The modern skeptic needs to be well armed to deal with the array of woo being spewed these days.  Biblical criticism is pretty much a solved game but the new-agers can toss out faux-facts faster than you can say, “Bullshit!”

One flavour making the rounds here recently has been the junk science of Terrence McKenna.  An incredibly articulate ethnobotanist of the late 20th century, he was able to public several books that garnered the attention of aging hippies and which seem to have renewed their popularity with contemporary new agers.  As a self-described psychonaut, his writing mostly revolved around his ever more desperate attempts to instill perceived empirical value to the observations he made of his own consciousness while higher than a kite.

His timewave zero and novelty theories tied into eschatological prognostications for 2012 – a prophecy failure that his devotees overlook as quickly as the adherents of Benny Hinn overlook his.  Perhaps the most entertaining of his drug-addled ramblings was his ‘Stoned Ape’ conjecture.

In his Stoned Ape conjecture, McKenna tried to convince himself that use of magic mushrooms was the catalyst that sprung homo-sapiens into existence from homo-erectus.  He starts by assuming that the magnificent shrooms appeared on the African savanna 100,000 years ago and made their way into the homo-erectus diet – both assumptions being supported by zero evidence.  He then misrepresents a scientific study about visual perception to suggest that use of these mushrooms increased visual acuity in our early ancestors – thereby making them better hunters.

Based on his first two unfounded assumptions and an outright fabrication he then jumps to the conclusion that the results performed a miraculous one-time instance of Lamarckian inheritance, altering the offspring of psilocybin-gobbling hominids enough to speciate them from surrounding populations of homo-erectus.  It just goes on and on, and he actually managed get published for it in 1992 - Food of the Gods.

I feel this load of malarkey is worth our attention, as skeptics, so we can be better prepared to counter the ridiculous claims of McKennites that we may encounter.  I know there is one with us lately and felt he might like to put his thoughts on display here for all of us to observe the workings of such a mind.

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Thank you Kris

Your a fast typer.

Although I still claim that the question was not raised from a point of genuine enquiry rather as an excuse for an argument.


Thanks Kris

I'll take some of that on.

I like those little whispers of wisdom.



Just to be clear, do you consider me belligerent? I consider myself "wide open" on this. Please, someone, convince me that this drug experience, while very different from other drugs, is any more than an "Oh-Wow-Man" drug experience.


No Mike -  not you -  your good : )

Mike -  remind me again - what was it that you took -

I know a lot of people who got nothing from their first few pot experiences too - Not sure why that happens.

"what was it that you took"

On which day? I had virtually every drug available - some more than others (in the 60s and early 70s - none of the more recent drugs) . I've had all the addictive ones but managed to stay away from addictive frequencies. I've had LOTS of hallucinogenics and have had experiences which sounded very similar to McKenna's talk (the most recent link). I feel that I learned from the hallucinogenics, the ego loss - the understanding of the part I play in the universe, but I haven't seen anything put forward in this thread convincing me that there is more than that to be gained from hallucinogenicst. The idea that hallucinogenics altered human evolution SEEMS far-fetched, but I'm perfectly happy to be taught.

(No I haven't completed the 8-hour talk. I think I might need to be motivated by something a bit more concrete before making that investment.)

Citations please - oh, I forgot - that offends you and constitutes stalking.

Ok. Listened to that. (Not a huge investment. I invite all to take the 10 minutes), except this description gives me NOTHING - except possibly a bit a DIScouragement to try a large dose. This strikes me as exactly what I would have expected - a very strong hallucinogenic rush. Been there. Done that. No hint of any revelations or anything to be learned. 


What about DMT, MikeLong? Y'ever had any experiences with DMT?

Nope. One of those new fangled concoctions, eh? The 5-minute length of the experience sort of reminds me of amyl nitrate, although I'm sure it would be a bit different to that. :-) 

Any dangers or drawbacks?

For the last 30 years or so, I averaged maybe one alcoholic drink per week and two puffs of weed per year. I don't actually think that access would present any real problem (but I don't really know. I've never been shopping for DMT). I've haven't had a lot of interest in changing my mind set. I'm actually quite a happy person.

We haven't lost anyone, you pick up your pieces right where you left off, only you come back having undergone this colossal experience. I mean, sure, it's fine that you're a happy person, but this isn't done so that you can relieve depression, as I said before, the only people drawn to these experiences are the curious, those who wish to explore the depths of consciousness, etc.

Did I mention DMT is a part of your natural neural chemistry already?

Did I mention DMT is a part of your natural neural chemistry already?

I think it's only about the 5th time or so I hear it from you.

Although your guru died of brain cancer after years of ingesting seemingly any chemical he could lay hands on.


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