than you have of the Fischer research. Nor countless other deceptions of which the entire TM web is woven (but pay no attention to that - just some man behind a curtain).

    No wonder your oppositional defiance to correcting your epigenetics loopers. Indeed, it appears you’re bringing your own spinnerettes to the rescue. Adding new strands, trying to save stoned apes from its own stupidity and - worse - overt deception, dishonesty. As if spinning its web out even further, by acting like some junior science expert, can save it from itself.

    And as I find, consistently, that type thing is just standard operating procedure in the TM Admiration Society - routine policy, practice, and method, of its missionaries.

    What credentials in biology can you, anonymous avatar, present here - to back up your “qualified to say” show here? Brian Akers’ are a matter of public record (PhD specialist, plant/fungal biology).

    And I’m well aware of the TM attitude about that too: "culture not your friend." TM and his wide-eyed devotees in psychedelic counterculture, have a huge problem with authority in any form – like, scientific. They envy and resent its breadth and power, as much as Bible fundamentalist 'science.' They want to be listened to, believed. But all they can do is try to cajole, connive, or demand credibility - unable to command it.

    So, trying to breezily brush off your red epigenetic herrings - to the guy who pointed them out (me, your humble narrator) - is no surprise. And it can only come off as a transparent stealth maneuver – to protect your ‘theorizing’ from its fatal flaws. And hold yourself and your exposition above criticism - while asserting a posture of false authority.

    As one with background and training in molecular bio (including enough PCR to choke a horse), its obvious: You don’t know much of anything about epigenetics. And as one well aware of the "TM thing" - a morbidly cult-like pattern claiming psychedelics as its exclusive property - your intent in acting like you do is not very puzzling, in light of the TM missionary service it reflects. Bandying the word about in theatrical fashion, doesn’t alter that.

    So, its an interesting sequence. When I zeroed in on your epigenetics farce, you first tried to zero out - via “Do you honestly think ...” talk. That didn’t work.

    Now, take two – you clumsily try same strategy, bringing up laws - inviting me to go all into this and that. Reminder: what I told you on your first take - seems you're trying to 'change the subject' - substitute your own questions to distract, divert, digress (like "do you honestly think that our ancestors ...:?).

    I’ll wait till you correct yourself on your epigenetic farce, as cited in my original post. You made a one-two blunder. First, you try to dodge and duck fatal flaws of your Epigenetic Ploy. Second, your clumsy tactical attempt at reply by diverting and digressing – further evade the issue, by motion to change the subject.

    Motion denied.

    If you want credibility, you’ll need – to be credible. That’s up to you, its no tribute you are owed, like an entitlement. Its earned, on merit. If you could get it by some absurd ‘junior expert’ act – trying to be clever or sly, crafty or whatever you may think you - you’d be all set. Alas for your ‘sciencey circus’ shrine to Terence - you can’t, and you’re not.

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  9. BTW: Your rhetorical contraption ‘he openly admitted’ (your words) - for trying to protect TM’s ‘honor’ from his own words (“around friends and fringies, it doesn’t trouble me to confess”) - struck a familiar chord, of something right on the tip of memory.

    Then, I recalled where I’d heard that sound before.

    Ever read Lewis Carroll, ‘Hunting of the Snark’? In it the Bellman defends a pig accused of deserting his station (his sty), much as you do TM – by first openly admitting to the fact.

    Then, by sly torture of reason – like yours - this becomes the basis of his ‘not guilty’ brief. For as the Bellman makes clear – it ‘obviously’ means the pig is 100% innocent.

    You see, as Bellman theatrically declares - in a death-defying stunt of acrobatic rationalization (like yours, as I noticed): his client’s accusers themselves admit – that the pig wasn’t even at the scene of the crime at time of its commission!

    Well, there it is, as the ‘musical’ king in AMADEUS liked to say. Case closed - by conjured contradiction. Words are magic in a “world made of language” (Teachings of Terence). If the facts do not fit, you must acquit.

    TM fits well with a brand of 'clever cons' - who seem to think they’re so sly with rationale, they can baffle reason itself - turn meaning itself upside down, safe behind the smoke screen of crafty blabber. He was quite the Liar’s Paradox improv artist, wasn't he? “I am lying” as Harry Mudd told the android, meaning to short-circuit its hardware. He didn’t add: “Compute that!” But he might as well have.


    Nice sample of TM’s Bellman routine: J. Horgan, WAS PSYCHEDELIC GURU TERENCE MCKENNA GOOFING ABOUT 2012 ...?: "... what did McKenna really think would happen on December 21, 2012? 'If you really understand what I’m saying,' he replied, 'you would understand it can’t be said. It’s a prediction of an unpredictable event.' "

    No wonder “mind-blowing” - is among the more common excited outbursts of incoherence about TM from his adulators. Who could spin so many variations on Liar’s Paradox, elaborately and extensively as Duh Bard?

    Btw, despite your chirping about how “open” TM was about admitting (boasting) his deception - I find quite the opposite, based on his words (not yours, thanks).

    TM makes clear conditions under which he’d be so "open" – “in the company of friends and fringies, it doesn’t trouble me ...” In substituting your words for his, you didn't mention that.

    TM doesn’t say why he mightn't be so untroubled, apparently, in any other company but his wide-eyed audience, applauding his every word like an army of trained seals. Is it because – nobody asks him, how come? Just gasp, gape-jawed amazement at his Rorschach word blots. Struggling excitedly to find some meaning they can project into them? Then congratulate themselves on how smart they are - for ‘getting it.’ All to affirm whatever Terence says - like: “Nobody’s smarter than you...”

    Nice try, Bellman - your new nickname. And guess which part your poor maligned hero - unjustly denied the credit he's entitled to, for his ‘theories’ and ‘ideas’ (like this stoned apes turd you’ve polished like some precious gem – such an effort), his priceless contributions to humanity and posterity, to the history of intellectual exploration - gets to play in Carroll’s allegory? Mm-hm.

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  10. Great article Zeuzzz.

    Probably the best summary of Mckenna's 'Stoned Apes' on the web.

    The references are especially interesting.

    Nice pictures aswell (but how about a Cubensis?)

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  11. HS, thanks for offering the crestfallen those sterling words of consolation. So much 'theory explainification' such an effort. To have taken such fall, from its perch on a wall. Well ... hopefully, throwing poor doggie a bone like that, can at least help it feel better. Yeah, great article zeuzzz.

    BTW, just saw this post (by some 'MRock -' something) at another, more recent dust-up over McKenna. One with almost 300 posts (!). And it so reminded me of this (above) 'best summary' as you wryly cite it (wink wink, nudge nudge?).

    I can do no better than quote it (its from an exchange with another participant). Maybe you'll catch the ... um - resonance (ahem ;-) with the up-above?

    "You're right too ... the McKenna following is ... not a true cult as you put it... Indeed the term cult itself is problematic, as specialists in neo-religious movements agree... the TM preoccupation is indeed ... ‘cellular’ in structure ... separate autonomous cells, each with its own broadcast sermons, often masquerading to varying degrees as educated theorizing, or something intellectual. But in typical pseudoscience / pseudoscholarly fashion. And sticking to script."

    For goodness sakes, know what I mean? Be cool. Thanks again for the merciful soothing words, Old Mother Hubbard style. Guy needed that.

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  12. Brian, I notice you enjoy attacking Mckenna personally without attacking the facts inb this article so much. Why is this? Ever heard of shooting the messenger but not the message?

    Also I have now added Roland Griffths new research into this subject (references 31-34) which adds nearly overwhelming support these mushrooms not only benefit us now but would have also benefited our ancestors in prehistory. Just from a one off dose too, continual use is not even necessary.

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  13. "I notice ..."? I notice you still like beating your wife! Why is that?

    Just kidding ... borrowing your 'attack' rhetoric (and idiom of aggression). Hope you don't mind. "What's good for the goose," you know.

    Testimony phase is concluded. Yours has been entered (see above), as has mine. Let the record reflect. And - dismissed.

    All's well that ends well. I'm glad we've had this little talk. Your perplexity about 'this and that' is all yours, and you're welcome to it. I wouldn't partake of all that with you, but thanks for offering.

    I think we understand each other.

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    1. You are bakers form Jref, right? Have you posted Zeuz's original blog, or his most recent on the matter here, to the forum? I'd be curious how the people there react, there was a thread about his 'banning' somewhere there, I'm sure this blog would be ripe fruit for fertile minds there not put of by the current cultural paradigm.

      Delete
    2. Greetings Greg, Hailing frequencies. Can't help a pang of curiosity about your possible awareness and/or interest, per this little-known (except to its own) 'McKenna' layer of contemporary pop subculture. 'Ripe' indeed, well agreed. Ditto viz. posters at JREF 'react.'

      Per latter: I often cite a key distinction in psychology, between reaction (mainly personal, expressing emotion, attitude etc) - and response (defined by balanced detachment, informed rationality, as opposed to rationalization). Reaction can try to act like response, emotion self-dramatize as if its thought or 'reason.' These seem to be decisive dynamics, socially and culturally, in this topical arena.

      Per your query: It was connected with studies, that I became a JREF poster - exclusively for that 'stoned apes' thread (founded by our host here). It was part of independent field research, investigating 'community subculture;' especially this 'consciousness movement' (psychedelia). Maybe you know, direct participant observation and interactive inquiry is standard method in ethnography.

      Among questions in focus: exactly how does covert cultic irrationality of grim determination (like this McKenna preoccupation, almost undetected by society at large) target reason as its prey, with subversive intent? What's going on there, what kind of aggression is this? What exactly are these dubious ambitions - 'monsters from the id?' And how do they operate, on clear intent - against the very foundations of better understanding in our milieu? What are their strategies, tactics, and potential?

      There are key questions in evidence with subtle, vast and critical dimensions, of profound importance as I find. Even sobering, perhaps.

      Do you suppose (as I do) rational, educated Romans, hearing a story from the fringes of their era - about some miracle-working peasant rabbi -rolled eyeballs at such dismal rubbish? And gave it no further mind, just shake heads at 'how stupid' ('who would believe that?")? the better to avoid any further annoyance to their rational sensibilities? I'd wager some cracked wise about it, "finding the humor" - another reaction to ease the sense of insult as taken, to intelligence. Do you suppose some high IQ cases even 'theorized' intellectually - why people believe weird things etc.? Good sport, likewise passing as rational response - unconsciously driven to relieve and minimize the offensive 'psychological signal' impact.

      And if some prescient (streetsmart, animal-aware not just educated) observer of that era had predicted, that absurd story would be coming soon to the door of an empire, push its way in and take it over - they'd have been scoffed at, laughed away by more 'rational' minds, held in sway by the obvious; unable to foresee, and thus be better prepared for, what lies ahead.

      Apparently sanity has vulnerable points; it can be oblivious to the subliminal - even driven nuts. Forms of insanity that mimic reason can be powerful, decisive, of human bondage for the course of events and history, socially and culturally. Not real comforting. But such are the nuances and subtleties of issues and questions I discover, probing this stuff. Deep, using sharp tools and solid theoretical frameworks (e.g. Wm James, VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE, or Festinger, WHEN PROPHECY FAILS - etc).

      con't ...

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    3. ... JREF, inviting 'friendly and lively' dscussion, seems to offer a kind of opening for pseudoscience - "I dare you to try and prove me wrong" games.

      In the 'stoned apes' thread gambit, only two JREFfers (asydhouse & porch) proved notably perceptive, well as sound of character. One voiced a sense I found informative, if regrettable (from my pov). He was disappointed by a surprise perspective that for all its pretense of ‘theorizing,' stoned apes proves in essence, to be an ‘inspirational’ broadcast recruitment operation.

      As such its valid framework of consideration is not biology, even remotely. Masquerade aside, it goes to comparative religion, history of W. mythology, social psych etc - in a milieu of ideological culture war. Stoned apes comes to the door, seeking attention on grounds of 'lets talk about evolution.' Science-interests who join without realizing, get a pie in the face. Joke's on them.

      Throughout the McKennasphere, his "sense of humor" is often lauded. But as I find, the "humor" isn't funny - its alienation, the jokes are on sanity. It harbors envy of science's credibility, resentment of its influence etc. Mocking science and reason, by acting serious for a cheap laugh - part of its game. Meaning itself, common cause, better purpose - are its targets and prey. Its really something ...

      Hard stuff for the prey to realize - rationality's Achilles heel. Some ‘theories’ prove to be Trojan Horses - covert ops, geared devices of cunning purpose they don’t let on about. Whether ‘stoned apes’ or ‘Sci’ Creation, admitting them to discussion on their own dictated terms, as theories rather than ‘coded’ sermons in disguise, subversive guerilla tactics – in effect gives them the shrubbery they demand in tribute. Even with ‘rational’ rebuttal intent, it can serve their stealth objectives, play into their fantasies of power - only encourage them.

      The JREF 'demo' reflected various type ineffectual attempts by some 'rational' posters to wrestle the 'stoned apes' pig - ‘there’s no evidence for it yet’ (no valid criteria of evidence cited, nor such question even raised. One guy was trying to make 'mycology' arguments, with no more clue about that science than stoned apes has about natural selection. Inviting confusion is one way ‘stoned apes’ secures its goals. Such misconstrued attempts at refuting it can mainly backfire - unwittingly affirming, without even realizing - that indeed, evidence could come along. Therefore ceding one of its claims, it can’t be ruled out.

      “Its not yet been proven but - its possible” is stoned apes’ game, its script and doctrine - its strategic design. One might as well argue against Adam and Eve on grounds there’s no evidence for them “yet.”

      Stoned apes, unlike Genesis, has eluded detection so far, for what it is. And it bases a lot of its discourse in technical stuff (epigenetics for example) - that most people just don’t know enough about, to enable them to know what to say and how. Its soo easy to plant doubt in an OJ jury’s mind, about stuff far over their heads as DNA evidence. And that’s all his defense had to do with a jury – not of geneticists or molecular biologists, but – of his peers.

      I'm studying psychedelia, 'fringe communitarianism' and subversive movements, such as this McKenna cultism. So far I conclude, discussion 'stoned apes' in its own dictated terms - rather than as a ‘cultic wolf in sciencey sheepskin clothing’ - can unwittingly feed in to its attention-seeking strategy. It slyly demands ‘serious consideration’ as a ‘possibility’ - awaiting ‘further proof’ (per its scripted line). Und it hass lilttle vays of getting vhat it vants - as I find. To my considerable ‘spidey sense’ intrigue.

      Interesting, the times we’re living in. We must have done something wrong to deserve them, if old Chinese curses are any indication. Feel free to contact, incl. private as your purposes and interest indicate.

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  14. Zeuzzz-Godspeed sir!

    You know what I like about incredibly articulate imbeciles like Brian Akers? Their detailed diatribes of dissent make it easier to see right through their "academic" arguments. See what you ask? To those who read between the lines, it offers a glimpse into the mind of a person so adversarial that they could disagree with God himself only because of the deepest rooted insecurities that you and I can only fathom.

    "Hey, look at me! My grammer is awesome!". "Check out my ostentatious use of multisyllabic words!". A wordsmith such as yourself could be nothing else but infalliable. Is that not the implication of the loquacious, verbose and utter vexing nature of Mr. Akers rebuttal to the stoned ape theory?

    McKenna was self admittedly an intellectual performer offering up theories rooted in facts, observations and extrapolation with psychedelic overtones. I applaud his efforts for thinking outside of the box (or in some cases a dodecahedron).

    As far as an intelligent critique of Zeuzzz's interpretation of TM's Stoned Ape Theory, Brian only succeeds in illustrating a failure to be able to make a single succinct point. I actually pity his rigidity in entertaining others viewpoints as that is, in my humble opinion, the true basis for rational propagation of intellectual progress and productive discourse.

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    1. Another utterly vexed cultist (You'rrre not a 'people person,' are you?)

      (sigh) the TM cult. Such an effort. It tries sooo hard to conceal its essential fanaticism - by making 'intellectual' sounds, pretending its some 'theory' or 'idea.'

      When its all out of aces TMism shows its hand. Now, plays its last card - infantile tantrum, lashing out, desperately trying to retaliate for how offended it is.

      When all else fails TM cultism unmasks itself. Then at last, we see what a thin pretense its 'ideas' are. And what's under that ridiculous pretend 'theory' sheepskin costume.

      I can only describe (not exemplify) the Terence cult - its belligerent antisocial schizoid and sociopathic features. As I note above, it expresses a distinct pattern of clear consistency - delusional self-righteous spite, infuriated incoherence pretending it has something to say, malignant character disorder etc ... enough pathologies to choke a horse.

      But for 'live demo' purposes, to help prove the true 'nature and worth' of TMism - what better evidence could anyone ask than to have a 'serious case' rush in to act it all out in plain view, real time? For all and sundry to see, lo and behold.

      Right on cue. Nothing 'novel' - a dismally typical display of what stoned apes, 'the McKenna mojo' (bozz, the 'resonance') - is really about. Malignant psychodrama, aggression lashing out, helpless to get any satisfaction. Not just clueless, powerless. Even in word, much less deed.

      As sun sets slowly in the west, chalk up another confirmation - goin' postal. Another piece of evidence in testimony of what we already know. Dig how Terence with his keen grasp of the obvious, scared as he was of the 'elephant in the room' - tried to dispel it by magic words of implicit denial:

      “If psychedelics don’t secure a moral community, than I don’t see what the point of it is. Otherwise - we’re just another cult.” Yeah boy - and DUH ...

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    2. Totally agree Mr Fakers, I've not even read the most recent ones. I'm sure they are very well worded, have gorgeous grammar, perfect punctuation, display a voluminous vocabulary, and generally miss the point completely.

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    3. Good one Greg (and sockpuppets)

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  15. How did you find the page Brian Fakers, out of interest? Was it my posts at the shroomery, a simple google search, or otherwise? Always nice to know where traffic comes from.

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    1. Greg (inclusive of your several names ...) - its not just the never-ending story. Its the way you try telling it. All subtext, loving attention to detail. And such subtlety.

      Why, even a slick serpent in some mythological garden could only envy your talent for guile .... NOT. Just kidding. As I recall the serpent actually beguiled someone successfully - no pratfalls or unwitting comedy (as here).

      Well then let's see, how've you got your 'little story' rigged between the lines now? Ah, by Jove (get it?). Clear enough - you've staged it all so well, so carefully.

      First, we're to understand, indubitably - your 'Fakers' alias is a misnomer of sorts, because - that's no Faker (so, there's no Freudian slippage in your alias thus named - no matter how obvious or telling).

      Yeah, your 'Faker' alias - is really really is a different person from you - as 'zeuzzz' not Greg (just to keep your dramatis personae clear for you). Right? I mean, you're not going to deny that are you??

      Second, your 'zeuzzz' characterization is alll curious (ever the inquiring mind) - to know where your other costume character is located. And, how he came to the attention of sockpuppet #1

      On reflection, brings to mind a quote from good ol' Mr. Spock (STAR TREK): "Fascinating."

      Although on clinical impression - your psychotheatrics seem less like scifi, more like a soap opera ('daytime drama'). ALL MY SOCKPUPPETS?

      Or if a film, maybe THREE FACES OF GREG?

      Delete
    2. LOL, you're hilarious. I didn't write the Brian Fakers comment, I did write the other one from my other google account, as I simply happened to be signed into that one at the time. Quit your whining and address the main issues as you see them.

      Delete
  16. Awwww - what's the matter now, Greg? Something you're (sniff) unhappy about? Woe is me, have I failed to satisfy you in some way? Something I said or didn't say - fails to meet some need of yours? Like some 'issues' you have, requiring address?

    But by jove , I think you hit on something there (oops?) - you got 'main issues' all right. A glaring one is that you're entitled to satisfaction - like a brat wants his candy bar, and had better get it. What will you demand next, a shrubbery?

    Another issue (less hopeful) might be - whether you can even be helped.

    Usually, whoever whines (to me?) about someone else (moi?) supposedly whining - well, strikes a mildly amusing note of irony in my ear. Kind of rich. Bravo for life's little treasures. Well sounds like quite a crisis. For you.

    Idea: Call one of your sockpuppet characters. Maybe they'll throw you a Pity Party. Help stage a tear-stained daytime drama, sympathize with you. And pacify, 'there, there' you - all about that terrible guy not addressing your main issues for you. How dare he? I mean, what an injustice. And oh that such should befall poor, poor you.

    So cheer up. I'm sure your theater company players can make you feel better. Commiserate, shed a few of your tears with you - one hand to wash the other with them, puppeteer-style. Might make you feel better.

    But I wouldn't bet on it.

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    1. lol you never cease to amaze me with your oddly entertaining replies Brian ... now where was that long article you wrote elsewhere on this theory originally posted? Some type of skeptic blog and/or environment, a link would be great. If you don't want to link to it I can simply go through the old thread at JREF and find it, I think that has a lot to do with why you spend so much time doing what you do ...

      All the best.

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  17. Poor doggie, here - throw you another bone.

    This just in - latest in stoned apes news. Fresh raw material for your "never-ceasing amazement and odd entertainment" story line (as per latest revision)? Interesting trail this 'theory' is cutting thru the world of science and scholarship. Stoned apes finally finding its way? Its dreams of getting attention, from someone, anyone - finally coming true?:

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-new-york-knicks-phil-jackson-and-the-stoned-ape-theory/

    Can you enhance or boost your signal? Last transmission, deciphered no signal just noise. Other than date Jan 23 2014 screen showed only garbled nonsense, incoherent - computer glitch?



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  18. Fundamental arrogance is the trade mark of current day academics and "licensed"scientists. In what have become a near bureaucratic discipline, the licensing of knowledge (ei, degree titles, specializations,etc) has flattened the ground, granting the right for inquiry, or taking it away at leisure .... you can today be taken to jail to do what Leonardo Davinci and many others did on their time: exercising curiosity and risking their own skin motivated solely by their thirst for understanding the world they live in. Not anymore, today you need a license to think and to produce theory and you'll be ostracized if you do this without an ""appropriate license"" this is what Mr. Akers is trying here..saying :this is bullshit because we (licensed) scientist say so ....


    Unfortunately for him, now we know that the ice all our very advanced "science"stands on is VERY thin and for all the neat advances is appears to make the truth is it fails to explain all of the most fundamental questions ( never found or imaginary "missing link"??) and solve the most fundamental problems (arthritis has no cure ???) , and the list is endless ...... as Paul Feyerabend ( and I recommend to anyone interested in science and the philosophy of science read his books) said in his book "Against method" : " The scientific method as is accepted today, has built in the most fundamental flaw that hinders its own advancement: all new theory, has to comply or be the continuation of previously established or accepted theories, this is a scheme that favors the old theories over the more interesting and probably correct theories, as it forbids itself (science) to even explore them"...the condescending tone emanating from Mr Akers speaks for itself and it is an example of the type of crude bureaucratic middle man that academics and licensed scientist have allowed themselves to become....sad.

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    1. Poor fanatics. They get so stressed out.

      Pitiful, pathological liars - used to putting it over. When it doesn't work out OMG, psychodrama. Some get so used to nobody seeing thru them - they start to think deception is some Superpower they have - and nobody could ever see through them. And that starts chipping away at fragile timbers of their insecure ego, as it feeds on such flattering self-deceit.

      Soon Artful Liar's expectations are conditioned, like one of Pavlov's dogs. They go from thinking they're so good at lying, they start kidding themselves they're entitled to deceive, like a divinely granted right or some truth they hold self-evident. And it puts them at risk for a nervous breakdown if/when it all fails. It becomes beyond comprehension for the "Entitled-To-Be-Believed" that someone might call bullshit on their con - even as a possibility.

      So when that happens (it does) - its nervous breakdown time, they snap like dry twigs. Oh well that's fanaticism for you. Seen one brand you seen 'em all.

      That sums up the McKenna's Witnesses dilemma. With their "inspiration" a pack of lies, as we easily find and verify - except followers afraid to even look (lest the thread by which their sanity hangs snap). They've backed the wrong horse, and that's tough luck for fanatics. They put ALL their eggs in a basket that don't float, and can't (sinks like a rock) - eagerly, with greatest of ease. But getting their eggs back out, isn't so easy.

      That's why they call that fanatic bs 'thought programming.' And there's no cure for the mental anguish and distress, rage and fear - cognitive dissonance inflicted. When TM bait is taken, swallowed - a nasty barbed hook is set. Those reeled in, all up into it - their precarious mental world around it - are left unable to ever face reality again. Permanent loss of mind, sanity etc.

      Truth becomes too upsetting for those who've embraced ego-enticing lies. One can only pity those struggling in such webs, furiously, foaming at the mouth.

      Pseudoscience's 'experts' crave credibility science has achieved and commands - and that's the 'logic' (i.e. Motive) of their whole 'theorizing' pretense: "To Infiltrate - imitate." As any wolf gussied up in sheepskin, going "bahaha" - to try and get into the herd.

      And then Little Red Riding Hood said: "My Grandma, what a clever strategy you have!" ("Oh, the better to pick out the most choice targets, right up close at point blank range, my dear").

      Fanatic 'schmeorists' are just fine when they can get whoever to believe them. They only fly into fanatic rage when unmasked as frauds. With their sanity staked on deceit, what else can poor fanatics, sick sad nutcases, do but go nuts when it doesn't work out?

      Of course, fanatics and liars can pound their little gripes & grievances with the grapes right up their 'stupid fox' patootie. They picked their Koolaid, drank it by their own choice - and that's not enough, now they gotta try and get whoever else to drink with them?

      They made their bed, now they gotta LIE in it (get it? ;-)

      Cool new character in the puppet show Greg. Enraged by those grapes, left shaking fist at the science so spitefully envied, its credibility beyond Fox's reach. How dare anything real, like truth, or knowledge and understanding itself - defy the wishes of liars and cons? The audacity how dare truth be - true? Especially when fanatics' sanity depends on duplicity, their little "pull my finger" schmeories (jokes) fallen for?

      Good for you Greg. I mean, "Mauricio." Just to keep it in character for ya (don't I know there's a Puppet Show on?)

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