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McKenna's Stoned Ape theory


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#1 Trian3

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:30 PM

I'm currently listening to a TM lecture that some of you may not have heard before as I've not seen it widely disseminated.  It's titled, "Mushrooms, Evolution, and the Millenium" and can be found here.  It's absolutely riveting and I highly recommend it.  Within, he discusses his stoned ape theory which you're probably all familiar with.  In brief, the theory states that the mildly hallucinogenically (sp?) affected mammal has an evolutionary advantage due to the positive benefit conferred upon its visual acuity.  Where competition rules (provided you subscribe to the survival of the fittest theory) this can mean the difference between life and death.

 

I've only ever heard of experiments done on visual perception, though.  Does anyone know if other senses are positively enhanced (not distorted) when on naturally occurring psychedelic substances and if there have been studies which bear this out?



#2 Alder Logs

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:50 PM

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#3 August West

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 04:00 PM

The evidence for the visual acuity claim, which is one of the cornerstones of McKenna's speculation (it probably doesn't qualify as a scientific theory) is suspect, at best.

#4 CatsAndBats

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 05:16 PM

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#5 Alder Logs

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 05:22 PM

photo-147940.gif?_r=1514778346  How long is that cat gonna be battin' it?



#6 Sidestreet

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:18 PM

The evidence for the visual acuity claim, which is one of the cornerstones of McKenna's speculation (it probably doesn't qualify as a scientific theory) is suspect, at best.

 

I don't know about visual acuity, but I think it's at least feasible that we have been eating mushrooms for a lot longer than a few thousand years....



#7 Trian3

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:37 PM

The evidence for the visual acuity claim, which is one of the cornerstones of McKenna's speculation (it probably doesn't qualify as a scientific theory) is suspect, at best.

 

Intriguing, nonetheless.  But please elaborate on your arguments against his theory.



#8 Alder Logs

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:07 PM

I presume the only evidence could be witness testimony from the apes of that age.   Therefore, no evidence is likely to come in support of McKenna's hypothesis.   Humans, having presumably much the same DNA can experiment on themselves and make assumptions.    A first experiment would be to take low doses and see if you are better at escaping lions on the savanna than a control group munching down only placebos. 


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#9 August West

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 12:26 AM


The evidence for the visual acuity claim, which is one of the cornerstones of McKenna's speculation (it probably doesn't qualify as a scientific theory) is suspect, at best.

 
Intriguing, nonetheless.  But please elaborate on your arguments against his theory.
I'm not arguing against his speculation. Using the concept that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, there is very little to argue against.

His whole theory requires assumptions that require previous assumptions that require previous assumptions, etc - all of which contain little substantial evidence. To the visual acuity claim specifically, as I understand, he misrepresented (at best) the findings of the Fischer paper. I believe the researchers remarked that the low dose changes in perception (notice: not increased acuity or edge detection) may not be conducive to the survival of the organism (I think that's nearly a direct quote - I've had this discussion)

Though the speculation is intriguing and fun to consider, like much that McKenna offered, it lacks rigor. He was, as much as anything else, a provacateur, if not occasionally an outright bullshitter (Timewave Zero and 2012 come to mind). I'm not even convinced he believed it himself.

#10 DonShadow

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:17 AM

Terence at least pointed to the fact that the consumption of entheogens (plant/fungi based exogenous neurotransmitters) is ubiquitous in indigenous spiritual traditions. This is a big deal for evolutionary theory, as it implies that human beings are symbiotic organisms which at one time may have depended on exogenous neurotransmitters for normal brain function. Tony Wright has some good material on this subject. His basic hypothesis is that human beings have fallen out of a state of natural symbiosis with plants/fungi because of a sudden change in environmental conditions, which lead to a drastic change in dietary habits and thus reduced brain function. The sexual organs (fruits) of plants and fungi contain hormones which when consumed regularly induce sudden changes in neurodevelopment. If you're interested to learn more, this two-part interview provides the basic run-down of his hypothesis.

[Direct Link]


Edited by DonShadow, 03 January 2018 - 03:31 AM.


#11 DonShadow

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:20 AM

Additionally, his groundbreaking work "Left in the Dark" is available in high-quality PDF format here: https://thechosenite...in-the-dark.pdf



#12 CatsAndBats

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 02:17 AM

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#13 Sweezi

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 04:30 PM



The evidence for the visual acuity claim, which is one of the cornerstones of McKenna's speculation (it probably doesn't qualify as a scientific theory) is suspect, at best.


Intriguing, nonetheless. But please elaborate on your arguments against his theory.
I'm not arguing against his speculation. Using the concept that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, there is very little to argue against.

I think the best evidence is personal experience ;D when out mushroom hunting have you ever eaten a few to help find others? It works amazingly well!!

In other matters without the law abd man with guns; who'd stop our stoner asses munching these funny mushrooms which made you see and think ;)

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#14 August West

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 06:38 PM

Correlation and causation are not the same. Many things could account for why you found more mushrooms, including, I suppose, because you ate some. But again, McKenna's visual acuity claim is not well supported by evidence.

As to your second statement, I'm afraid I don't follow.

#15 Sweezi

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 09:00 AM

Correlation and causation are not the same. Many things could account for why you found more mushrooms, including, I suppose, because you ate some. But again, McKenna's visual acuity claim is not well supported by evidence.

As to your second statement, I'm afraid I don't follow.

I'm implying that without cultural ideals giving the idea of drugs are bad yet allowing a few in. Without that, word of tongue would be the main way of knowing which ones are good and bad (personally I think if that was the case then alcohol would be considered bad) and mushrooms would be considered the good ones.

I think this link might explain the visual aquire thing better

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#16 August West

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 08:26 PM

 

Correlation and causation are not the same. Many things could account for why you found more mushrooms, including, I suppose, because you ate some. But again, McKenna's visual acuity claim is not well supported by evidence.

As to your second statement, I'm afraid I don't follow.


I think this link might explain the visual aquire thing better

Sent from my SM-G850F using Tapatalk

 

Yea, the main reference in your link cites the Fischer paper which is the only evidence McKenna used to build his claim. I've touched on the problems with that further up this thread.



#17 Alder Logs

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 11:52 PM

Dilated pupils let in more light.   Heightened sensitivity to color and movement wouln't seem beyond possibility, judging from experiences I have had, as a stoned ape.


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#18 August West

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 12:13 AM

I don't necessarily disagree and I'm not saying it's beyond the realm of possibility but context is missing. McKenna essentially put it out as fact that "increased visual acuity" is a definite result of ingestion and in a way that is evolutionarily beneficial. Fischer's paper just does not back this up. Seriously, how many people who make this claim have ever read the paper? Or critiques of McKenna's claims based on the paper? I know which side of 1% my guess falls on.



#19 Alder Logs

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 12:33 AM

Apes don't read them papers!



#20 August West

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 12:47 AM

Banking on that was a large part of McKenna's success.

 

I guess he and Allen Dulles had that in common ;)


Edited by August West, 06 March 2018 - 12:49 AM.





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