Stoned Ape Theory

The Stoned Ape Theory is a revolutionary idea. It offers an explanation for the marvels of humanity and an alternative to our current understanding of human history.

Unless you belong to certain religious denominations, you probably have long believed in the theory of evolution taught in schools since Charles Darwin proposed it in 1859.  You probably have also heard the phrase “survival of the fittest”, coined by Herbert Spencer.  This is the idea that organisms that are best genetically suited to their environment will tend to survive long enough to pass their traits to their offspring.This ultimately results in a species that is provided with the tools to survive in their environment.  

For example, giraffes have long necks.  It grants them the ability to eat leaves out of tall trees. Long necks also allow them to spot predators from farther away, which  provides more time to evade possible danger.  But what if, in a herd of 15 giraffes, 3 of them have necks that are 12-18 inches shorter than their counter parts.  These unfortunate giraffes won’t be able to reach the leaves that are higher up. They also will not be able to spot a predator off in the distance as soon as the rest of the herd. This decreases their chances of surviving and reproducing.  The taller giraffes have a greater chance of survival. The less beneficial trait dies out, and the advantageous trait is reproduced. This creates offspring with favorable traits, which benefits the species as a whole.

The species of hominids before ourselves, known as Homo erectus, inhabited most of Africa and parts of Asia.  They were about the size of modern humans and were fully adapted for bipedalism, which was vital to our evolution because it allowed for the utilization of our hands. The use of our hands was an integral for the homo erectus’ survival because it was believed that they were the first hunter gathers. Evidence also shows they were skilled enough to butcher their kills. Even more incredible is the fact that they were the first to develop the concept of language.  But what made the Home erectus so incredibly advanced during this time period? 

According to the late Terrence Mckenna, a philosopher, psychonaut, and ethnobotanist, these abilities had been developed in the Homo erectus' solely due to the presence of psilocybin mushrooms in their diets. This causally influenced the evolution of the Homo erectus to Homo sapien. Sound crazy?  This is Terrence Mckenna's Stoned ape theory.

Homo erectus' lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Dinner plate sized psilocybin mushrooms would have been found by the human-like mammals and been consumed as a food source. If you have ever eaten psilocybin mushrooms, you can guess what these early mammals would have experienced.

In his theory, Terrence Mckenna explains that small doses can enhance eyesight in humans.  Medium doses result in a slight increase in sexual stimulation, and large doses dissolve personal boundaries and users mention that they notice and interconnected within their environment.  These effects of psilocybin are present in Homo sapiens and it is rational to assume Homo erectus' would have experience nearly identical outcomes.

A Homo erectus who had consumed the psilocybin mushroom would have an easier time spotting food sources (plants as well as prey). An increase in sexual stimulation is likely to increase the rate of reproduction, furthering the survival of the species.  As the usefulness of these psilocybin mushrooms spread, the species would begin to truly uncover the magic of this new food source. They would begin to notice the dissolution of personal boundaries.  This could further increase sexual stimulation and decrease the animalistic desire for war. All of which would greatly increase the species' chances of survival by making the Homo erectus more fit for the changing demands of the environment. 

The Stoned Ape Theory also claims the mushrooms are also responsible for initiating linguistic thinking within the species due to the new feeling of connectedness. Language would be the monumental first step in the advancement of a species. It grants the ability to transmit ideas and creates a base upon which new ideas of the species can collectively grow. 

Psilocybin, at extremely large doses, can invoke religious experiences. These can be so intense the individual may report a "conversation with God".  After such an experience, a member of the Homo erectus family would discover that there is much more to life than simple animal instincts such as eating sleeping and reproducing. This would have driven the newly enlightened hominid to explore and populate the rest of the world.  

The Stoned Ape theory explains that the reason psilocybin mushrooms did not remain a part of the hominid's diet is due to both the changing climate conditions and the widespread migration into less suitable mushroom-growing climates. They nevertheless sparked mystical human wonder and drive for knowledge.

It is obvious of course how incredibly advanced modern day humans are. For centuries we have searched for the "missing link" that separated ourselves from the rest of the animal kingdom. Could the Stoned Ape Theory be that missing link? Does humanity owe its life to the psilocybin mushroom? And if these mushrooms could advance an ape-like creature such as the Homo erectus into the Homo sapien, what could it do for us today?

Written by @username_SDX

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