Did Sex With Plants Drive Human Evolution?

In the African forests we were shoving the hormone rich sex [reproductive] organs of plants into our mouths everyday for millions of years…Each containing a level of biochemical complexity off the charts that influenced DNA transcription, pineal gland activity, and so on.

Trees were like drug dealers on the corner competing for attention. The most attractive, delicious, and nutritious fruits were the ones chosen, with the plants reward being seed dissemination; thus securing their survival down the evolutionary timeline. For the organism doing the ‘oral sex’, this biochemical cocktail, which we are only just beginning to understand, was quite literally involved in building and fueling the brain on a sub-cellular level for eons.

Part 1

Part 2

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  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    I think Candida Albicans drives Modern Civilization, similar to how a fungus drives leaf cutter ant civilization. Their fungus makes then cut leaves, ours makes us grow wheat.

    • Trevor Smith

      Hmmmmm

  • BuzzCoastin

    an interesting theory that goes nowhere
    most of the fruit Homelanders eat is chemy treated & GMO buffed

    • Trevor Smith

      But does that really refute the theory? Or support it?

      Aren’t the completely insane agricultural/pesticide/GMO systems that we’ve put in place, which millions obliviously continue to gobble up, a testament to just how psychotic and delusional we’ve become?

      • BuzzCoastin

        why bother to refute that theory?
        I think it’s as good as any theory I’ve heard & better than most
        so what?
        yes, our behavior is a testament to insanity
        but eating more fruit isn’t the answer

        • Trevor Smith

          I never said simply eating more fruit was the anwser…And neither did the book or Tony.

          Apologies..I guess i’m more just confused as to what your point is.

          If there is a problem with the development and function of our only organ of perception, than wouldn’t not urgently looking into it and investigating solutions be a symptom of that insanity? Any “well whatever, so what” response would certainly be telling, no?

          • BuzzCoastin

            having listened to and read some of Tony’s work
            I would say that’s the biggest problem with his theory
            for me
            is that it doesn’t seem to have much in the way of useful info
            for dealing with today
            it seems to me to be a rehash of how wee got to this point

          • Trevor Smith

            I would strongly disagree. He outlined some very practical things we can do today to begin addressing this in his book. (not to mention the ancients outlined various things approaches in detail..)

            Others and I have been engaging in them for years now, and I can’t even began to explain how things have changed for us.

            The theory isn’t complete yet, as the forward points out. But even if it was just a diagnosis without any practical things we could do (which its not), that would still be no reason to ignore our condition.

          • http://www.youtube.com/chillmeester Chiller

            The theory has cleared up some seemingly strange things i have experienced and noticed in me , and around me.
            i have by accident triggered my right brain in the past. but i never connected those dots. now they start to make much more sense.

            and for sleep deprivation. it really works, but make sure your body is in a healthy state and i have quit any stimulants to get there by fruit, wich to me prevents ”coming down” hard after sleep.the sleep state itself changes and becomes more lucid and clearer and easier to remember.

            and for me painting art helps a lot and listening to music at the same time, it can get you really high, especially after a yoga session.
            try to use many healthy things in a synergistic way instead of focusing on just fruit or just sleep deprivation. it’s a trial and error process, because you are building up a new relationship with your body and mind.

            it explains why people love to do drugs, they escape the leftbrain prison temporarily, but because they just take the drug and dont implement other things, they come down hard and develop a problematic addictive relationship with it.

            Thanks , Tony for your insights And Trevor for your comments.

          • Guest

            Thanks for sharing your experience :]

          • Trevor Smith

            Thanks for sharing your experience chiller!

          • http://www.youtube.com/chillmeester Chiller

            Glad to be of help with my experience. :

            One more subjective observation after hands on experience : I think most humans are so easily affected by group settings in religious and other context is because in some way it triggers parts of the right brain especially with the communal singing.

            The group energy raise can be literally felt in such settings.
            And cults know this and (ab)use this knowledge to make addicts out of their flock. thats why most religions demand regular visits to the congregation in order to hold grip on the flock. and people are happy to give their eomotional energy and money for this, even if they are economically deprived. Wich does not make any sense.

            ANd some heavy leftbrainers can become very agressive if they feel somehow you are different and not stuck in the prison, as happened with many mystics and prophets in our history. they rather shoot the messenger then learn from them.

          • BuzzCoastin

            > wouldn’t not urgently looking into it
            and investigating solutions be a symptom of that insanity?

            do insane people know they’re insane?
            do they want to know they’re insane?
            only Crazy Eddie Antar

            Tony has done some remarkable work
            but this left/right, raw food, degraded mentality thing
            has been covered ad nauseum
            by all sorts of academics & non-academics
            personally
            I have found it best to avoid beliefs in theories
            and continue to explore those things
            that I find personally useful & helpful

          • Trevor Smith

            I don’t see how this is about belief…Its about experimenting and experiencing a state where you can either see if it works, or if it doesn’t.

            And I’ve never seen it covered in this way by others..Not even close.. How many have proposed that humans are suffering from serious neural degeneration, to a degree that has left us virtually blind to the conditions existence itself? And that the left hemisphere, being more sensitive to these hormones, is now a dominant yet damaged version of the right? The ancients said basically as much, but to integrate their information with that coming out of modern science has not been done before.

            Weston Price has outlined epigenetic damage in some ways, but their theories are still incredibly different.

  • Tchoutoye

    Wright’s wild claim suggests a connection between the structure and functioning of the hominin brain and plant hormones in fruit (he mostly gives as an example flavonoids, which, in contrast to the anesthetic ethylene, aren’t actually plant hormones) and keeps repeating that every other slide. But nowhere in this 2+ hour presentation does he provide any evidence for such a link. The closest he comes is stating that fruit contains antioxidants, which somehow (he does not specify) must have a positive effect on the brain. (Various arrows flowing from fruit to the brain in PowerPoint diagrams doesn’t count as evidence). Research has shown that dietary flavonoids have little or no direct antioxidant food value following digestion, as less than 5% of them are actually absorbed by the body.

    He talks about fruit seeds that, in order to propagate the species, contain complex chemistry, which he claims interacts with the hominin brain. But the whole point of symbiosis between plant and frugivore (on which he bases his theory) is that the seeds pass through the animal undigested, otherwise the plant would not make its fruit so sexy for the animal to eat.

    You only have to compare the cognitive abilities of various apes with their diet (frugivore vs. ominvore) to show little or no positive correlation between a frugivory and brain development. Most frugivore apes, such as, for example, gorillas and spider monkeys, have overall fewer cognitive abilities than omnivore chimpanzees and humans.

    He more or less ignores the role of meat, other than suggesting it has a negative impact on hominin brain development. Research,/a> shows however that the energy-guzzling hominin brain could never have grown so large without eating cooked meat.

    He goes on to castigate a whole bunch of top neuroscientists for not having considered his theory on their own accord, but given how far-fetched and unsubstantiated his claim is I suspect they have better things to spend their time on.

    Disclaimer: my left brain hemisphere wrote this comment.

    • Trevor Smith

      Its a powerpoint presentation. Of course he’s not going to cite every study and line of evidence/idea presented in his 220+ page book! lol. Its a simplified *summary*. I figured that much would be obvious

      From what I saw, no where in that entire study you linked does it show that less than 5% of flavonoids are absorbed by the body. They also never claimed that the anti-oxidant properties of flavonoids have no affect, they merely tried to show how they’re beneficial aspects are likely due to their other properties more so than their antioxidant activity. (We also have to consider that if this theory is more or less true than our ability to assimilate nuritrents would be radically different. Look into MIcheal Gershons work showing that the gut is a neural system with receptors for things he was puzzled to find are not normally their anymore)

      From the actual study you cited:

      “However, the concentrations of flavonoids encountered in vivo are sufficiently high to have pharmacological activity at receptors, enzymes, and transcription factors.”

      (not to mention they are MAOI, transcription factors, endocrine modulators, and aromatase inhibitors which dramatically would alter our own hormone levels and several other things. Gershon has said that a constant presence of MAOI would have a profound affect on the evolution of the gut)

      “Recent experiments have indicated that flavonoids are capable of protecting neurons against oxidative stress more effectively than ascorbate, even when the latter was used at 10-fold higher concentrations [29], which supports a nonantioxidant activity.”"

      Their anti-oxidant activity is a minor point anyways if you actually look into the theory. Even if they weren’t antioxidants, vitamin C and other things abundant in fruit are very potent antioxidants. And if you don’t understand how they can have a beneficial impact on the nervous system then i don’t know what to tell you. Look into it sometime. There is also way more than just flavonoids in fruit..

      “You only have to compare the cognitive abilities of various apes with their diet (frugivore vs. ominvore) to show little or no positive correlation between a frugivory and brain development. Most frugivore apes, such as, for example, gorillas and spider monkeys, have overall fewer cognitive abilities than omnivore chimpanzees and humans.”

      Parrots, fruit bats, and monkeys/apes/primates all tend to eat fruit and display a way higher level of intelligence than most species (cateceans got their via another route)

      Actually howler monkeys and spider monkeys are a good example…One eats twice as much fruit as the other, and coincidentally (or not) the one with the higher fruit intake has a much larger brain.

      Gorillas are NOT frugivores..They mostly eat foilage, but obviously it can vary a bit depending on many factors.

      Chimps and bonobos are very smart, and go figure- they eat a shit load of fruit. If ripe fruit is available year round, then they will eat very little if any meat whatsoever. Regardless of whether chimps or bonobos eat a bit of meat, this doesn’t negate the biological mechanisms outlines in Tony’s book showing how fruit biochemistry could have impacted human evolution.

      You cite those last studies as if its a proven fact, which is sad really. They’re idea that people can’t get the required calories on a raw food diet is ridiculous. They claim it would take 9 HOURS of eating a day. LOL. I ate well over 3,000 calories of mostly raw fruit yesterday and certainly did not spend anywhere near even 3 hours eating. Even if it was 9 hours, which it clearly wouldn’t be, groups evolving in a tropical forest environment could easily spend that much time leisurely foraging for food in any given day.

      The connection between cooked meat and brain size is just ridiculous. Even simply looking at carnivores who hunt strategically in packs in very clever ways shows that cognitively they are WAY dumber than primates and monkeys.

      • Trevor Smith

        Also we have to keep in mind that things don’t fossilize in the rainforests. This question of meat-eating has been addressed here: http://beyond-belief.org.uk/node/9

        “Isn’t there evidence for our ancestors living in non-forest environments and hunting, eating meat and cooking their food?

        Yes there is significant evidence going back millions of years for our ancestors and our existing relatives inhabiting various types of forest and non-forest/non-fruit habitats and adapting their behaviour to survive. The evidence for non-forest habitation is cited as part of the long-standing presumption that such environments were essential to explain key traits during our recent evolution, particularly in regard to our large ‘structurally advanced’ brain and related intelligence. This presumption ignores the much more substantial and extant evidence that large intelligent brains were and still are the product of symbiotic evolution in the relatively benign tropical forests.

        There is also the related and equally flawed presumption that finding evidence for some of our ancestors inhabiting non-forest environments accounts for the whole of our ancestral lineage. It’s as if one day all the members of any given ancestral lineage got together in the benign and bio-chemically rich forest and agreed to move en-mass to a much more hostile and bio-chemically impoverished habitat.

        Evidence for non-forest habitation by some of our relatives tells us nothing at all of any ongoing forest habitation by others. For example the Olive Babooncan be seen today inhabiting a wide range of environments from semi-arid desert like environments through savannah and woodland to wet tropical forest. Now or in the future, evidence for their existence will be more easily preserved and discovered in arid climates with little chance of finding any evidence for their relative abundance in the wet tropics.
        There seems little doubt that individuals and large groups of our ancestors did find themselves in such hostile environments for any number of reasons and using their forest evolved brain and related intelligence survived for significant periods even adapting and speciating. It does seem a bit odd that in the environments that supposedly built and honed our ancestor’s large intelligent brain did not prove to be such a great place to survive. A number of relatively large brained apes still inhabit the forests, yet only one of the many examples found in non-forest habitats still survives and even in its current guise it can still inhabit the forest.

        So as the continued evolution and function of our advanced neural system was entirely dependent on a highly specialised symbiotic relationship with plant developmental environments (fruit) any breakdown in that relationship would result in the stall in expansion and erosion of advanced neural architecture. Adaptation would be possible but at the expense of the continued evolution of those highly unique symbiotic traits. Even switching to a greater % leaves and surviving arboreally in the seasonal tropics let alone surviving by hunting and fire use on the savannah would result in regression. The advanced traits emerged and depended on continued and high % fruit specialisation (only possible in non-seasonal lowland tropics). If this is broken the feedback mechanism will stall regardless of returning to same ecology.”

    • Tony Wright

      As already noted, the presentation is primarily intended to provide a framework or context for the key elements I have proposed as being central to the evolution of the human neural system and the proposal that our neural system has been asymmetrically reverting to ‘primitive type’ resulting in serious perceptual and cognitive limitations

      I do not claim to provide detail or cite references in the talk.

      I have highlighted flavonoids as a group of plant compounds with a range hormonal/biochemical activities that were integral to our molecular ecology for evolutionary time scales.

      The antioxidant activity of flavonoids is not the most important element, however there are several mechanisms that may result in significant anti oxidant activity including cell-signalling effects.

      The simplest measure is typically based on capacity to scavenge free radicals, this measure is most often related to dietary intake and how that correlates with plasma concentration. To test this part of the hypothesis it is necessary to factor in a much greater intake of flavonoids. Terms like ‘nutritionally achievable’ are often used when looking at anti oxidant effects as current dietary norms are used as reference points. Current reference points are virtually meaningless, extrapolating data from nutritional analysis of forest dwelling primates the normal intake of flavonoids would need to be at the very least 20 times greater than even a ‘relatively’ healthy plant based diet. Consuming several kilos of fruit (every day through evolutionary time scales) from a diverse range of plant species would result in a quantity and biochemical diversity well beyond any current testing parameters. Exactly how that would translate into free radical scavenging is probably unknown as yet but likely to be significantly greater than what is considered normal. In addition other mechanisms that may result in anti oxidant activity (cell signalling, MAOi activity etc) will also be greater.

      http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/14/2/3540

      Castigating researchers, perhaps, my intention was simply to point out what appears to be a failure to recognise the relevance of their own research data regarding their own neural system, specifically the increasingly well documented limitations of the perceptually/cognitively dominant left hemisphere when interpreting their own data. Beyond that the complete lack of context re assessing the functionality of our/their neural system without taking account of the evolutionary developmental factors.

      Re seeds, minor point, some plants use a numbers game, only a tiny % of edible seeds need pass to result in a beneficial relationship, for example fig seeds, edible, rich in fatty acids and a primate favourite.

      Re comparing cognitive abilities etc, in order to refute a hypothesis it is surely necessary to understand it, if you had bothered to familiarise yourself with the theory you find a simple explanation for apparent contradictions between extant forest dwelling apes. The emergence of ‘advanced traits’ is based on a feedback mechanism, part of the unique symbiotic relationship. Once that relationship fails the traits will begin to revert, this includes all the great apes, by degrees and for varying periods of time are all reverting to type (in regard to unique neural traits)

      Re meat and energy etc, covered in the book, a tenuous correlation with no basis in basic biology.

      Re consideration by academics, early days but initial response to such a ‘wild’ claim that by its very nature includes the proposed neural dysfunction of same academics is perplexing at least if the proposal is so seriously flawed.

      This from an eminent anthropologist, fossil hominid describer and noted sceptic

      ‘This is a totally new way of looking at the evolution of the human brain. It is so totally fresh, unexpected and hitherto un-thought-of that it will probably take a long time before evolutionary anthropologists and psychologists begin to take it on board; but it will make an impact, of that there is no doubt. It will be, it must be, taken very seriously in any discussion of human origins.’

      Colin Groves – Professor of Biological Anthropology at the School of Archaeology & Anthropology, Australian National University and author of several books including A Theory Of Human And Primate Evolution and Bones, Stones and Molecules

  • emperorreagan

    Fuckin’ left brainers.

  • Conzeit

    Humans as symbiotes with plants. The evolution of the brain as a result of diet. This is still Mckenna’s paradigm, it’s just we have forests
    instead of prairies and fruits instead of shrooms and inclusion of
    epigenetics.

    This is not to disqualify it, I’m glad to see the ideas
    adapt to the times and find grounding in science.
    He suggests we look at the research, are there any sources online?
    Are there any practices I can do to slowly experiment this myself? the only one I saw was five days long sleep deprivation and I’d rather try something more mild before I launch into -that-

    • Trevor Smith

      http://leftinthedark.org.uk/

      http://beyond-belief.org.uk/

      http://forum.leftinthedark.org/

      There is lots you can do besides sleep deprivation. Basically any combination of techniques that quiets the left hemisphere while engaging the right. There’s info on that in his book and on the forum.

      • Conzeit

        Thank you Trevor I’ll look into the forums…for now =0

      • sam

        surely buddhists right action right thought and deep meditation is more constructive in the long run than sleep deprivation. most assuredly.

  • sam

    links broken.