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Evolution of hallucinogens?

hauki20
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8/3/2011 5:59:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Hi thar! I can haz fact-based answer?

So, I've been wondering for some time how hallucinogens evolved. What evolutionary advantage would psychedelic plants have over other plants? The answer I've heard the most is that the hallucinogenic compounds in the plants would deter would-be herbivores from eating them. I (with my relatively small knowledge of biology) find some problems with this traditional explanation. 1: These compounds have been shown to produce hallucinations in animals that eat them. 2: Animals that consume, say, psilocybin, develop a liking for the substance. These points put together, it would seem that these hallucinogenic compunds do the exact opposite of what they're thought to do. Furthermore, why did psychedelic plants develop something as elaborate as hallucinogenic compounds when poisons would have been actually doing what they were meant to do?

And since we're on the subject, I also have a related question regarding psilocybe mushrooms. These mushrooms contain psilocybin and/or psilocin at varying levels. Some of the mushrooms have only psilocybin and no psilocin at all. Why is this noteworthy? Because psilocybin is actually an unactive compund. It does not produce any "trips". Why, then, do psilocybe mushrooms (even ones with absolutely no psilocin) produce hallucinogenic affects you ask? Because the liver converts psilocybin into psilocin. Now, why would a plant produce essentially an unactive compound that depends on the liver to work (although even then it doesn't do its job, that being to deter herbivores)? Also, one should note the very elaborate process the psilocybin goes through to become psilocin.

So, I'm asking for a well-informed, fact-based answer to my questions. Please don't judge my low knowledge of biology too harhsly because I'm not even half-way through my educational journey.

P.S: Also, my grammar isn't perfect since english is my second language (well, third actually).
P.P.S: Long live Albert Hofmann!

Now, on a totally random note, let me, as a Christian, ask all you who believe in a God and are against drugs: Do you believe that God created these compounds and the very elaborate process undergone in the liver to make them psychoactive for no reason? Or, if you will, why he allowed these things to evolve? If you're an anti-drug believer, you're basically saying God made a mistake.
Arrogance and deception,
Torment and Bliss,
Oh, I envy your lack of justification
When mine is so sincere


[u]And btw, why can't I use [url=en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBCode]BBCode?[/url][/u]
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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8/3/2011 6:10:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Animals don't tend to have the same type of reaction to the effects of certain compounds as we do.

A good example would be the hot pepper. Most animals that attempt to eat the hot pepper decide never to try again. This leaves the peppers to be eaten by birds(who are unaffected by the heat). The seeds spread over a greater area because the seeds survive the bird's digestive tract, and grow right where the bird's crap lands.

With hallucinogenic drugs, I would imagine that most animals would find the experience to be absolutely terrifying. Humans tend to do things that most other creatures aren't crazy enough to do.. Like eat ridiculously hot peppers and purposely partake of mind altering substances.

Then there is always the possibility that the hallucinogenic properties had nothing to do with the organisms' ability to survive and reproduce. It just so happened to evolve in that way.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Ore_Ele
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8/3/2011 6:11:51 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
In all likelyhood, the chemicals are probably for the growth and life of the plant/fungi, and just so happen to cause negative effects in the brains of other animals.
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vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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8/3/2011 6:29:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/3/2011 5:59:27 PM, hauki20 wrote:
Hi thar! I can haz fact-based answer?

So, I've been wondering for some time how hallucinogens evolved. What evolutionary advantage would psychedelic plants have over other plants? The answer I've heard the most is that the hallucinogenic compounds in the plants would deter would-be herbivores from eating them. I (with my relatively small knowledge of biology) find some problems with this traditional explanation. 1: These compounds have been shown to produce hallucinations in animals that eat them. 2: Animals that consume, say, psilocybin, develop a liking for the substance. These points put together, it would seem that these hallucinogenic compunds do the exact opposite of what they're thought to do. Furthermore, why did psychedelic plants develop something as elaborate as hallucinogenic compounds when poisons would have been actually doing what they were meant to do?

Sorry, I don't haz fact based answer (does anyone) but I think this is interesting.

I had always assumed that psychoactive properties of plants where just a happy accedent. There are so many plant, so there must be a few that produce psychoactive effects.

Even thought animals may like and continue to eat hallucinogenic plants, would they not end up doing stupid thing afterwards that threaten their lives, like imagining a preditor to be pray, for example. If that were true then hallucinogens would serve the same function as a poison.

And since we're on the subject, I also have a related question regarding psilocybe mushrooms. These mushrooms contain psilocybin and/or psilocin at varying levels. Some of the mushrooms have only psilocybin and no psilocin at all. Why is this noteworthy? Because psilocybin is actually an unactive compund. It does not produce any "trips". Why, then, do psilocybe mushrooms (even ones with absolutely no psilocin) produce hallucinogenic affects you ask? Because the liver converts psilocybin into psilocin. Now, why would a plant produce essentially an unactive compound that depends on the liver to work (although even then it doesn't do its job, that being to deter herbivores)?

Why not. Evolution can do tricky things like that. Daniel Dennet likes to talk about a parasite that gets inside an insects brain in order to cause it to walk to the top of grass blades. The whole point of this is to get the insect eaten by a cow, which is the desired destination of the parasite in the first place.

Also, one should note the very elaborate process the psilocybin goes through to become psilocin.

So, I'm asking for a well-informed, fact-based answer to my questions. Please don't judge my low knowledge of biology too harhsly because I'm not even half-way through my educational journey.

P.S: Also, my grammar isn't perfect since english is my second language (well, third actually).
P.P.S: Long live Albert Hofmann!




I would have guessed you were a native English speaker.

Now, on a totally random note, let me, as a Christian, ask all you who believe in a God and are against drugs: Do you believe that God created these compounds and the very elaborate process undergone in the liver to make them psychoactive for no reason? Or, if you will, why he allowed these things to evolve? If you're an anti-drug believer, you're basically saying God made a mistake.

God works in mysterious ways.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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8/3/2011 7:23:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The Botany of Desire is a documentary about how 4 species of plants evolved to satisfy some of our basic yearnings: sweetness (apples), beauty (tulips), intoxication (marijuana) and sustenance (potatoes). Linking our fundamental desires with the plants that gratify them, the film shows that humans are intricately woven into the web of nature - not standing outside it. If these aren't "happy accidents" as the previous poster put it, then I don't see why psychdelic mushrooms would be any different.

If we accept that, perhaps the same applies to hallucinogens. There have been claims that that psilocybin or other hallucinogenic use amongst primates was a catalyst for their evolution towards humans, but I'm not sure how much merit there is to that. It's also been speculated that religious belief played a role in human evolution; shared beliefs were the building blocks for social cooperation. As I'm sure you know, hallucinogens are known to be very responsible for seemingly "spiritual experiences," thus perhaps they inadvertently helped shape human evolution by bringing people together based on similar shared experiences.

This type of symbiotic relationship would not be much different than say how honey bees collect nectar from flowers to make honey, and in the process spread pollen which contains the flowers' genes and allows them to perpetuate. Maybe hallicinogens assisted primates and/or human evolution which in turn helped to perpetuate their own existence... just a thought.

On another note, Christians aren't supposed to indulge in recreational drugs. There is nothing explicitly against it in the Bible, though it is implied and can be explained via various passages. It doesn't matter though; Christians contradict themselves and ignore the Bible whenever it's convenient for them anyway, so I see no harm in them experimenting (safely) with these drugs.

To the OP - I think you would really enjoy the book The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley. It's a very short read, but terribly poetic despite being non-fiction. The author of Brave New World writes about his experiences taking mescaline (peyote). My guess is that you recently had a good trip and are now fascinated by the experience. If my hunch is right - or even if you're just curious - the book is a decent read.

Sorry for the long though not terribly factual post :P
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seraine
Posts: 734
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8/4/2011 9:02:51 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/3/2011 7:23:10 PM, Danielle wrote:
The Botany of Desire is a documentary about how 4 species of plants evolved to satisfy some of our basic yearnings: sweetness (apples), beauty (tulips), intoxication (marijuana) and sustenance (potatoes). Linking our fundamental desires with the plants that gratify them, the film shows that humans are intricately woven into the web of nature - not standing outside it. If these aren't "happy accidents" as the previous poster put it, then I don't see why psychdelic mushrooms would be any different.

Do you ever read Polan's books, or do you just watch the vids?
Rusty
Posts: 2,109
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8/4/2011 12:52:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/3/2011 5:59:27 PM, hauki20 wrote:

Now, on a totally random note, let me, as a Christian, ask all you who believe in a God and are against drugs: Do you believe that God created these compounds and the very elaborate process undergone in the liver to make them psychoactive for no reason? Or, if you will, why he allowed these things to evolve? If you're an anti-drug believer, you're basically saying God made a mistake.

Are you serious? Longer post coming later.
Rusty
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8/4/2011 12:53:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/4/2011 12:52:17 PM, Rusty wrote:
At 8/3/2011 5:59:27 PM, hauki20 wrote:

Now, on a totally random note, let me, as a Christian, ask all you who believe in a God and are against drugs: Do you believe that God created these compounds and the very elaborate process undergone in the liver to make them psychoactive for no reason? Or, if you will, why he allowed these things to evolve? If you're an anti-drug believer, you're basically saying God made a mistake.

Are you serious? Longer post coming later.

Okay, that was sort of condescending, my bad. But yeah, I'll respond tonight.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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8/4/2011 6:56:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/3/2011 5:59:27 PM, hauki20 wrote:
Hi thar! I can haz fact-based answer?

So, I've been wondering for some time how hallucinogens evolved. What evolutionary advantage would psychedelic plants have over other plants? The answer I've heard the most is that the hallucinogenic compounds in the plants would deter would-be herbivores from eating them. I (with my relatively small knowledge of biology) find some problems with this traditional explanation. 1: These compounds have been shown to produce hallucinations in animals that eat them. 2: Animals that consume, say, psilocybin, develop a liking for the substance. These points put together, it would seem that these hallucinogenic compunds do the exact opposite of what they're thought to do. Furthermore, why did psychedelic plants develop something as elaborate as hallucinogenic compounds when poisons would have been actually doing what they were meant to do?

And since we're on the subject, I also have a related question regarding psilocybe mushrooms. These mushrooms contain psilocybin and/or psilocin at varying levels. Some of the mushrooms have only psilocybin and no psilocin at all. Why is this noteworthy? Because psilocybin is actually an unactive compund. It does not produce any "trips". Why, then, do psilocybe mushrooms (even ones with absolutely no psilocin) produce hallucinogenic affects you ask? Because the liver converts psilocybin into psilocin. Now, why would a plant produce essentially an unactive compound that depends on the liver to work (although even then it doesn't do its job, that being to deter herbivores)? Also, one should note the very elaborate process the psilocybin goes through to become psilocin.

So, I'm asking for a well-informed, fact-based answer to my questions. Please don't judge my low knowledge of biology too harhsly because I'm not even half-way through my educational journey.

P.S: Also, my grammar isn't perfect since english is my second language (well, third actually).
P.P.S: Long live Albert Hofmann!



Now, on a totally random note, let me, as a Christian, ask all you who believe in a God and are against drugs: Do you believe that God created these compounds and the very elaborate process undergone in the liver to make them psychoactive for no reason? Or, if you will, why he allowed these things to evolve? If you're an anti-drug believer, you're basically saying God made a mistake.

Well, remember, a mushroom "trip" is your bodies' reaction to a poison. You are poisoning yourself which leads to a trip.

If you take other poisonous mushrooms, you die. If you take kinda-poisonous mushrooms, you end up on a shrooms trip. So, you can also see the "hallucinogenic" aspect of shrooms as a general defense mechanism.

If an alien species came to earth, their quesiton would be "what kind of moronic evolutionary tactic lead those two-legged things to eat poisonous mushrooms?"
Rusty
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8/4/2011 9:53:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/3/2011 5:59:27 PM, hauki20 wrote:

Now, on a totally random note, let me, as a Christian, ask all you who believe in a God and are against drugs: Do you believe that God created these compounds and the very elaborate process undergone in the liver to make them psychoactive for no reason? Or, if you will, why he allowed these things to evolve? If you're an anti-drug believer, you're basically saying God made a mistake.

I was going to start off by stating some of the things that would follow from that reasoning, but then I realized that you're a fan of Albert Hoffman. I'm making an assumption here, given the thread topic and content of your post, that you also endorse LSD. Would I be correct? If so, can I ask why?
Rusty
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8/4/2011 9:55:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/4/2011 9:53:02 PM, Rusty wrote:
At 8/3/2011 5:59:27 PM, hauki20 wrote:

Now, on a totally random note, let me, as a Christian, ask all you who believe in a God and are against drugs: Do you believe that God created these compounds and the very elaborate process undergone in the liver to make them psychoactive for no reason? Or, if you will, why he allowed these things to evolve? If you're an anti-drug believer, you're basically saying God made a mistake.

I was going to start off by stating some of the things that would follow from that reasoning, but then I realized that you're a fan of Albert Hoffman. I'm making an assumption here, given the thread topic and content of your post, that you also endorse LSD. Would I be correct? If so, can I ask why?

Or to word that better, what use do you think it has? I was under the impression that a large group of drug users consider it to be more of an introspective "serious" drug, morose than something "fun", such as weed, and I'm wondering if that's the case with you.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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8/5/2011 10:41:40 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/4/2011 9:02:51 AM, seraine wrote:
Do you ever read Polan's books, or do you just watch the vids?

I haven't read any of his books; I've only seen that documentary based on one of his books.
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hauki20
Posts: 6
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8/5/2011 4:32:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Disclaimer: I'm not encouraging anyone to use hallucinogens. If you use them and get caught, it's gonna be unpleasant. Trust me.

There are numerous factual erros in this "rebuttal" by Wnope and I'll correct them. Anyone reading this should note that I just came home from a hospital (I had anaphylaxis in reaction to wheat), and I'm in a weak mental and physical state right now from all the meds.

First of all, the toxicity of psilocybin is about the same level a caffeine (actually, caffeine is more toxic/dangerous than psilocybin! The LD50 for psilocybin is one and a half times of the LD50 of caffeine). [http://en.wikipedia.org...] The LD50 for psilocybin is 12.5 mg/kg in rats when taken orally When one does the math, one (60 kg human) would need to eat about 1.2-1.7 kilograms of dried psilocybe semilanceata (liberty cap) (or about 12 to 17 kilograms of fresh mushrooms). Wikipedia's article gives a high-ish figure of 17 kg of fresh mushrooms (although of a different species), but this is because they assume that every mushroom has the same amount of hallucinogenic compounds (the percentage varies, although it's always relatively close to 1%.) Also, I've read from numerous well researched articles (published in peer-reviewed sciene journals) that psilocybin does not cause any physical long- or short-term damage. I've also had this confirmed when a doctor told me the exact same thing first-hand.

Wnope: "If you take other poisonous mushrooms, you die.[1] If you take kinda-poisonous mushrooms, you end up on a shrooms trip.[2] So, you can also see the "hallucinogenic" aspect of shrooms as a general defense mechanism.[3] "

1: Yes.
2: Factually incorrect. If any mushroom that had some poison ([u]actual[/u] poison) I've shown that in no way can psilocybin be classified as a poison, unless we also acknowledge that caffeine is a poison [and more potent]) could induce hallucinations, there would be no shortage whatsoever of halucinogenic mushrooms. Let me just give you a few mushrooms (out of millions) that are "kinda-poisonous" and don't cause any halluciations. Amanita, brunnescens, Coprinus atramentarius, Cortinarius armillatus, Cortinarius iodes, Enteloma sinuatum, Paxillus involotus, Tylopilus felleus.
3: No, there's a different (chemical) mechanism at play. Unfortunately I don't have a doctorate degree in chemistry (or anything related), so let me just quote Wikipedia. "Psilocybin is rapidly dephosphorylated in the body to psilocin, which then acts as a partial agonist to several receptors involved with the neurotransmission of serotonin. Psilocin has a high affinity for the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor in the brain, where it mimics the effects of serotonin (5-HT). Psilocin binds less tightly to other serotonergic receptors 5-HT1A, 5-HT1D, and 5-HT2C. Serotonergic receptors interact with pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex, which are thought to be involved in the perception of pain and anxiety. The psychotomimetic effects of psilocin can be blocked in a dose-dependent fashion by the 5-HT2A antagonist drugs ketanserin and risperidone. Psilocybin and analogs of psilocybin have been used to help model the structure and function of the 5-HT2C G-protein-coupled receptor. In contrast to LSD, psilocybin and psilocin have no affinity for the dopamine D2 receptor." http://en.wikipedia.org...

Wnope: "If an alien species came to earth, their quesiton would be "what kind of moronic evolutionary tactic lead those two-legged things to eat poisonous mushrooms "

They're not poisonous. On the contrary, they've been shown to have great promise in medicine, psychology and as entheogens. It's impossible to abuse them (beause tolerance builds up very rapidly; even the most hardcore users can only use it once a week at most (after the tolerance has gone away)). It isn't physically addicting, and natural hallucinogens are probably the safest intoxicants in the universe (marijuana is a bit of an exception since it's usually smoked.)

" I was going to start off by stating some of the things that would follow from that reasoning, but then I realized that you're a fan of Albert Hoffman. I'm making an assumption here, given the thread topic and content of your post, that you also endorse LSD. Would I be correct? If so, can I ask why? "

First' I'd like to admit that that argument was a bit rushed and was only ever meant as a sidenote. It's by no means the most persuasive argument as to why it's permissable for Christians (or others) to use, say, hallucinogens (I atually wrote about a 5-page essay on this subject to the forum of godandscience.org, but sadly, it was censored. Luckily I still have a copy of it, but it would seem pointless to republish it anywhere else since its whole point was to refute all the arguments raised in an article in the website mentioned before explaining why Christians shouldn't use drugs. It's worth noting that the writer was uncommonly focused on marijuana during the entire article. A Freudian psychoanalyst might draw some interesting (but hardly surprising) conclusions from this, but I will (with regret) refrain from playing pop psychologist on this forum. If you want to read the article (filled with invalid arguments, factual errors and internal inconsistancies), you are free to do so here: http://www.godandscience.org...
Oh my, we're getting a bit off-topic aren't we?

So, back to your question. My fanship of Hofmann consists of a number of factors, among these are that he was a brilliant scientist who made brilliant discoveries and was the first to 1: produce lysergic acid diethylamide 2: extract psilocybin from psychoactive mushrooms. He was clearly fighting "The Good Fight".

And yes, I do endorse the responsible use of LSD and other hallucinogens (although I honestly feel that natural hallucinogens are better in many respects. They can't really be "cut" and LSD carries a higher risk of acute [not chronic] possible complications since it's somewhat easy to overdose if, for instance, one mistakes LSD for another compound. Etc.) I see no reason why I should condemn them. They don't cause addictions, they're non-toxic, they carry no chronic side-effects (except for psychosis [which can also be caused by [u]any other intoxicant[/u]], but even then the risk of psychosis is about 1:1000+), they're literally enlightening, value-changing drugs that make you see the whole world in a different light. They can be used as entheogens (and they really are powerful for such a purpose), and I've heard many first-hand reports of people turning from atheism to devout Christians (etc). Now, I ask you (as a Christian), if even one soul is brought to Jesus through the power of entheogens, is that a bad thing? If just one single person has had a life-changing experience while under the effects of hallucinogens that caused them to convert to Christianity (or perhaps some other faith), is that something that ought to be condemned by any believers? Also, I take no shame in saying that there are some personal factors involved as well (however, it's been a long while since my last "journey").

"Or... what use do you think it has?"

I've listed several. It has medicinal use (for example, it can treat cluster headaches), psychiatric use (for example, helps with PTSD and showed great promise in therapy with autism, etc). Since we're discussing this, it should be noted as a sidenote that salvia divinorum is extremely useul for treating many psychological conditions.

"drug users consider it... an introspective "serious" drug, not so much "fun" "

I couldn't agree more. Tripping is nothing to mess around with. If the set and setting are wrong, bad trips are possible etc. + Its enormous potential is "wasted" if it's just used "for fun" like marijuana.

Limit :(
Arrogance and deception,
Torment and Bliss,
Oh, I envy your lack of justification
When mine is so sincere


[u]And btw, why can't I use [url=en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBCode]BBCode?[/url][/u]
Rusty
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8/6/2011 10:14:59 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/5/2011 4:32:47 PM, hauki20 wrote:

" I was going to start off by stating some of the things that would follow from that reasoning, but then I realized that you're a fan of Albert Hoffman. I'm making an assumption here, given the thread topic and content of your post, that you also endorse LSD. Would I be correct? If so, can I ask why? "

First' I'd like to admit that that argument was a bit rushed and was only ever meant as a sidenote. It's by no means the most persuasive argument as to why it's permissable for Christians (or others) to use, say, hallucinogens (I atually wrote about a 5-page essay on this subject to the forum of godandscience.org, but sadly, it was censored. Luckily I still have a copy of it, but it would seem pointless to republish it anywhere else since its whole point was to refute all the arguments raised in an article in the website mentioned before explaining why Christians shouldn't use drugs. It's worth noting that the writer was uncommonly focused on marijuana during the entire article. A Freudian psychoanalyst might draw some interesting (but hardly surprising) conclusions from this, but I will (with regret) refrain from playing pop psychologist on this forum. If you want to read the article (filled with invalid arguments, factual errors and internal inconsistancies), you are free to do so here: http://www.godandscience.org...

That (your paper) would actually make for a pretty interesting read. Is there any way I could read that?

So, back to your question. My fanship of Hofmann consists of a number of factors, among these are that he was a brilliant scientist who made brilliant discoveries and was the first to 1: produce lysergic acid diethylamide 2: extract psilocybin from psychoactive mushrooms. He was clearly fighting "The Good Fight".

And yes, I do endorse the responsible use of LSD and other hallucinogens (although I honestly feel that natural hallucinogens are better in many respects. They can't really be "cut" and LSD carries a higher risk of acute [not chronic] possible complications since it's somewhat easy to overdose if, for instance, one mistakes LSD for another compound. Etc.) I see no reason why I should condemn them. They don't cause addictions, they're non-toxic, they carry no chronic side-effects (except for psychosis [which can also be caused by [u]any other intoxicant[/u]], but even then the risk of psychosis is about 1:1000+), they're literally enlightening, value-changing drugs that make you see the whole world in a different light. They can be used as entheogens (and they really are powerful for such a purpose), and I've heard many first-hand reports of people turning from atheism to devout Christians (etc). Now, I ask you (as a Christian), if even one soul is brought to Jesus through the power of entheogens, is that a bad thing? If just one single person has had a life-changing experience while under the effects of hallucinogens that caused them to convert to Christianity (or perhaps some other faith), is that something that ought to be condemned by any believers?

Are you saying that a Christian should be glad about someone who has an experience with drugs and converts to, say, Hinduism? Or are you saying that people within the respective religion should be glad about the conversion?

Also, I take no shame in saying that there are some personal factors involved as well (however, it's been a long while since my last "journey").

"Or... what use do you think it has?"

I've listed several. It has medicinal use (for example, it can treat cluster headaches), psychiatric use (for example, helps with PTSD and showed great promise in therapy with autism, etc). Since we're discussing this, it should be noted as a sidenote that salvia divinorum is extremely useul for treating many psychological conditions.

"drug users consider it... an introspective "serious" drug, not so much "fun" "

I couldn't agree more. Tripping is nothing to mess around with. If the set and setting are wrong, bad trips are possible etc. + Its enormous pot
RoyLatham
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8/6/2011 1:18:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I knew there had to be a website devoted to the evolution of psychoactive drugs. Sure enough, there is http://swilhite.weebly.com.... The author hypothesizes that psychoactive drugs originated by chance, but have "coevolved" with humans over the past 10,000 years ago. The author says it isn't certain and that many scientists still think it is all chance interaction. He does have references to a few published scientific papers that support the coevolution hypothesis.

Dogs have coevolved with humans for about 5000 years. Starting with wolves, selective breeding by humans has evolved chihuahuas in 5000 years. Food crops have a similar history, with low-yielding wild varieties selectively bred into high-yielding staple crops. The psychoactive drug coevolution hypothesis seems reasonable to me, but still unproven.

If pyschoactive drugs coevoloved, that means that the relationship is good for propagating the plants, not necessarily good for humans. Catnip is not good for cats, although it is probably good for propagating catnip.
el-badgero
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8/7/2011 9:31:34 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
god knew we'd need drugs.
DATCMOTO's moustache makes him look like an eejit...

edit: nah, i'm jealous... God's an eejit definitely though!
hauki20
Posts: 6
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8/9/2011 8:51:02 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Just as a small question, if a religious adherant (for the purposes of this scenario a Christian) used hallucinogenic drugs, but only for their entheogenic properties, is that a sin that should be condemned?

At 8/6/2011 10:14:59 AM, Rusty wrote:

That (your paper) would actually make for a pretty interesting read. Is there any way I could read that?

Well, sure. http://discussions.godandscience.org... (Apparantly they decided to eventually publish it, but it took so long I honestly thought they had rejected it ^-^)

Are you saying that a Christian should be glad about someone who has an experience with drugs and converts to, say, Hinduism? Or are you saying that people within the respective religion should be glad about the conversion?

No, not necessarily. However, I should note a couple of things. First of all, converting from one religion to another (like from Christianity to Hinduism) because of an entheogen is pretty rare. Experiences that occur while under the influence of hallucinogens are influenced by one's inner convictions. In other words, although two persons tripping might have the exact same experience, they might interpret it very differently. Because of the effect one's religious beliefs have on spiritiual trips, I see it unlikely that anyone would deconvert from their religion to another (since they interpret their experiences in light of their religious beliefs). However, I see it entirely possible that an atheist (who doesn't necessarily believe in spiritual or supernatural) might be swayed by their experiences to become spriritual or even covert to a religion. That religion might be Christianity (especially in the western world) where almost every child is taught to be a Christian from a very young age. Even if they reject Christianity, the beliefs instilled in them leave small "residues" (in the unconscious). These "residues" might be rediscovered, magnified and strengthened on a journey to the world of the unconscious during a hallucinogenic trip.

And RoyLatham, thanks for the interesting read :)
Arrogance and deception,
Torment and Bliss,
Oh, I envy your lack of justification
When mine is so sincere


[u]And btw, why can't I use [url=en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBCode]BBCode?[/url][/u]