Stoned Ape Theory: Understanding Its Origin, And What Neuroscience Says
Is it possible that, 100,000 years ago, the evolution of humans (primates) was impacted by psychedelics? According to since-passed-away psychonaut Terence McKenna, yes, which is where the stoned ape theory first originates.
For those unfamiliar with the stoned ape theory, it comes from McKenna’s thought that, as early humans moved from continent to continent, they foraged new environments and unknowingly took psilocybin compounds. Without knowing it, these humans’ brains evolved faster than expected — all from the power of pyschedelics.
While it may seem outlandish on its surface, McKenna’s knowledge and history with ecology and psychedelics at least warrant the theory to be plausible.
So, is the stoned ape theory legit, or just a figment of McKenna’s imagination? Our resident neuroscientist, Zeus Tipado, helps explain.
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What Neuroscience Says About The Stoned Ape Theory
In the video below, Zeus describes the different parts of the brain, and how each one functions. Before understanding how psychedelics effect the brain, it’s crucial to know why and how it impacts human behavior. Tipado explains this.
He then answers the million dollar question: Why McKenna’s hypothesis may be legitimate.
- Psychedelics induce our forebrain to distribute oxygenated blood
- Over many generations, this would result in an evolutionary increase of the forebrain
- This change would reflect an increase in higher brain functions
To learn more, watch the video below.
Do there remain questions regarding Terence McKenna’s stoned ape theory? Absolutely. But the information in the video helps explain how psychedelics impact the brain, and how early humans may have received those benefits.
We suggest reading more information from McKenna, who remains a major influence on the psychedelic community despite passing away more than two decades ago.