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Old 9th December 2012, 11:50 AM   #281
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Originally Posted by Zeuzzz View Post
What happens when I try my hardest to falsify it, and start entire thread on the topic amongst well educated people who also seem unable to falsify it? (despite the bad signal to noise ratio)

The theory is not postulating the existence of us evolving from pink unicorns. The theory is making a reasoned and informed argument about the evolution of human consciousness based on the available evidence we have about evolutionary theory, apes and humans minds. I would call it more a plausibility hypothesis than a scientific theory.
Except you add mushrooms.
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Old 9th December 2012, 11:51 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by Zeuzzz View Post
I can't falsify it. I started the thread for others to asses the theory and help me try to falsify it. They have not. They have just gotten rather annoyed at the threads existance at times and presumed that it's my pet theory. Which I have found rather amusing at times, to say the least.
If it's not your pet theory then why are you playing with it?
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Old 9th December 2012, 12:07 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
On this forum it is. You can't start off espousing a theory then hide behind the "not my theory" dodge.

This forum would be an extremely strange place if people did not post alternative theories for people to comment on. In fact, if they did not, this forum would not need to exist at all. Everyone would just know the truth and not discuss it.

Your statement is fundamentally flawed from the get go.

[*]I anticipate your equally flawed one line response with great anticipation.[/*]

* End sarcasm.
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Old 9th December 2012, 12:28 PM   #284
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I've become so boring, I may have to dose myself before returning to this discussion.
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Old 9th December 2012, 12:38 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by Zeuzzz View Post
I can't falsify it. I started the thread for others to asses the theory and help me try to falsify it.
When I asked you how you attempted to falsify your hypothesis, you said that this thread was it. Now you're saying that you tried to falsify it and only started this thread when you failed to do so.

Which is true?
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Old 9th December 2012, 02:23 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by Zeuzzz View Post
And how, via trace element analysis, would you deduce the ingestion of mushrooms?
It's common archaeological practice.

http://web.usm.my/jps/21-2-10/21.2.1.pdf

http://www.sbfisica.org.br/bjp/files/v35_761.pdf

http://libra.msra.cn/Publication/241...ement-analysis

That's less than thirty seconds on Google. Go to Google Scholar and put even a modest amount of effort in and you'll get a great deal more information on the topic.

Again, I'm not doing the legwork for you. YOU are supporting this hypothesis, and it's extremely unreasonable to demand that I hold up both ends of the argument. This is the argument YOU support. I've provided an ample discussion of what data I need to accept it. Your side hasn't even ATTEMPTED to examine this archaeological question from the standpoint of rigorous archaeology (looking at pictures doesn't count, for the obvious reason that it's wide-open to interpretation). Your side needs to do that before I'm going to accept your findings.

Quote:
I do not know how to find these trace elements. I was hoping you could educate me.
It's fairly common practice. I'd suggest that if you don't know enough about archaeology to know that this method exists and some basics about it, you probably don't know enough to properly evaluate an archaeological hypothesis--and you certainly don't know enough to take the tone you've been taking in this thread (you're coming off as "I know more than you!!!!").

Quote:
It's not my hypothesis.
You're supporting it. Therefore my statement holds. Besides, this is a dodge. You're addressing an extremely minor semantics point, and ignoring the main subject of my statement. If you want to look for a pedantic reason to dismiss an argument you'll always find one. If you want to know the truth about something such rhetorical shenanigans only get in the way.

Quote:
I bet your more human than American though
That makes no sense.

Quote:
Do you prefer the Beatles or the Rolling stones?
Are you actually interested in discussing your pet hypothesis in a rational and substantive way, or do you want to find reasons to avoid said discussion?

Finally, WE DO NOT NEED TO PROPOSE AN ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESIS TO DEMONSTRATE THAT YOUR HYPOTHESIS IS WRONG. That's in caps because it's your most egregious misunderstanding about how science works. Just because you propose a hypothesis doesn't mean that there's actually something to explain. You need to demonstrate that there is first, and you've failed to do that. Since there's nothing to explain, we don't need to explain it.

It's not sufficient to show that your hypothesis is the only one around. You also have to show that it's true. And you haven't.
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Old 9th December 2012, 02:34 PM   #287
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There's a joke in evolutionary biology that's applicable here (it also actually happened). Two researchers were sitting around talking about why humans have fingerprints. One said "Well, it's obvious. Sweat glands are delicate structures, and the fingerprints are clearly to provide the valleys which protect the glands!" The other said "That's an elegant explanation, and certainly deserves to be true. Sadly, the sweat glands are on the ridges of the fingerprints, not in the valleys."

Your side has provided an elegant explanation, Zeuzzz. Now you just have to demonstrate that no mean little facts are getting in the way. (That's an allusion, by the way.)
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Old 9th December 2012, 02:38 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by Zeuzzz View Post
And if anyone has valid criticism of any claims made above please feel free to make your argument here, with references, so I can add them to the text above for future use.

I would like some evidence that the mushrooms in question have ever been found in significant numbers on the African grassland where primitive humans lived.
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Old 9th December 2012, 02:44 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by Zeuzzz View Post
I can't falsify it.
That would seem to be a problem for you then, wouldn't it?
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Old 9th December 2012, 02:45 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
There's a joke in evolutionary biology that's applicable here (it also actually happened). Two researchers were sitting around talking about why humans have fingerprints. One said "Well, it's obvious. Sweat glands are delicate structures, and the fingerprints are clearly to provide the valleys which protect the glands!" The other said "That's an elegant explanation, and certainly deserves to be true. Sadly, the sweat glands are on the ridges of the fingerprints, not in the valleys."

Your side has provided an elegant explanation, Zeuzzz. Now you just have to demonstrate that no mean little facts are getting in the way. (That's an allusion, by the way.)
Neat story. btw, do other apes have unique finger-prints?
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Old 9th December 2012, 08:26 PM   #291
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Originally Posted by quarky View Post
Neat story. btw, do other apes have unique finger-prints?
A quick Google search indicates yes. If someone better-versed in primates knows more, I'd suggest listening to their answers over mine (again, mine amounted to a quick Google search).
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Old 10th December 2012, 03:52 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by Zeuzzz View Post
This forum would be an extremely strange place if people did not post alternative theories for people to comment on. In fact, if they did not, this forum would not need to exist at all. Everyone would just know the truth and not discuss it.

Your statement is fundamentally flawed from the get go.

[*]I anticipate your equally flawed one line response with great anticipation.[/*]

* End sarcasm.
You just threw this theory out for people to comment on? You have no vested interest in whether or not it's true?

There's a name for those who post just to get a reaction.
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Old 10th December 2012, 06:23 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
It's common archaeological practice.

http://web.usm.my/jps/21-2-10/21.2.1.pdf

http://www.sbfisica.org.br/bjp/files/v35_761.pdf

http://libra.msra.cn/Publication/241...ement-analysis

That's less than thirty seconds on Google. Go to Google Scholar and put even a modest amount of effort in and you'll get a great deal more information on the topic.

You appear to have posted the wrong links?

Nothing wrong with those papers but I searched all of them for the word 'mushroom' or 'fungi' and I did not a single match.
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Old 10th December 2012, 09:29 AM   #294
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New paradigm
-post a bunch on indicative speculation
-call it a theory
-do not support with evidence
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Old 10th December 2012, 09:39 AM   #295
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call it a spade intead of a shovel

It amazing what lengths people go through to rationazlize their addictions into a good thing.
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Old 10th December 2012, 09:53 AM   #296
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Originally Posted by Tumbleweed View Post
It amazing what lengths people go through to rationazlize their addictions into a good thing.
Like Terence McKenna, he of the fried synapses.
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Old 10th December 2012, 11:21 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Zeuzzz View Post
You appear to have posted the wrong links?

Nothing wrong with those papers but I searched all of them for the word 'mushroom' or 'fungi' and I did not a single match.
No, I posted the correct links; you didn't understand what I was doing. I'm not going to argue both sides of this argument, as I've stated previously--if you want to support this hypothesis, YOU provide the data. What I did was provide references to examples of the types of methodologies I'd previously said would convince me that this hypothesis was true. These are examples of osteological and dental studies in archaeology, showing how such studies work. I gathered that you were unfamiliar with the techniques and wanted to offer some help in that regard. That said, it's up to you to determine what compounds/elements would be preserved--or to demonstrate that the technique is inappropriate for this data. I don't claim to be omniscient in regards to archaeology, so if you can demonstrate that the technique won't work I'll re-evaluate my stance. But bear in mind that simply saying "The compounds won't survive" is insufficient--trace element and even isotopic signitures must also be considered (that's how we can tell if horses were eating C3 or C4 plants, for example). If you can prove that my request is flawed I'll abandon it--but you need to actually prove it.

Also, I'd like to suggest that your research methods are fairly shallow. Simply looking for a few key words will always lead you in the wrong direction. You need to consider the concepts being discussed, and the implications of those concepts. Just because the paper doesn't say "mushroom" or "fungus" doesn't mean it's not relevant. We're not just talking fungus here; we're talking archaeology, and I'm specifically talking about techniques to determine ancient diet. All sorts of things that never mention fungi can impact this discussion.
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Old 10th December 2012, 01:48 PM   #298
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There is no evidence that human ancestors ate hallucinogenic mushrooms
There is no evidence that said mushrooms having been ingested changed human mating patterns at a level that would lead to evolution
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Old 10th December 2012, 05:04 PM   #299
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I did read the papers, but I just failed to find much of significance to the topic this thread is about. Please do not get the wrong opinion from my above post, when I said I searched for mushrooms or fungi (which merely happens to be the specific psychedelic being mainly considered in this thread, due partially to the Mckenna biased slant to it) I did also look for general natural psychedelics that alter human consciousness to check if they included them and how they can be found in the osteological/dental based literature. They did not seem to mention any sort of consciousness altering substance that may have contributed to the evolution of consciousness.

Which is the topic of this thread. Which I am finding considerably hard to find in the scientific literature, so far, to balance out the criticism section of the text I wrote before. Any paper linked to that does not mention them remains largely off topic to the thread. Thanks for the effort for supplying the links so far, however; they have been very educational even if off topic.

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Old 10th December 2012, 05:26 PM   #300
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Originally Posted by quarky View Post
Neat story. btw, do other apes have unique finger-prints?
If they have fingerprints, they will be unique. The real question is 'can we always distinguish one from another, even in humans?'
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Old 10th December 2012, 06:23 PM   #301
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I would think that being stoned would make a primate more vulnerable to predators.
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Old 10th December 2012, 07:04 PM   #302
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Originally Posted by Zeuzzz
They did not seem to mention any sort of consciousness altering substance that may have contributed to the evolution of consciousness.
Well there's your problem. You've artificially limited what you consider relevant. Don't look for the specific psychoactive compound--look for OTHER compounds the mushroom preferentially absorbs. What I'm asking is "What proof is there that humans ate THE MUSHROOM in the distant past?" No one was sitting around chowing down on psychoactive chemicals (we didn't know how to isolate them until much, much later) so they're irrelevant here.

Quote:
Any paper linked to that does not mention them remains largely off topic to the thread.
Hardly. I mentioned specific methods by which you can prove to me that humans ate the mushrooms; therefore a brief discussion of those methods, along with links to papers illustrating the methods, is entirely on-topic. It's a bit of an aside, but not much of one.

What I'm asking you to do is take these techniques, take your knowledge of these mushrooms, and see if they're applicable. If so, cool; we have a good test. If not, okay; I'll think of a different one. This is only one of many options for determining whether humans ate something (the most direct, certainly, but not the only one). It's irrational to say a discussion of methodology is off-topic when the discussion is "Did humans eat this thing?"
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Old 10th December 2012, 08:33 PM   #303
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ah fine I'm going to jump in just to ask Dinwar something. Let's say for the moment that early hominids did ingest mushrooms and probably consumed psychedelic ones too. EVEN WITH trace analysis (I have no idea how you'd actually trace a particular psychedelic but maybe the method is more precise than I could imagine) it would only really confirm a part of the overall hypothesis that apes ingested those mushrooms. You wouldn't be able to determine any incidence of growth. You just won't be able to determine incidence only prevalence and without incidence you cannot make a connection temporally between ingestion and any population explosion. You would literally need to find a LOT of of fossils with the trace psychedelics. You'd need to determine that the temporality of those fossils is in line with the growth and change of that "tribe" we'll call it. THEN you would need to remove other confounders such as maybe favorable habitat where the mushrooms are confounding THAT instead. I mean there is SO MUCH MORE demand for proof that just asking for trace elements of the psychedelics is only giving the slightest of hope to Zeuzzz. I mean you said that it's a fact in historical archaeology that we just may never know. It would take a LOT more work just to strengthen the association that this search for trace elements provides...it's a start but there's almost no direction; it doesn't put you close to the theory at all.

So in other words to you Zeuzzz this theory, even if true would be so hard to determine as true. I think there is a fundamental issue with the theory in that trying to associate the dietary intake of psychedelic mushrooms as being a driving force in evolution or just regular old survival of genes is just bad, it's just a REALLY bad theory. There could be an association but remember this; there are organisms such as koalas that survive only on a particular type of plant (There also these little sugar gliders which survive purely on a nectar that's high in ethanol so they get drunk all the time) that only grows in a particular geographical location and nowhere else. To suggest that there may have been a particular evolutionary driving force with these mushrooms you'd expect EXTREMELY similar characteristics within the population you're observing. That expectation doesn't really fly well all that well with early hominid history. It seems just to be a really poor theory.
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Old 10th December 2012, 11:27 PM   #304
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I still don't understand what problem this theory solves. Even if eating the mushrooms leads to some selective advantage (a huge stretch), that still doesn't explain anything about consciousness. It doesn't follow that eating mushrooms would alter our physiology to make us more conscious. All it would do is give us a higher tolerance to mushrooms and maybe change features of our digestive system to support mushroom consumption.

The only thing I can think of here is that maybe, for some unknown reason, selection could not select for higher consciousness. Consciousness was at level X and natural selection did not favor X+1. Then somehow in the context of eating mushrooms, selection favored X+1 which then allowed X+2 to be selected for and so on.

Of course, a much more simple explanation is that selection favored increased consciousness on its own, without mushrooms. This theory seems to depend on a hurdle of it's own creation in order to be useful.

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Old 11th December 2012, 12:47 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
..."Did humans eat this thing?"
Not only if humans ate this thing, but whether it was eaten in a context which would affect evolution.
Perhaps a situation vaguely similar to the one posited by the OP, though much more recent, would be the genetic configuration which permits adults to digest milk products.

Anyway.
Zeuzzz, about the cave art you've promised us- is what you've posted so far all you have?


Originally Posted by ThunderChunky View Post
I still don't understand what problem this theory solves. Even if eating the mushrooms leads to some selective advantage (a huge stretch), that still doesn't explain anything about consciousness. It doesn't follow that eating mushrooms would alter our physiology to make us more conscious. All it would do is give us a higher tolerance to mushrooms and maybe change features of our digestive system to support mushroom consumption. ...
Zeuzzz, is there any evidence of this change in the digestive system?
Have you been able to establish there were the appropriate mushrooms in the early hominid habits?
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Old 11th December 2012, 01:27 AM   #306
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I must play Devil's advocate briefly.
That I have no idea who the Devil is in all this, only adds to its demonic intent.

So, two thoughts:

1. Cetaceans evolved a very sophisticated neo-cortex, long before people did.
I doubt they took shrooms, though it is quite likely that they have encountered other exotic compounds on their long march. (swim)

2. Hypothetically, I wonder how the conversation would be affected by a massive dosing of the most pedantic amongst us?

(This is in no way a promotion of illegal drug use. Drugs are really bad. Except when prescribed by your doctor; especially in countries that have universal life-insurance.)

I don't plan on being suspended, ever again. It was awful.

In fact, it drove me to drink.
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Old 11th December 2012, 03:43 AM   #307
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I used to be a McKenna fan but as has been argued in this thread the evidence does not stack up.

I much more interested now in the hypothesis proposed by Lewis-Williams.

Did anyone read any of the books I posted up thread by Prof. Lewis-Williams?
It's not so much what caused a change in consciousness (entheogens, isolation, dehydration, chanting, etc) but how these changes effected the way humans saw the world and adjusted their culture accordingly. The earliest cave art and buildings are presented as being influence by these experiences of changes in consciousness. Religion and art are explained as originating in these changes. The evidence he presents is significant and it is difficult to find faults in his hypothesis.

Please take a look.
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Old 11th December 2012, 05:43 AM   #308
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Have you ever had sex due to the ingestion of drugs?

My experience suggests that you are more concerned with where you left your body than sex.

That might be true for a level 4 / 5 experience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychedelic_experience


I was under the impression McKenna referred to much lower doses. Probably to induce Level 1 / 2 experiences ?


There's much truth in the age-old saying that the main difference between a medicine and a poison is the dosage . . .
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Old 11th December 2012, 05:54 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
I would think that being stoned would make a primate more vulnerable to predators.
A level 1/2 psilocybin experience can hardly be described as being "stoned" ?


Would it be possible to study the behaviour changes, ability and capacity to learn in primates in a long-term study stretching over more than one generation ?

If so, why have the proponants of this theory not done that ?

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Old 11th December 2012, 06:13 AM   #310
Libra
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Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
I used to be a McKenna fan but as has been argued in this thread the evidence does not stack up.

I much more interested now in the hypothesis proposed by Lewis-Williams.

Did anyone read any of the books I posted up thread by Prof. Lewis-Williams?
It's not so much what caused a change in consciousness (entheogens, isolation, dehydration, chanting, etc) but how these changes effected the way humans saw the world and adjusted their culture accordingly. The earliest cave art and buildings are presented as being influence by these experiences of changes in consciousness. Religion and art are explained as originating in these changes. The evidence he presents is significant and it is difficult to find faults in his hypothesis.

Please take a look.
There's a massive time-gap between the setting in McKenna's idea and that of the period observed by Prof. Lewis-Williams.

So Bushmen/San-man gets high from a plant-based psychoactive, is well impressed, feels a connection with an upper being, invents religion and celebrates / documents his ideas with pigment on rock. We haven't really moved a long way since then, have we ?

Nontheless, the influence of psychoactives on our specie's recent development deserves a discussion on it's own.
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Old 11th December 2012, 06:47 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by Libra View Post
A level 1/2 psilocybin experience can hardly be described as being "stoned" ?


Would it be possible to study the behaviour changes, ability and capacity to learn in primates in a long-term study stretching over more than one generation ?

If so, why have the proponants of this theory not done that ?
They already have



On a more serious note, here is another theory

http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/missing_link.shtml
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Old 11th December 2012, 06:56 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post

That's the same theory.

It's just a different psychedelic they consider, Iboga. Any consciousness altering drug gets you stoned by my definition of it, even if potheads have hijacked the term.

Maybe the title 'stoned' ape theory was not the best choice for this thread I think it has lead to all sorts of confusion. Mckenna was convinced it was mushrooms but I thikn that was just his personal bias. Still, I think they are one of the better candidates out of many.
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Old 11th December 2012, 11:45 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by Lowpro View Post
ah fine I'm going to jump in just to ask Dinwar something. Let's say for the moment that early hominids did ingest mushrooms and probably consumed psychedelic ones too. EVEN WITH trace analysis (I have no idea how you'd actually trace a particular psychedelic but maybe the method is more precise than I could imagine) it would only really confirm a part of the overall hypothesis that apes ingested those mushrooms. You wouldn't be able to determine any incidence of growth. You just won't be able to determine incidence only prevalence and without incidence you cannot make a connection temporally between ingestion and any population explosion. You would literally need to find a LOT of of fossils with the trace psychedelics. You'd need to determine that the temporality of those fossils is in line with the growth and change of that "tribe" we'll call it. THEN you would need to remove other confounders such as maybe favorable habitat where the mushrooms are confounding THAT instead. I mean there is SO MUCH MORE demand for proof that just asking for trace elements of the psychedelics is only giving the slightest of hope to Zeuzzz. I mean you said that it's a fact in historical archaeology that we just may never know. It would take a LOT more work just to strengthen the association that this search for trace elements provides...it's a start but there's almost no direction; it doesn't put you close to the theory at all.
I both agree with you and disagree with you. Finding evidence of consumption at the proper time and of amount of consumption would show nothing. The supposed change in evolution, if it ever happened, would be culturally driven. The psychedelic experience would be nothing but a spark to start it all. I will again use the Black Monolith metaphor.

You don't have to hang out around the Black Monolith all the time. Just being around it once is potentially sufficient. On the other hand, just placing you at the same time and place as the monolith doesn't at all show that you were affected by it. Presumably, exposure to psychedelics might expand creativity and this exposure could drive cultural changes which could cause creativity and cleverness to be more appreciated and encouraged than it otherwise would have been which could cause more creativity and cleverness to be used in the furtherance of survival which could grant those who can express creativity and cleverness a survival advantage which would drive a change in evolutionary pressure.[Emphasis added for the benefit of Zeuzzz]

The point is that only minimal exposure to a psychedelic could drive this and that, conversely, you could have intense exposure to psychedelics for fifty thousand years without any of these effects ever happening. We just would not know. My point being that the kinds of evidence which Dinwar is looking for would prove nothing.

This leaves Zeuzz in a very bad spot. The, so called, Stoned Ape hypothesis remains a just so story and I still see no evidence offered, so far, that it can be turned into a falsifiable hypothesis. The problem is not that it's wrong, the problem is that it can't be wrong. That's a very bad problem for Zeuzzz.
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Old 11th December 2012, 11:47 AM   #314
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Originally Posted by ThunderChunky View Post
I still don't understand what problem this theory solves. Even if eating the mushrooms leads to some selective advantage (a huge stretch), that still doesn't explain anything about consciousness. It doesn't follow that eating mushrooms would alter our physiology to make us more conscious. All it would do is give us a higher tolerance to mushrooms and maybe change features of our digestive system to support mushroom consumption.

The only thing I can think of here is that maybe, for some unknown reason, selection could not select for higher consciousness. Consciousness was at level X and natural selection did not favor X+1. Then somehow in the context of eating mushrooms, selection favored X+1 which then allowed X+2 to be selected for and so on.

Of course, a much more simple explanation is that selection favored increased consciousness on its own, without mushrooms. This theory seems to depend on a hurdle of it's own creation in order to be useful.
This! It's fairly clear from what has been quoted by McKenna that this is his position and that said position is only supported by his assertion.
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Old 11th December 2012, 11:54 AM   #315
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Originally Posted by quarky View Post
I must play Devil's advocate briefly.
That I have no idea who the Devil is in all this, only adds to its demonic intent.

So, two thoughts:

1. Cetaceans evolved a very sophisticated neo-cortex, long before people did.
I doubt they took shrooms, though it is quite likely that they have encountered other exotic compounds on their long march. (swim)
Of course, cetaceans were not always sea creatures so there's one answer. Also, it's possible they ran into funny fish:
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs...63650500514590
By the way, I have that paper somewhere if anyone is interested (though I don't know if I'll know how to find it).
Originally Posted by quarky View Post
2. Hypothetically, I wonder how the conversation would be affected by a massive dosing of the most pedantic amongst us?
Maybe we'd do something more productive than hanging out at some web based forum?

Originally Posted by quarky View Post
(This is in no way a promotion of illegal drug use. Drugs are really bad. Except when prescribed by your doctor; especially in countries that have universal life-insurance.)

I don't plan on being suspended, ever again. It was awful.

In fact, it drove me to drink.
That sounds terrible.
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Old 11th December 2012, 12:06 PM   #316
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Originally Posted by Libra View Post
A level 1/2 psilocybin experience can hardly be described as being "stoned" ?


Would it be possible to study the behaviour changes, ability and capacity to learn in primates in a long-term study stretching over more than one generation ?

If so, why have the proponants of this theory not done that ?
I think such an experiment would be impossible to justify to an institutional review board. Realize that you would probably have to use great apes to make this meaningful in any way. Realize that we have nothing to go on but a just so theory to justify why this study would be a good thing. In other words, you'd be telling your institutional review board that you are going to be dosing a chimp troop with threshold level doses for a whole generation just because you think it's "neat".

It might be interesting, however, to do a single dosing study in the same vein as the Good Friday Experiment and the John Hopkins experiment, etc.. However, not knowing what you are measuring (using written surveys on chimps as a measurement instrument seems rather unlikely) I am not sure how one could do this meaningfully.
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Old 11th December 2012, 12:12 PM   #317
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
"Only our human ancestors would have been able to eat these roots, as the jaws of their chimp companions were not strong enough.". It sounds like a reference to robust Australopithecines. However, gorillas make it clear that forest dwellers can also have massively muscled jaws.
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Old 11th December 2012, 12:13 PM   #318
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Originally Posted by cosmicaug View Post
"Only our human ancestors would have been able to eat these roots, as the jaws of their chimp companions were not strong enough.". It sounds like a reference to robust Australopithecines. However, gorillas make it clear that forest dwellers can also have massively muscled jaws.
It wasn't much of a serious note.
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Old 11th December 2012, 03:14 PM   #319
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Originally Posted by Lowpro View Post
... this theory, even if true would be so hard to determine as true. I think there is a fundamental issue with the theory in that trying to associate the dietary intake of psychedelic mushrooms as being a driving force in evolution or just regular old survival of genes is just bad, it's just a REALLY bad theory. ...
Also consider that - leaving aside the purely speculative, hardly plausible mechanism - for this hypothesis to be a 'driving force' in evolution, a significant number of the population would have to be ingesting significant enough amounts of these plants or fungi to have a significant effect on reproductive rates in competition with all the really serious selective forces, not for just a few hundred years, but - by definition - for evolutionary timescales. What are the chances of this, and for a highly mobile and adaptable open-land primate, to have a constant supply of these psychedelics, across various landscapes, over that kind of timescale?

I suggest there's more chance that Samuel Hahnemann was right than the Stoned Ape hypothesis has any basis in reality whatever.
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Old 11th December 2012, 03:56 PM   #320
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Originally Posted by Lowpro
(I have no idea how you'd actually trace a particular psychedelic but maybe the method is more precise than I could imagine)
You're making the same mistake Zeuzzz is: you're treating this as if the apes/humans were sitting around eating a chemical. They weren't--they were eating mushrooms. Mushrooms contain a great deal more than just psychoactive chemicals, possibly including things like higher than usual concentrations of particular metals or even particular isotopes. It's actually fairly common--metabolism, due to various aspects of thermodynamics, will preferentially select certain isotopes, leading to higher concentrations of those isotopes in the organism in question. When that organism is eaten, the eater's metabolism ALSO sorts the isotopes--but from an already biased sample. This is used quite frequently to determine trophic level, for example--as you go up in trophic level certain isotopes become more concentrated for exactly that reason. No one's ever argued that barracuda eat nitrogen, however. It obviously comes from the fish they eat. Similarly, if the 'shrooms concentrate isotopes or elements those atoms will be ingested along with the compounds that everyone is focusing on, which in turn will yield a higher concentration of those elements and isotopes in humans if we ate them.

And I agree that there's much more work than a relatively simple osteological/dental study. This really is just a first step. The idea doesn't violate any known laws of physics or chemistry, but to prove that it's plausible you'd have to prove that we ate the mushrooms in question, which is all that I'm trying to do here. It is always a good idea to bear in mind the limits of our tests, however--thank you for making them so clear.

Originally Posted by cosmicaug
My point being that the kinds of evidence which Dinwar is looking for would prove nothing.
I'll agree it wouldn't prove that the mushrooms were the cause of anything, I agree. But it would rather conclusively prove that we ate them--which would remove a rather large stumbling block to Zeuzzz's hypothesis. Until he at least proves that we ate them we can dismiss the entire argument without further consideration--while it's not implausible, it's also postulated without evidence, and therefore can be dismissed without evidence (no, Zeuzzz, what you've provided IS NOT evidence--until you can demonstrate that we ACTUALLY ATE THE MUSHROOMS you haven't provided evidence that it actually happened, only that it COULD happen, which is entirely different).

I'm not saying "This will prove your hypothesis is right." I'm saying that my alternative hypothesis is "There's nothing to explain, because this never happened", and to prove THAT wrong you first need to establish that humans ate the mushrooms.

Originally Posted by quarky
1. Cetaceans evolved a very sophisticated neo-cortex, long before people did.
I doubt they took shrooms, though it is quite likely that they have encountered other exotic compounds on their long march. (swim)
Got evidence for this? Again, it's not sufficient to prove that they COULD HAVE ingested something--you have to prove 1) that they DID ingest it, and 2) that it had some effect.

Quote:
2. Hypothetically, I wonder how the conversation would be affected by a massive dosing of the most pedantic amongst us?
"I disagree with you, therefore you need drugs"? Seems an odd way to hold a scientific debate.

Probably wouldn't work on me anyway. With the exception of antihistamines all drugs I've tried (legal, by the way) make me even worse. I'm far worse with myself than I am online or in person--I've learned to hold back. And drugs remove those particular inhibitions.
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