Mushrooms and evolution

How our abstract and symbolic language emerged from the use of magic mushrooms

Anatomically modern humans are believed to have emerged about 200 000 years ago[1], but our abstract and symbolic language might have emerged much later in the Upper Paleolithic Revolution about 50 000 years ago[2]. The onset of this abstract and symbolic language is furthermore believed to have started a trend of cultural evolution[3] by making our collective pool of knowledge increase from one generation to the next. Some of the first evidences of an abstract and symbolic language can be found in cave paintings[4]. Many archaeologists believe that shamans[5] were responsible for creating these cave paintings, and that these shamans were in some kind of hallucinogenic trance while they painted. These trances could very well have been induced by magic mushrooms, as many of the shamans of the indigenous peoples today use magic mushrooms in their rituals. Increased levels of lingual abstraction might have arisen from temporarily increased neural communication between distinct parts of the brain that normally don't talk to each other. While a permanent increase in such interregional brain communication probably disrupts the proper functioning of the brain, occasional increases might have introduced our language to new metaphors and analogies. These occasional increases in interregional brain communication might have come from consumption of magic mushrooms as individuals under the influence of magic mushrooms often report synesthetic experiences[6] which can be correlated with increased interregional communication between distinct parts of the brain[7]. A study published by Journal of the Royal Society Interface in 2014 also seems to confirm that psilocybin increases interregional brain communication[8].

y people claim to see visions of highly abstract fractal-like patterns while under the influence of magic mushrooms[9], and often get a heightened interest in abstract art following their psychedelic experiences. Becoming increasingly interested in abstract art can be correlated with increasingly abstract visual processing in the brain. A chimpanzee might also become more interested in abstract patterns from eating magic mushrooms. If it can be established that chimpanzees become increasingly interested in abstract patterns from habitually eating magic mushrooms, then we might also expect the emergence of increasingly abstract behavior within a chimpanzee community that habitually eats magic mushrooms. Anything we eat regularly can affect our health, and therefore also possibly the long-term evolution of our species. A high intake of omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and slowly digestible starches has been linked to many health benefits[10], while a high intake of trans fats, saturated fats and easily digestible starches has been linked to many health impairments[11]. If there was just a slightly higher survival rate for the individuals eating magic mushrooms due to what might have been their improved ability to find abstract solutions, it is enough to have increased the amount of their genes[12] and epigenetic[13] structures within the human gene pool. More than 96% of human DNA is identical to chimpanzee DNA, so of course we are related to them in some ways, but the ability to think abstractly[14] and the ability to introspect[15] might have emerged from the usage of magic mushrooms in ancient times. Personally I feel a much greater kinship to the deep introspective experiences that can be obtained from magic mushrooms, than to the brutal power hierarchies than can be seen in chimpanzee communities.

of the main characteristics of cancer is uncontrolled cell growth[16]. A perpetually growing human population and a perpetually growing global economy represents uncontrolled growth in the biosphere. Our species can therefore to some extent be considered a cancer tumor in the biosphere. Global biodiversity is decreasing rapidly due to overpopulation and overconsumption[17]. Unless we manage to cease our destructive intrusion in the biosphere this planet is in danger of turning into a barren wasteland completely drained of natural resources. There is however an extreme reluctance to voluntarily give up population growth in third world countries, or to voluntarily give up economic growth in first world countries. I believe that magic mushrooms can loosen up the mindset of people and help us connect to the biosphere[18] we are destroying. During early childhood the brain has the highest metabolism[19], and most of the neural connections in the brain are formed then. The brain quickly becomes over-connected, and this seems to produce magical thinking[20] in children from 2 to 7 years old. After we are about 7 years old the metabolism of the brain slowly starts to decrease as we start to dissociate neural connections that are illogical or in disagreement with social norms and cultural understanding. The rigidity of the brain starts to increase, and our thinking becomes less magical. Eating magic mushrooms seems to reintroduce the high brain metabolism we experienced in early childhood when most of our neural connections were formed, and thereby gives us the opportunity to reprogram our brains in adulthood. Eating a lot of magic mushrooms in adulthood might actually facilitate something like a mental rebirth. A study from 2011 at John Hopkins Medical Institutions[21] found magic mushrooms to increase the personality trait known as openness[22], which we need a lot more of if we are going to save this planet from an ecological disaster. Magic mushrooms made the world appear much more mysterious and marvelous to me, and I believe that the more people eat magic mushrooms the more marvelous the world will become to everybody. Life shouldn't just be about working during the day and watching television during the evening. Such a life seems completely empty to me. We have made great technological advances the last centuries, but many people also feel that our society has lost a sense of purpose. I believe this sense of purpose can be restored to our society with increased consumption of magic mushrooms. Most people don't get bad trips when they eat magic mushrooms, they get enlightening spiritual experiences. You are however well advised to use magic mushrooms in surroundings you feel comfortable in, as people tend to connect to their surroundings on a much deeper level while under the influence of psilocybin. In the Marsh Chapel Experiment at Harvard University[23], almost all of the students that participated in the experiment and were given psilocybin reported profound religious experiences. The goal of the experiment was to see if psilocybin could facilitate religious experiences in religiously predisposed individuals. Magic mushrooms are approximately a hundred times less toxic than alcoholic beverages and they have a much lower potential for abuse[24]. So it doesn't make much sense that magic mushrooms currently are illegal in most countries while alcoholic beverages are legal.
This article was last updated: 2015-01-23 (15:24:22)