Oral Sex, Molecular Engineering and the Fall from the Brain of Eden.

wrightbookHumankind was expelled from the Garden of Eden for eating the forbidden fruit. But, according to a radical theory, it was actually for not eating enough of the stuff.

Consciousness theorist Tony Wright argues that human evolution stalled around 200,000 years ago, an event that may have been recorded in the world’s myths as “the fall from grace”, humanity’s rude ejection from a “golden age”. According to the theory, climate change forced humans from tropical forests where a high fruit diet had fuelled the rapid development of the brain. Beyond the forests, with fewer nutritional components present, the brain degenerated, a trend which included the growing domination of the left-hemisphere over an actually better preserved right.

According to Wright, unless we change our diet – or, advanced molecular engineering, as he prefers to call it – we will continue our slide and, via our increasingly destructive actions, continue to literally destroy our once perceived Eden. There is a mountain of objective evidence backing up his theory, he claims, which points to perceptual and behavioural impairment and “a species wide insanity”.

In an interview with The Eternities podcast, he said, “[With the dominance of the left hemisphere] we have the emergence of patriarchal and hierarchical systems typically devoid of any kind of empathy or compassion or any grasp of reality whatsoever, creating a civilisation in their image, and often coercing the rest of humanity to follow suit”.

According to the theory, it was oral sex which drove the rapid evolution of the human brain. “If you’re eating fruit, it’s oral sex,” said Wright. Competing for the attention of humans, it was these “swollen sex organs” of plants, bulging with complex biochemistry, which powered human neural evolution in a runaway feedback loop. (Despite the cheap bait-and-switch method employed in the title of this article, the “switch” is actually a far sexier topic, suggesting as it does that we should all be experiencing a far more pleasurable, sensual and fulfilling life, in every area.)

According to Wright, methods exist to temporarily correct this imbalance. The dominant left hemisphere can be inhibited and the right can be better fed, quickly providing amazing glimpses that can change one’s perception forever. He said in the podcast, “[We can have experiences] that tell you something else lives in here as well, and it’s a whole lot better. We have legislation and social taboos [that] tell us these things work because there are legislative approaches to stop us using them. It’s a guide to what actually works.”

He went on, “We have living traditions still on the planet where people have used neurochemical analogues  [such as trance dance, sleep deprivation and psychedelics] like an emergency approach … to stimulate the right hemisphere sufficiently that it can partially reverse dominance, it can partially become self-aware. It’s a very different self-awareness to what we’re used to. The question is: is what we’re used to actually real? Do we see the world as it’s supposed to be? The physics tells us we don’t. The ecology tells us we don’t. And yet we trust it as if it’s real.”

Wright makes an interesting analogy: “[If the brain is] like a musical instrument and the music is our sense of self, we know that the tiniest changes [in an instrument] can make a massive difference, including just changing the varnish and so on. If, in terms of our neural system, the strings have been broken or badly damaged, if it’s been dropped, if it’s been left out in the rain, [which is the equivalent of] this massive shift from the tropical forest – we’ve lost over 95 per cent of the most complex chemical cocktail we know – that should be shocking. It’s like stripping out 95 per cent of the technology from a 747 and then saying it’s the same, it looks the same. Who’s going to get on it? Nobody would go anywhere near it. Our neural system is way more complex than that, and the orthodox evidence suggests that at least its origins were in the most complex molecular environment we know. And that’s gone.”

Dennis McKenna has called the theory “stunningly innovative” and wrote the foreword to Wright’s 2007 book, Left in the Dark: The Biological Origins of the Fall From Grace, co-authored with Graham Gynn.  A new edition is set for release in 2014, with the new title Return to the Brain of Eden: Restoring the Connection between Neurochemistry and Consciousness, which Wright hopes might stimulate, what he believes, essential research. If he’s correct, it might very well be our best way back to the fabled garden.

For more details see leftinthedark.org.uk and beyond-belief.org.uk.

Listen to The Eternities podcast with Tony Wright.

Martin Higgins

Martin Higgins is a journalist, podcaster and novelist. In 2012 he published Human+, described by KurzwilAI.net as "a science-fiction page-turner inspired by futures studies, psychic spy research, and the transhumanist movement". In 2017 he became a co-Founder and Media Director of Ankorus. He is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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130 Comments on "Oral Sex, Molecular Engineering and the Fall from the Brain of Eden."

  1. DisInfo posted the video lecture about this back in May. It was a pretty interesting idea. https://disinfo.com/2013/05/did-sex-with-plants-drive-human-evolution/

    • Tchoutoye | Sep 13, 2013 at 10:50 am |

      This theory is being reposted here every couple of weeks. It still doesn’t make any sense though.

      • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm |

        You have to eat nothing but bananas all day for it to make sense.

      • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm |

        Dementia patients think their diagnosis are insanely nonsensical and completely false as well.

      • I’m totally fine with your allegations and have yet to actually make up my mind at this point. But given that this makes no sense, are you stating you’ve watched the 2 hour lecture, read all the papers and then have specific points you disagree with? If so, I very much would love to hear you express them as it will help me form a better opinion on this subject matter. Why do you disagree with this theory and why do you feel it makes no sense to you? Because your statement holds as much water as me replying “You make no sense, you post every couple of weeks but still make no sense”. Neither that sentence nor yours are actually backed by facts, but are 100% conjecture based on opinion. 🙂 I was maining just showing how this is a reoccurring topic. Neither supporting nor denying it myself as I don’t have a researched opinion on the matter. Are you aware of any papers that detail flaws in his arguments perhaps? I’d very much like to read that if so 😀

  2. Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 9:47 am |

    The question nobody has been able to answer is if this is true why don’t forest dwelling and fruit eating gorillas, bonobos and chimps have bigger brains?

    I think Wright has it backwards. Big brains came from leaving the forest and hunting game.

    I don’t discount that becoming more and more disconnected from the web of biological life has caused us problems however.

    • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Sep 13, 2013 at 10:10 am |

      At the end of the day, one needs the nitrogen and fat to grow and repair an advanced nervous system. Animals are made of meat, which has plenty of both.

      • JoiquimCouteau | Sep 13, 2013 at 10:43 am |

        That’s a ridiculous claim. Meat is full of excitotoxic amino acids and stress hormones, and lacks the nutrients required to support optimal brain function. Orangoutans eat no meat, only fruit and have very large brains, similar in structure to ours. .

        • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 11:09 am |

          except 1/3 size

          • JoiquimCouteau | Sep 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm |

            The expansion in humans is confined almost entirely to the prefrontal cortex. The rest of the brain is essentially the same.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm |

            Echidnas eat ants and they have a big prefrontal cortex. You don’t make any sense.

          • everybody suddenly became Chimpanzees & Orangutan expert. just saying.

          • hagbard23 | Sep 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm |

            You must be new to the interwebs. Everybody is an expert on everything. Fucking wikipedia.

          • Calypso_1 | Sep 13, 2013 at 4:33 pm |

            Perhaps the echindas are tripping balls from symbiotic fungi in the ants gut ; )

        • Tchoutoye | Sep 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm |

          Orangoutan is an exception of an intelligent animal that is (strictly?) fructivore, not the rule. Dolphins for example eat fish, not fruit. As do octopuses, which have large brains and are considered to be quite intelligent.

          Most of the more intelligent animals are omnivores: chimpanzees, bonobos, spider monkeys (these three primates are more intelligent than the vegetarian gorilla), pigs and various intelligent birds like the corvidae (crows, ravens, magpies, etc.).

          Meat… lacks the nutrients required to support optimal brain function.

          This claim is unsubstantiated beyond the wishful fantasy of vegetarians.

          • JoiquimCouteau | Sep 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm |

            Dolphins have undergone a totally different pattern of brain expansion, not analogous to that of primates; for example, their neocortex has five, not six, cytoarchitectual layers.

            Chimpanzees and bonobos are frugivores. Rarely chimpanzees have been caught eating small mammals, but this tends to occur during captivity or environmental stress, and does not contribute significantly to their diet.

            Spider monkeys are also frugivorous. Howler monkeys, which are predominantly folivorous (as are gorillas), have less developed brains and are considered less intelligent than spider monkeys.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm |

            Maybe they only eat exclusively fruit under environmental stress when less wild game is available. You can’t prove it either way, they are under environmental stress.

          • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm |

            Bonobos eat almost exclusively fruit, and so do chimps and spider monkeys when given the opportunity. You have to realize that they went through the same climatic bottleneck as us and a lot of what they eat depends on whats available in their area at the time.

            Cetaceans and dolphins seem to have gotten there by another route. No one is saying that intelligence HAS to be due to fruit in ALL animals. Thats a ridiculous claim. But we shouldn’t ignore the large amount of fruit eaters who do have exceptional intelligence (parrots, fruit bats, apes, humans, etc)..

            Believe it or not howler monkeys and spider monkeys are a great example….Because one eats around twice the amount of fruit as the other and, surprise, “coincidentally” the one who consumes more fruit has nearly twice the brain size of the other and is more intelligent…All this even though they live in the same habitat, eat relatively the same food, and have the same body mass.

          • Calypso_1 | Sep 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm |

            Fauna o’ the sea have rather different biochemical properties than terrestrial sources.

        • jasonpaulhayes | Sep 13, 2013 at 1:51 pm |

          They receive a mixture of sugars and fats from fruit, carbohydrates from leaves, and protein from nuts.

        • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Sep 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm |

          I made no ridiculous claims. My claims are eminently defensible: A) Nervous systems are resource expensive. and B) The flesh of animals contains essential nutrients in high concentrations.

          Notice how I never claimed that eating meat is necessary for proper nutrition. Functionally, that may be the case in some environments (not a lot of vegans in traditional Mongolian society). It is simply obvious that predation is biologically efficient for those with the mental and digestive capacity to make it work. Given that evolution is adaptive for more efficient organisms, I would argue that it seems likely that this is an evolved trait.

          A little experiment can provide evidence. Put your tongue on your top front two teeth and move it left and right. Feel those bumps?

      • Tchoutoye | Sep 13, 2013 at 11:23 am |

        Don’t forget cooking. The human brain requires 25% of all energy intake. It was the cooking of food, enabling its stored energy to be absorbed much more efficiently, that is generally considered the main reason why human brains could evolve to a size that is disproportionate to other animals.

        And yes, a lot of that heated food was fatty meat because a vegetarian diet is not efficient enough. Most herbivore animals spend their whole day eating and yet all that food still doesn’t give them enough energy to spare that could be used for a larger brain.

        Humans evolved an energy-hogging large brain at the expense of power to outrun both prey and predators. Perhaps the biggest advantage of living (retreating) in trees in that sense was not the fruit growing there but the relative lack of necessity for muscular power to survive there.

        • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 3:53 pm |

          Cooking/meat were essential to surviving the harsh environments we were forced into. But that does not make them a sufficient replacement for the unimaginably complex and neurally/hormonally active plant biochemistry that flooded our nervous system for millions of years.

          It is easy as hell to obtain the amount of energy you need from fruit, and doesn’t take “9 hours of eating a day” like some of these people idiotically claim.

          And “muscular power” does not need to come from meat. Look at a gorilla or other ape sometime without the fur.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 5:23 pm |

            Right, tiny head and enormous balls, the exact opposite of Wright’s thesis.


          • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm |

            Tiny head? Chimps have pretty big brain/body ratio and a high level of intelligence. I’m not sure how testicle size fits into the equation. Head/testicle size isn’t anything that I’ve heard Tony ever mention before.

            Your ignoring all of my points as usual and building straw- man arguments (as usual).

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm |

            A fruit diet is supposed to lower aggression and sex drive according to Wright, yet chimps are super aggro and rapey.

            I am not making straw man arguments I am adressing his points. I really don’t see your logic. Are you now saying Fruit makes chimps smarter than possums or something? I thought this was supposed to apply to why humans are smarter than apes? Anyway, its makes no sense and you are heavily invested ion it for some reason and get all emotional instead of addressing critiques of the “theory” calmly and rationally.

            So how can this be falsified? What is a real world test of this? It just strikes me as a story, like a creation myth.

          • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 6:31 pm |

            Chimps went through the same climatic bottleneck as us, and are relying on meat since the habitat isn’t what it used to be (even though its still a very small portion of their diet). Thus they have a higher level of testosterone than bonobos (and, surprise, more anger issues), but if you consider the capacity for empathy to be more advanced than using a simple twig to get food I think we are more similar to bonobos, who have a much lower level of testosterone and will pick fruit over meat any day.If you put a box in a group of chimps, they’ll play alpha male and fight over it until one comes out on top. If you put a box in a group of bonobos, they’ll all get in it and start fucking. Which is more sane?

            Testosterone disproportionately effects the left hemisphere of the brain, and most of the damage takes place in utero (simon baron cohens work on developmental disorders linked to this has heavily established this IMO). Its detrimental affects in larger amounts are well known, and dampening its affect of extreme “masculinization” of the brain (which is seen in its extreme form via autism) is what fruit chemicals do. There is a very simple and blatantly obvious reason why there is such a sudden and alarming drop in the age of puberty in just the past few decades. I’m not going to elaborate on this further since it was discussed in my interview with tony and countless other places in more detail than i can get into without rambling on and on. If you still don’t understand it, then have a look there.

            I’ve been studying this field for my degree for years and the evidence from psychology, neuroscience, and other fields lines up perfectly with this scenario. My reason for being so invested in this is simple: I’ve experimented and researched it for years,and its become a self-evident experiential reality that there is something to it.

            “and get all emotional instead of addressing critiques of the “theory” calmly and rationally.”

            I’ve addressed every critique you’ve written, but you almost always ignore my main points. You’ve associated tony with a crackhead before and made several emotionally charged and immature posts in these sorts of discussions in a very far from rational attempt to dismiss it. Now your saying you see 0 evidence when we’ve posted it again and again all over the place. I have a feeling that this discussion won’t go anywhere (any guesses why…?)

            The real world test of this would be to see whether or not the right brain is a more functional version of the left,and there is many studies that could be conducted to help research the validity of that possibility (and indeed many that show just this, however, amazingly the researchers forget that it is their left brain that is making the interpretations and concluding that its normal and adaptive selection)… One was the manchester sleep trial, where functionality and left-handedness actually improved over a 5-day period awake, instead of decreased like orthodox theories would suggest.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 6:41 pm |

            I think eating eating too much wheat and processed grains explains a lot of the hormonal stuff. You just strike me as being stuck in a particular reality tunnel and are simply amassing support for your unquestioned assumptions.

            None of it constitutes proof that there was a highly intelligent fructivore culture that preceded ours.

            I actually really like friut, I just can’t constantly eat it all day. Too much fructose. Nothing more to say really.

          • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 6:52 pm |

            I agree that wheat and processed grains are a big problem, and have greatly exasperated things, I just don’t see how we can ignore the effect plant biochemistry must have had during those millions of years being immersed in it. I see all of that as a later stage in the process. There is plenty of evidence for groups that excluded wheat/grains, but even these ones aren’t fully functional. Not to mention that if they were, then these dormant right brain abilities (like those seen in savants etc etc) would be much more widespread among them.

            I never said it was proof (or that it was a “culture”). I’m open to you pointing out holes and flaws in the theory, but so far I haven’t seen any. Why aren’t you addressing any of the other big points in my replies?

          • Monkey See Monkey Do | Sep 15, 2013 at 6:30 am |

            You should try the vegan/vegetarian reality tunnel, you might find its not as absurd as you once thought. As long as you are able to consciously bracket your beliefs from your desires.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 15, 2013 at 6:43 am |

            I love animals and I don’t hunt, so its really not that hard except for the fact that the diet itself makes me feel like crap and get sick.

          • Calypso_1 | Sep 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm |

            You seem familiar.

        • i have read the book , and the theory states that the energyhogging of the brain is because of the comprimised left brain. when the right brain is activated the energy consumption by the brain should be much less, as it will operate itself and the body more efficiently.

          so if we follow the theory , after the exodus from the forest ,
          when after generations the brain started to become compromised and thus needing more energy to function, the need for dense foods like meat and starches might have become more prevalent. and thus cooking was a big necessary benefit regarding the circumstances.

          but it does not mean that it was the best fuel and the building blocks on wich the brain size and high level of functioning had been achieved.

          i have experienced some things wich seem to support the theory.

          the first few times when mdma is used less sleep is required for months ( in my case anyway), and less food, without feeling weak or foggy mentally. the first time this lasted for 5 months after 1 dose. it has been found that mdma is a very strong mao-inhibitor , wich might explain in part this effect.

          also tobacco is a mild mao-inhibitor wich might indicate why people can become so addicted to it. even the antidepressants , ssri’s have this effect. and red wine , old cheese etc.

          i think that we have been unconsiously seeking out foods and drugs and activities wich help us to break free from the left brain prison.

      • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm |

        I know many people who’ve lived without meat for 25+ years and they are some of the most vibrant and healthy folks I know. That said, its not something people can always just jump right into. There is also a lot of mistakes made at first, usually, and diet alone will not fix the damage since it does little to reverse dominance or replace the other endogenous neurochemicals that went missing.

        • i have found that very low doses of psilocybine , and harmaline , or even sceletium tortosium ( kanna) , amongst many other herbs and spices have some effect wich is not trippy but noticeable effect of wellbeing and calmness, coupled with clearmind. and cannabis .

          if used combined in very low doses , they become better manageable then just taking a high dose of one substance, and less chance for addiction.

          if we analyze what people are doing now , certain traditions ,
          we can find some practices wich can aid in operating more from a right brain dominant perspective. the degree of right/leftbrain dominance varies a lot with substances but also with individual brains.

          • Trevor Smith | Sep 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm |

            Interesting, thanks for sharing. But to be clear, harmaline (or aya/syrian rue in general) and psilocybin are far from being addictive. Cannabis however can be for certain people.

            Melatonin is also very useful, especially if used in combination with other things and techniques. And over time, things like ayahuasca etc do become more manageable or functional, even in higher amounts.

          • now i am combining a more frugivorous diet , wich i had never done before , and it seems to work much better.

            do you mean the low dose melatonin derived from tomatoes or the chemical high dose variant ?

            and normally melatonin production peaks at night . when i stay awake at nighttime, my mind seems much more clearer then during daytime, that might be because of the melatonin.
            have to bulk up on ripe tomatoes 🙂

            havent tried ayahuasca yet, need to go to the smartshop.

          • Trevor Smith | Sep 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm |

            Chemical melatonin. The melatonin derived from plants is incredibly small, and its a molecule that was flooding our brains in much higher amounts constantly for a very long time. Its basically just addressing a chronic deficiency and, contrary to what people think, supplementation has been shown to boost the pineal glands own production of it instead of lowering our endogenous production.

            But having said that it does seem that plant flavonoids boost pineal activity and our own melatonin production somewhat.

          • i believe that chemical melatonin was illegal her in the netherlands a few years back. i have to check it out.

            maybe there is another compound wich acts as a precursor, just like banana-trypthophan and serotonin.

            this week i plan to experience small amounts of Jurema (dmt), kratom, and pedicularis Grandiflora extract.

            nature has a lot to offer wich has not been explored, and i have the feeling that besides diet , herbs are a major component to redeem ourselves.

            and also the healing effect of ayuahasca might be due to temporary Right Brain Dominance , wich allows for a fast and efficient repair of the body, and the communication of important aspects of one’s life , just like some dream states.

            one more important herb worth checking out is Tagetes Lucida, it promotes a lucid dreamlike relaxed state unlike cannabis, much more calm and clearer.

            also clove , combined with cannabis is really great.

          • Trevor Smith | Sep 15, 2013 at 2:31 pm |

            Yes there is a number of very powerful herbs that have a great affect on human health and consciousness 🙂

            I haven’t heard of Lucida…thanks, I’ll look into it.

    • JoiquimCouteau | Sep 13, 2013 at 10:40 am |

      Primates emerged contemporaneously with flowering plants, and fruit was their food source from the beginning, driving their evolution (although some primates have since regressed to eating lower-quality foods).

      The difference between humans and non-bipedal apes may be, for example, related to the additional influence of mushrooms, which grow on the forest floor. Bipedalism preceeded ‘humanization’ of brain size. This does not change the fact that primate brains require fruit to function optimally.

      Humans and apes, unlike nearly all other animals, cannot biosynthesize vitamin C (which is concentrated 100-fold in the brain over the blood) and require several grams a day to avoid symptoms of deficiency (many of which are neurological), an amount which can only be obtained from a diet high in wild fruits. It is inconceivable that such a brain could be supported by the low-quality ‘survival’ diet adopted by later humans.

      • Tchoutoye | Sep 13, 2013 at 11:26 am |

        Functioning optimally is not the same as evolving to have a brain size that is disproportionately large compared to other animals.

        • JoiquimCouteau | Sep 13, 2013 at 1:06 pm |

          The transgenerational increase in brain size was produced in part by the effects of flavonoids and other anti-estrogenic substances in fruit. The decrease in brain size since the transition to a ‘survival’ diet of unsuitable (and therefore cooked) foods has been exacerbated by estrogenic substances in those foods (eg, endogenous steroid hormones in meat, polyunsaturated fats in oily seeds and non-ungulate meat, indirectly estrogenic effects of starch consumption).
          If you’re so confident in your proposed scenario you should read the book itself, or the sources it cites, and see how that makes you feel.

          • Estrogen causes brains to be smaller?

          • atlanticus | Sep 15, 2013 at 7:02 pm |

            This is going to sound odd and perhaps “reverse-racist”, but you know what has a lot of phyto-estrogens? Soy. You know who eats a lot of soy? Chinese people. You know which group has some of the largest brains? Chinese people.

            So…I’m going to call bullshit on this “dietary estrogen = small brains” theory. (Because I’m a giiiirrrrlllll… :P)

            Honestly, that’s a little simplistic since there is a *huge* difference between dietary estrogens and naturally-produced estrogen, but I would indeed be interested in seeing the sources for that book.

            I’m also interested in this seed thing…”polyunsaturated fats in oily seeds”…am I not supposed to be eating handfuls of raw pumpkin seeds?

          • JoiquimCouteau | Sep 15, 2013 at 8:12 pm |

            Isoflavones from soy are far from the only dietary estrogens. Polyunsaturated fats are involved in, and potentiate, the effects of estrogen.

            To some people, racial sterotypes might seem like an adequate basis for theories of neurodevelopment, but I find the scientific literature to be a superior source of information.



            evaluated the effects of estrogen and tamoxifen, a selective estrogen
            receptor modulator, on positron emission tomography (PET) measures of
            brain glucose metabolism and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures
            of hippocampal atrophy. Three groups of postmenopausal women were
            studied, women taking estrogen (ERT+), women with breast cancer taking
            tamoxifen (TAM), and women not taking estrogen or tamoxifen (ERT−). All
            subjects received a PET scan, an MRI scan, and cognitive testing. The
            TAM group showed widespread areas of hypometabolism in the inferior and
            dorsal lateral frontal lobes relative to the other two groups. The ERT−
            group showed lower metabolism in the inferior frontal cortex and
            temporal cortex with respect to the ERT+ group. The TAM group also
            showed significantly lower semantic memory scores than the other two
            groups. Finally, the TAM group had smaller right hippocampal volumes
            than the ERT+ group, an effect that was of borderline significance. Both
            right and left hippocampal volumes were significantly smaller than the
            ERT+ group when a single outlier was removed. The ERT− group had
            hippocampal volumes that were intermediate to the other two groups.
            These findings provide physiological and anatomical evidence for
            neuroprotective effects of estrogen.


            Long-Term Estrogen Therapy Worsens the Behavioral and
            Neuropathological Consequences of Chronic Brain Inflammation

            Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is accompanied by chronic neuroinflammation and occurs with greater
            incidence in postmenopausal women. The increased incidence may be delayed by estrogen replacement
            therapy (ERT). The authors investigated the interaction of chronic ERT and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-
            induced neuroinflammation in the female rat. Ovariectomy did not impair water maze performance;
            however, addition of chronic ERT or neuroinflammation resulted in an impairment that became
            exacerbated by the simultaneous occurrence of both conditions. Chronic LPS activated microglia, which
            was not reduced by ERT. Intact females receiving LPS infusion were not impaired in the water maze and
            had significantly fewer activated microglia. Results suggest that chronic ERT in postmenopausal womenmay exacerbate the memory impairment induced by the chronic neuroinflammation associated with AD

          • atlanticus | Sep 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm |

            “These findings provide physiological and anatomical evidence for neuroprotective effects of estrogen.”

            Um…okay. So which study are you suggesting is the more correct of the two? The first study is evidence against your initial claim.

            Besides, ERT is really not even close the same thing as a pre-menopausal woman, naturally producing estrogen…there are many reasons why hormone replacement therapy might not be beneficial in the long run.

        • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm |

          And how would this jump in brain size even be possible when you suddenly go from several grams of vitamin C a day to less than half a gram? Not to mention a deficiency in an entire galaxy of other DNA transcribing molecules that influenced every aspect of our physiology.

    • Seems to me that for the human digestive system to safely process meat on a regular basis or large scale requires cooking and knives, both of which require a larger brain.

      • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 11:21 am |

        not really. Eskimos traditionally ate a lot of raw meat and fish and Weston A Price said they were the healthiest group he studied.

        • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Sep 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm |

          Dogmatic vegans hate his research.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm |

            That’s why I think Veganism is more like a religion for some people than the result of free inquiry. Its hard to argue with Price’s data. All Wright has a are a bunch of “just so stories”

          • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm |

            The high school level biological mechanisms and raft of psychological data provide a very strong case for the left hemisphere being a damaged version of the right. But its no surprise the left hemisphere would be dogmatically resistant to such a suggestion, and at times not even recognize the mountain of evidence when its staring it in the face. Just like the confabulation patients who undergo damage in the right hemisphere and become so deluded in they’re super-dominant left brain state that when asked to clap, they believe they are clapping when really they are not.

            Your not looking at Price’s data in context. He’s documented the very tail end of this degeneration and pointed out how tribal diets fair much better than our western diets (duh).

            If you think meat is so essential, then why are we able to get our vitamin D from the sun? This isn’t something carnivores or even omnivores do. Not to mention we don’t make our own vitamin C, which is a very rare thing to not be able to do. We need to get it from plants.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm |

            OK, so there is evidence and my damaged brain just can’t see it. OK. State the evidence and I will try to witness this. So far all I have seen is a hypothesis, basically a story of what some hypothetical group of humans did 200,000 years ago.

            So I am open to the idea that this evidence is unable to be seen by my damaged brain but it seems more likely that you aren’t presenting any. What is your definition of evidence? BTW I have been eating fresh organic fruit all summer, most of it I picked myself.

          • Any recommended reading re: functional lateralisation?

        • I don’t even come close to meeting his dietary guidelines.

        • what if the baseline used for health is comprimised worldwide already ? and what we assume is high level of health is nowhere near what we have lost ?

          in mythology and the bible there are stories about how the older generations reached a very old age and this degenerated linearly.

          If the old braincapacities allowed for a much more efficient function of the bodysytems like the immune systems, waste disposal, -inflammation and cancer management, regeneration of cells, etc, then it might be an explanation for much longer lifespans.

      • good point. so in order to have the ability and intelligence to create tools for hunting , cooking and meatcarving, as we have no carnivore-teeth , would rely on a brain wich was already grown before we were put in the situation to have to hunt for meat.

        so the brain came before the meat ?

        and the fat we required may have come from nut-tree’s wich are available in the forest. and maybe we ate the rapidly multiplying fruitflies and other insects together with the fruits ?

        a frugi-nuts-insectoid diet ?

        • Trevor Smith | Sep 14, 2013 at 5:37 pm |

          You can get all the fat you need from fruit/seeds/nuts. Some fruits like durain, avocado, dragon fruit, and countless others are a lot higher in fat than people would think for being a fruit. But yes inevitably insects would have been eaten since they would often be on or in the plants we were consuming.

          • a lot of people nowadays still eat insects as they contain a very high protein to weight ratio and multiply fast , much cheaper than animal meats.

            and if in the garden of eden they was trippin 24 hours a day on all the chemicals in the fruit, and they could get all the nutrition they would not be motivated to go hunting. thats something they would have done if there was no easier option to require food.
            we as a species still exhibit that laziness trait to conserve energy.

            yeah , i have to eat more avocado’s but i cant get really good ones most of the time where i live. and fresh durian and jackfruit is expensive as hell to be used on a high volume. maybe move to thailand and go biking with durianrider 🙂

            and we should consider that the constitution of the available fruit 200.000 years ago might have been different then what we have available nowadays.

            chimpansee’s really seem to put effort in acquiring ants with the hollow sticks.

        • Apparently there’s a lot of evidence our ancestors were largely insectivores, but I’ve not read up on it yet.

          • i am not sure about the ratio’s of insects/fruits/nuts they might have consumed, but not all insects i think taste great when eaten raw, i have no first-hand experience, but i think tha ratio of insects might have been low ???

    • jasonpaulhayes | Sep 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm |

      Maybe we got drunk on fermenting fruit and in drunken rages we killed more animals, ate more meat and that in turn led to larger brains.


      • we also might had have just drunken orgy’s and then passed out . as we had enough food around us, the laziness principle kicks in.

        even the indigenious tribes dont go hunting every day, only when necessary, and they like to chill and get high on jungle-dope.

    • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm |

      Not sure where you’ve been Ted but those animals have huge and intelligent brains compared to almost any other species on the planet, and coincidentally they eat a ton of fruit. We’re learning more and more about just how close they are to human intelligence (see news articles on primates using currency and future planning etc)

      Just because we humans have been cut off from the symbiosis (which even orthodox science admits existed for millions of years, and ended around 200k years ago) for a while doesn’t mean we would revert to a smaller brain size than them right away.

      Ted you’ve argued this theory before but have you ever even bothered to read the book? Why not look into it with an open mind before dismissing it, as you always do, because of the mere fact that it doesn’t align with your eating habits? You have shown time and time again that you don’t have anywhere near a full understanding of the theory, so why not take a look? If the scenario is more or less true, then dismissing it without even understanding it- like all of the split/brain confabulation – would be an expected response…

      Also tony has replied to this inquiry before:
      “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)”

      Your assumption that we can loose 95% of the materials that went into fueling and building the brain on a sub-cellular level for millions of years and expect it to be working more or less OK is far more insane than this theory.

      • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 5:11 pm |

        The reason I think this is all bogus is because I did read the book. I think combining Weston A Price’s nutritional findings with the Continuum concept addresses most of the neurological damage Wright’s hypothesis is trying to address.

        In my opinion the Human Baseline is very close to the traditional culture is that of the San. They were omnivores and very egalitarian and affectionate with each other and not patriarchal at all.

        Like I said Wright’s hypotheses are simply a Vegan creation myth

    • Healing Chime | Sep 14, 2013 at 4:16 am |

      It’s not about fats and proteins but about the other chemicals in the forests 🙂 I doubt the chimps are mixing banisteriopsis caapi with chacruna in a metal pot and boiling it for 12 hours.

    • Tony Wright | Sep 16, 2013 at 10:40 am |

      As pointed out on this thread I answered exactly this question in a previous forum, there is an explanation you do of course need to understand the theory 1st.

      • Ted Heistman | Sep 16, 2013 at 10:44 am |

        Its not a theory unless you can test it. Its simply a story. I think it resembles a type of Vegan creation myth.

        • Trevor Smith | Sep 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm |

          …..The question of whether the left hemisphere is a dysfunctional version of the right hemisphere is eminently testable.

          If you don’t even understand an idea then its useless to try and constantly debunk it. And even moreso when all the while you ignore replies to your supposed “debunkings” and just move on to the next one, instead of owning up to your misunderstandings of it.

    • Trevor Smith | Oct 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm |

      I’ve already responded to this comment here if you want to read it, but I think this recent discovery is relevant.


  3. Microhero | Sep 13, 2013 at 10:31 am |

    So while my left hemisphere is obsessed with being right my right hemisphere is left aside.

    All because i don’t eat enough fruit.

  4. Rus Archer | Sep 13, 2013 at 10:55 am |

    i’d have an easier time taking this ideas seriously if he didn’t look like total shit
    and if fruit didn’t make me sick

    • DOOOOOD how can you not enjoy fruit??? my you find the end of suffering brother, and maybe some proper taste buds ^^

  5. Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 11:06 am |

    I have yet to find a better explanation than this for the cause of mental and physical degeneration in the modern world


    The cause is the modern processed starch based diet.

  6. Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 11:30 am |

    Is this why crack whores are so smart?

  7. Tchoutoye | Sep 13, 2013 at 11:46 am |

    it was oral sex which drove the rapid evolution of the human brain. “If
    you’re eating fruit, it’s oral sex,” said Wright. Competing for the
    attention of humans, it was these “swollen sex organs” of plants,
    bulging with complex biochemistry, which powered human neural evolution
    in a runaway feedback loop

    Now this is just bat-shit crazy. Speaking of bats, some species of bats eat only fruit. And they are one of the few animals besides humans to engage in oral sex. According to Wright’s theory then, bats should be highly intelligent. They’re not.

  8. advancedatheist | Sep 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm |

    In an interview with The Eternities podcast, he said, “[With the dominance of the left hemisphere] we have the emergence of patriarchal and hierarchical systems typically devoid of any kind of empathy or compassion or any grasp of reality whatsoever, creating a civilisation in their image, and often coercing the rest of humanity to follow suit”.

    Funny how few people question the “reality” of empathy or compassion. It looks as if Wright starts with a prior commitment to certain emotional attitudes, then works backwards to argue that our brains don’t work correctly because many of us don’t share his value system.

    • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 1:35 pm |

      Also he ignores all the egalitarian hunter gather tribes like the Hadza and the San who eat meat.

      • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm |

        Your ability to vehemently deny things which you don’t even understand continues to astound me Ted. Read the book (free .pdf on scribd) with an open mind before dismissing this so readily with completely bogus arguments like “people ate meat after we left the symbiosis” all day long. Citing evidence of people eating meat today is in no way a logical means of refuting a theory that says we have been on a survival diet for the past 200,000 years. But of course the left brain will undoubtedly cough up almost anything in order to avoid questioning its reality.

        Fruit is also often talked about in spiritual traditions worldwide speak of our separation from a more functional mental state, and explore methods of attempting to correct the problem.

  9. Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm |

    Even though this is hypothesis is completely bogus, I still find it interesting. Its a Vegan creation myth. Since no vegan Mother culture actually exists(All indigenous people eat meat fish or dairy in their traditional diets) why not simply make one up? Say it existed in a lost golden age 200,000 years ago and defend it with religious zeal!

    • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 6:05 pm |

      This is not about veganism….which is a very ambiguous dietary label anyways. (And its not like we weren’t eating insects who were caught up in the plants). Its about a logical case with rafts of supporting data from many fields. Putting your hands over your ears and repeating “we ate meat we ate meat” is expected but shouldn’t be confused with actually pointing out any serious flaws in the theory.

      Discounting this by associating it with the vegan movement is fallacious. You don’t see us discounting your meat theories because we lump you into a group with all the other meat eaters of the world, do you?

      • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm |

        I know you are feeling antagonistic about this but to be really honest, I can’t eat a mostly fruit diet because I get symptoms of pre diabetes. I do eat fruit but I combine it with other foods. If I just eat a bunch of fruit with no protein I get hypoglycemic.

        If I look at what all my ancestors ate, it wasn’t a fruit based diet. They ate seasonal fruits that grow in the temperate zone.

        So for some reaon you think I am in denial or something but I just frankly don’t think this theory makes sense. I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

        • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 6:46 pm |

          No worries. I like a lot of what you post and I know I come off as overly defensive of the theory, so apologies for that. My world has been turned upside down and inside out by this, so I feel the need to give it a good thorough investigation since even if there was a 1% chance our brains fail to fully develop then the only sane thing would be to check.

          Its too bad you get those affects from fruit. Some can transition quickly without any problems, but others need to do it in more spread out stages. I actually know of several people who were hypoglycemic that have gotten relief from this sort of lifestyle. But I don’t recommend jumping right into a high% fruit diet for everybody. It seems for many its good to clean yourself out first, load up on greens etc, and then up the fruit % as you start combining methods to inhibit the left and engage the right. At least, thats been my experience and what I’ve observed.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm |

            Well, I am pretty right brained. I draw and write, spend a lot of time outdoors I think walking in the woods is meditation for me. Spending too much time on the internet is the most left brained thing I do. As far as diet my main issue is portion control. I fel best on a diet of free range organic meat, vegetables and seasonal fruit. I think the Atkins diet is not for me but vegetarian doesn’t seem to work either.

            I think there is a lot of variation in the human gene pool but fresh whole foods seem to be best in general.

            As far as trying to connect with plants and animals and live symbiotically I think that is a positive goal.

          • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 8:52 pm |

            Have you noticed any impact psychedelics have on your diet?

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 14, 2013 at 7:45 am |

            Not really, but I notice that meditation causes me to east less, because I become more present in my body and pick up on signals better, like feeling full. I try to practice midfullness. Meat really tastes good to me, and also cheese. Sugar bothers me.

            I also believe in ethical farming and following the principles of permaculture. I think you can have the same type of symbiotic relationship with animals that Wright proposes people once had with fruit trees. Especially with laying hens and dairy cows, but even with animals you ethically harvest for meat.

            I find this lady to be very enlightened. You should check her out in this ten minute video:


    • atlanticus | Sep 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm |

      We plainly were not eating dairy that long ago and meat would have been what we could scavenge, insects, eggs, and possibly hand-caught fish…regardless, we were certainly eating MORE fruit than most do today.

      • Ted Heistman | Sep 14, 2013 at 6:09 pm |

        I am not sure I would say “we” when it comes to proto humans who didn’t use tools and relied on scavenging for all their meat.

        • atlanticus | Sep 14, 2013 at 8:17 pm |

          Um, yes. I said that: “meat would have been what we could scavenge”.

          Did you actually read what I said? I say “we” because I mean our ancestors. You know damn well what I meant, unless you’re just trying to fight because you love it more than life.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 15, 2013 at 6:39 am |

            Why do you get so riled up? All I am saying is that hunting tools go back a long way, long before Homo Sapiens. so going back before that is not really human

          • atlanticus | Sep 15, 2013 at 10:05 am |

            It’s difficult to not get riled up because you did not have the respect to even read what was initially said, nor did you even attempt to understand my point:

            Regardless of what ***our ancestors*** (is that better?) ate 200,000 years ago, they STILL ate MORE fruit than WE do now.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 15, 2013 at 10:16 am |

            Well I disagree. Does that make me a bad person? I think our ancestors ate a lot of meat going back a million years. I think hunting game is one of the things that got the ball rolling with the brain changes that made us human. Homo erectus had hunting weapons and often lived in areas that weren’t loaded year round with fruit.

          • atlanticus | Sep 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm |

            Of course that does not make you a bad person. Discourse and debate was what I was aiming for. However, this is still not possible when you are making assumptions about my position which are unstated. For example, I never claimed “year round” fruit was part of the equation.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 15, 2013 at 5:09 pm |

            OK, well if our ancestors living in temperate climates and in areas characterized by Savannah, only ate seasonal fruit what makes you think they ate much more than people do now?

          • atlanticus | Sep 15, 2013 at 6:22 pm |

            At least among most Americans, it would seem that the majority eat less fresh produce (veg and fruit) than they ever have in history…but, that is my local perception.

            By “our ancestors living in temperate climates”, speaking of 200,000 years ago, do you mean the Neanderthals? Are you really going to make me read this Wikipedia article? Okay, let me do some “studying” and get back to you on this… 😛

            EDIT: Okay, well, the Neanderthal / Cro-Magnon admixture theory still only accounts for a small portion of modern human DNA, but we share no mitochondrial DNA, so this was obviously somewhat limited to only male Cro-Magnon, female Neanderthal pairings.

            So…I’m going to ignore that for now, unless you reply that you had something else in mind when referring to “our ancestors living in temperate climates”, AND “200,000 years ago”…

            I know the Savannah was not a desert back then…so I’m wondering why you think there wouldn’t be some fruits, but I need to continue my “study”…

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 15, 2013 at 6:32 pm |

            Some people don’t eat much fruit. but historically people in North America only ate seasonal fruits, only since the advent of modern transportation and refrigeration have people eaten fruit all year.

            Have fun researching Neanderthals. Neanderthals are great!

          • atlanticus | Sep 15, 2013 at 6:35 pm |

            What about dried berries?

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 15, 2013 at 6:45 pm |

            Good with pemmican. Eskimo Ice cream too!

            Plain dried berries makes me shit someithing fierce!

          • Calypso_1 | Sep 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm |

            This thread wouldn’t be complete without a reference to your excretory habits.

          • atlanticus | Sep 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm |

            Your shitting problems, as well as your problems with fruit in general…is it not entirely possible that you have a specific problem which doesn’t apply to others? Were you ever a heavy drinker? If your pancreas is damaged you might not be able to tolerate a lot of fruit, or sugar of any kind. That would certainly screw with your insulin / hypoglycemia, etc.

            Although I totally agree that people are probably best off sticking to the diets of their immediate ancestors…so anyone with genetics from both sides of the pond might have some issues. (It took me a long time to figure out I was mildly lactose intolerant, for example).

            That’s one reason why a lot of Latinos have issues with diabetes. They really shouldn’t be eating so much dairy and wheat, since that wasn’t part of the native diet.

            You also mentioned you just don’t have much of a taste for sugar. That’s actually, oddly enough, common to certain European populations, despite the penchant for pastries…


          • atlanticus | Sep 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm |

            I thought you’d be all about Mark’s Daily Apple, by the way…have you had any organ meats, yet? Good luck with liver…*puke*

          • Trevor Smith | Sep 15, 2013 at 7:50 pm |

            “only since the advent of modern transportation and refrigeration have people eaten fruit all year.”

            Except the tens of millions of years that we lived in the non-seasonal forests of africa….

          • Trevor Smith | Sep 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm |

            Ted, you are again disregarding how this has been explained to you in other discussions on this. Evidence of meat eating in certain groups of humans throughout evolutionary time is not evidence that it was the norm, or even something that was often done.

            I’ll copy and past my post from this thread http://forum.leftinthedark.org/discussion/comment/54#Comment_54

            We seem to have forgotten that nothing fossilizes in the forest, and that fruit eating wouldn’t be found in fossils anyways. I think a very compelling case has been made by Tony and many others that our physiology suggests a diet high in fruit.

            Often times people cite fossils and and the scant evidence of meat and fire usage as evidence supporting the conventional view of our origins. I believe there’s a question very similar to this in the FAQ here http://beyond-belief.org.uk/node/9

            A useful analogy that really helped me understand this culturally conditioned cave-man view has been made using orangutans. Orangutans occupy a wide variety of habitats and diets; mainly the jungles, but others have branched off into more arid places and adopted different diets as a result in order to survive.

            So suppose we had never discovered orangutans. If, say, a few thousand years from now, long after they have gone extinct, humans were too look back and have the luck to find fossil evidence of their existence outside of the forest, eating a certain kind of diet, what conclusions and inferences could we logically make from this information? It is only a snapshot of one particular habitat/diet and says nothing about what was still going on in other habitats- such as the forest where things don’t fossilize. For us to conclude that THIS snapshot depicted THE diet and habitat of all orangutans everywhere would be completely ridiculous and getting ahead of ourselves…yet this is exactly what humans have concluded when looking at the fossils of our own species.

            Once you look at the physiology of us and the biochemistry involved in rapid exponential brain expansion that view becomes even more dubious.

          • Trevor Smith | Sep 15, 2013 at 5:36 pm |

            You keep repeating things like this in these sorts of discussion yet every time we bring up counter arguments you ignore them. Evidence of meat-eating in the past has been gone over before. Read my post in this thread

          • Calypso_1 | Sep 15, 2013 at 11:05 am |

            You just said proto-humans did not use tools. Now “tools go back a long way, long before Homo Sapiens.”

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm |

            There were proto humans who didn’t use tools but they were basically apes.I mean we only know they are proto-humans because we are descended from them.

  10. JoiquimCouteau | Sep 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm |


    Rethinking primate origins again.

    Sussman RW, Tab Rasmussen D, Raven PH.


    In 1974, Cartmill introduced the theory that the earliest primate adaptations were related to their being visually oriented predators active on slender branches. Given more recent data on primate-like marsupials, nocturnal prosimians, and early fossil primates, and the context in which these primates first appeared, this theory has been modified. We hypothesize that our earliest primate relatives were likely exploiting the products of co-evolving angiosperms, along with insects attracted to fruits and flowers, in the slender supports of the terminal branch milieu. This has been referred to as the primate/angiosperm co-evolution theory. Cartmill subsequently posited that: “If the first euprimates had grasping feet and blunt teeth adapted for eating fruit, but retained small divergent orbits…” then the angiosperm coevolution theory would have support. The recent discovery of Carpolestes simpsoni provides this support. In addition, new field data on small primate diets, and a new theory concerning the visual adaptations of primates, have provided further evidence supporting the angiosperm coevolution theory.


    Am J Primatol. 2013 Sep;75(9):883-90. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22162. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

    Fallback foods, preferred foods, adaptive zones, and primate origins.

    Rosenberger AL.


    Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Brooklyn College, CUNY, Brooklyn, NY, USA. alfredr@brooklyn.cuny.edu


    Appreciation has grown for the impact of tropical forest seasonality and fallback foods on primate diets, behaviors, and morphology. As critically important resources in times of shortage, seasonal fallback foods may have an outsized role in selecting for form and function while the diversity of preferred plant foods has played an equally prominent role in shaping primate evolution. Here, hypotheses of primate origins are examined in the context of food choice models developed by Marshall and Wrangham [2007] and related to the broader concepts of adaptive zones and radiations. The integrated evolution of primate diet and positional behavior is consistent with a growing reliance on angiosperm products–not prey–as preferred and seasonal fallback foods, temporally and phylogenetically coordinated with evolutionary phases of the angiosperm adaptive radiation. Selection for an incisor oriented but non-specialized heterodont dentition, in contrast with most other orders, attests to the universal role of a highly varied vegetation diet as the primates’ primary food resource, with diverse physical properties, phenology and high seasonality. A preference by plesiadapiforms for eating small protein- and lipid-rich seeds may have predisposed the primates and advanced angiosperms to diversify their evolving ecological interdependence, which established the primate adaptive zone and became realized more fully with the rise of the modern euprimate and angiosperm phenotypes. The “narrow niche” hypothesis, a recent challenge to the angiosperm co-evolution hypothesis, is evaluated further. Finally, I note support for visual predation as a core adaptive breakthrough for primates or euprimates remains elusive and problematic, especially considering the theoretical framework provided by the Marshall-Wrangham model, updated evidence of primate feeding habits and the counterpoint lessons of the most successful primate predators, the tarsiiforms.


    Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013 Jun;1288:70-85. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12071. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

    Primate laterality and the biology and evolution of human handedness: a review and synthesis.

    Fitch WT, Braccini SN.


    Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. tecumseh.fitch@univie.ac.at


    We review evidence for and against lateralization of manual control, communication, visual processing, and auditory processing in nonhuman primates. Compared to humans and some other vertebrate species, manual specialization in nonhuman primates is relatively weak. A right-bias in chimpanzees may exist, but is so weak that many studies using simple tasks fail to reveal it. Slightly stronger biases may exist in baboons and chimpanzees for communicative signals in the manual and facial domains. Several studies have found robust visual side biases that depend on the object being viewed, in primates including chimpanzees. Evidence for lateralization of auditory processing remains inconclusive. We conclude that the robust, species-wide lateralization that exists in humans is unusual, and perhaps unique among primates, and discuss several possible evolutionary explanations for this strong asymmetry. In particular, we consider the hypothesis that preexisting hemispheric asymmetry for perception and language processing drove the evolution of human handedness.


    EMBO Rep. 2013 Apr;14(4):337-46. doi: 10.1038/embor.2013.29. Epub 2013 Mar 15.

    Breathing-in epigenetic change with vitamin C.

    Monfort A, Wutz A.


    Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QR, UK.


    Vitamin C is an antioxidant that maintains the activity of iron and α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases. Despite these enzymes being implicated in a wide range of biological pathways, vitamin C is rarely included in common cell culture media. Recent studies show that reprogramming of pluripotent stem cells is enhanced when vitamin C is present, thereby illustrating previous limitations in reprogramming cultures. Here, we summarize understanding of dioxygenase function in reprogramming and epigenetic regulation. The available data suggest a link between dioxygenase function and stem cell differentiation, which is exposed to environmental influence and is relevant for human disease.

  11. InfvoCuernos | Sep 13, 2013 at 5:51 pm |

    Eating fruit IS NOT oral sex-its eating fruit. You’re doing it wrong.

    • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 5:53 pm |

      Fruit is literally the sex organ of a plant…and we shoved it in our mouths for pleasure. Its a bit tongue in cheek, of course, but still slightly true.

      • InfvoCuernos | Sep 13, 2013 at 6:57 pm |

        So if you eat a cow tongue are you kissing? For that matter, wouldn’t it be necrophilia/ bestiality? Eating is consuming, sucking is sucking.

        • Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm |

          That comparison makes zero sense. Sticking somethings sex organs in your mouth (tell me you’ve never sucked the innards out of one) for pleasure and then partially joking and calling it oral sex is not comparable to eating a cow tongue and calling it kissing…. IMO. lol. I don’t really care if you agree or not. The point is that fruit is a drug filled pleasure-rewarding sex organ.

  12. Trevor Smith | Sep 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm |

    I’d like to also clarify something about diet/digestive system.

    The theory isn’t arguing that we have the digestive track of an herbivore, but frugivore. Its very clear on this, as theres a pretty big difference. As you know, we’re much more similar to bonobos than gorillas.. although we seem even more adapted to fruit than bonobos. For example their teeth are far better for eating meat than ours are- and they hardly eat any meat to begin with

    The whole spider monkey/howler monkey..human/ape comparison highlights some key points about digestion in relation to all of this

    From a friends study:
    “These two species are about the same size and weight as each other and live in the same environment, eating plant-based foods, yet they are very different. Howler monkeys have a large colon and the food passes through its digestive system slowly, whereas spider monkeys have a small colon through which food passes more quickly. These physiological differences relate to dietary specialisation. The foundation of the howler’s diet is young leaves: 48% of their diet is leaves, with 42% fruit and 10% flowers. The spider monkey’s diet comprises 72% fruit, 22% leaves and 6% flowers. Another fundamental difference is that, although these animals are the same size, the brains of spider monkeys are twice the size of howlers. Very significantly, Milton comments that ‘the spider monkeys in Panama seemed ‘smarter’ than the howlers – almost human’. This is something we have commented on before: big brains and a diet high in fruit appear to go together. Why should this be so?”

    (Very very similar species..one eats almost twice as much fruit, and has twice the brain size…)

    Along with a shorter colon (which makes complete sense with a high % fruit diet) spider monkeys small intestine is long. Humans, like them, have a shorter colon and a longer small intestine..moreso than that of even the great apes..

    “Though we do have a shorter colon and a longer small intestine than the great apes (and this has led one camp of researchers to speculate that our intestines are more similar to those of carnivores), these differences are more appropriately explained by a specialist fruit diet, not a carnivorous or grain-based one. Fruit is easier to digest than leaves, tubers and stems, and has a lower fibre content. Thus a specialist fruit eater would not need such a long colon as other apes that have more fibrous bulk to deal with.

    The human small intestine dominates the gastrointestinal system, often cited as evidence of adaptation to meat eating (14), since the large intestine dominates the gut of the other extent members of the great ape family. However, if we compare the human gut anatomy with that of a spider monkey, we discover astonishing parallels: the small intestine of a spider monkey constitutes 61% of the gastrointestinal tract and the large intestine comprises 18% (13), similarly, the human small intestine covers 56% and the large intestine about 20%, suggesting similar gastrointestinal processing (transit time) and dietary adaptations (easily digestible matter). In contrast, a significant part of the diet of a howler monkey is comprised of leaves, wherefore the large intestine is appropriately twice as large; enabling extensive fermentation of fiber; significantly enhancing the howler monkey’s ability to extract energy from herbivorous matter (13). Howler and spider monkeys are part of the Atelidae family, yet both species developed unique adaptations; prompting morphological divergences (gut). Are spider monkeys adapted to the consumption of meat or large quantities of easily digestible fruit?”

    • what is all the fuss about. could all you brains tell me what albert Einstein ate and how big was his brain?

  13. Utter insanity. Steve Jobs ate only fruit for a while, becoming a fruitarian, and it gave him pancreatic cancer.

  14. The Well Dressed Man | Sep 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm |

    This thread is basically soylent advertising to me.

    • Trevor Smith | Sep 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm |

      From that article ” The government recommends eating 1 to 2 cups of it a day.” Yeah I’m going to trust the governments recommendations for diet. This entire article is laughable. We don’t know what causes pancreatic cancer, so to connect it with fruit eating is ridiculous. If that were true, all of these people who have been eating a high fruit diet (i didn’t say *only* fruit) for decades would be dropping like flies. There is no physiological reason that our pancreas could not handle what an apes could. That said, if the theory is even remotely correct than our bodies assimilation systems and overall functioning is indeed highly compromised and degenerated- which is perhaps one reason why its not always safe to jump to a high% fruit diet, especially if your coming off of a standard american diet.

      People with all sorts of diets die from all sots of diseases all the time. To point out one case where a person died from cancer and then point to his diet as the culprit is utterly laughable. You wouldn’t expect me to logically conclude after going into a hospital looking at all the sick people that it was the meat in their diet that must be causing their illnesses would you.

      “Even if you don’t overwork your pancreas, you’re probably not eating enough calories on an all-fruit diet, Moore says.”

      That is possible, but people under eat on all sorts of diets. Use a calorie counter program if your having problems keeping track. Its pretty easy for me to consume between 2-4 thousand calories a day of fruit, if I choose to.

      Its points on fats are also false. You can get plenty of fat from a plant diet. Look at the fat content of avocados, coconuts, etc.

      I could go on and on but this is clearly going no where. You seem to have unconsciously made up your mind that you will pick through information without critically thinking about it if it supports your reality-tunnel, and reject it outright if it doesn’t.

      • Ted Heistman | Sep 15, 2013 at 6:16 pm |

        Actually, since I like fruit so much I have tried eating mostly fruit different times ans always get sick. I feel best eating mostly vegies, meat and fat, and some low glycemic carbs and seasonal fruit.

        • Trevor Smith | Sep 15, 2013 at 8:00 pm |


          Did you even read my post? I wasn’t talking about your fruit experiences. I was referring to your claim that an all fruit diet is bad for you…a claim whose citation was a silly article from CNN that you have neglected to defend and instead decided to change the subject….Like I said, this is going no where.

          Some people get sick at first when transitioning to such a diet, and this is well known within the raw food community. I got sick a few times in the first few months, but now I literally never get so much as the sniffles. I’ve been eat mostly fruits and vegetables with some nuts for almost 4 years now. This is generally what people seem to go through, by various degrees. Some don’t get sick at all, sure, but its not so simple that everyone just need to drop everything and eat more fruit. There is many factors, and some fail because they transition far to fast and become discouraged by the possible detox affects.

  15. Tony Wright | Sep 16, 2013 at 9:33 am |

    Interesting comments though not many on the core elements of the subject. The theory I have proposed is composed of several key pieces that connect in a novel way resulting in a new picture that can explain some of the enigmas of human origins as well as offering an insight into our current state of mind. It is not always easy to see the picture initially, somewhat like the 3D ‘magic eye’ pictures popular some years ago. The information/data is familiar, spotting the pattern within the data requires a different perspective and includes being aware of the well documented limits of our current perception.

    To begin with I would suggest a review of the split brain data and be willing to consider an unfamiliar interpretation/idea. Is it possible that the left hemisphere is a degenerate version of the right hemisphere? If such an interpretation is even remotely possible then I would suggest proceeding with caution regarding all current interpretations of relevant data.

    A second area to consider based on the primate/angiosperm co-evolution theory (some links posted on this thread). Based on known transcription mechanisms, what happens if you infuse the transcription/operating environment of a typical mammal with a uniquely and increasingly complex cocktail of transcription factors from many species of angiosperms in a rare form of symbiosis for millions of years? In effect progressively immersing a typical mammalian genome into the combined developmental environments of many tens of co-evolving angiosperms. Angiosperm genomes are more complex than mammalian genomes producing a vastly greater bio-chemical complexity than any mammalian genome can on its own

    What happens when that symbiotic relationship is broken?

    To make some sense of the unique factors at work here most people including the neural researchers need to re-evaluate their idea of what exactly fruit is.

    Fruit is a product of symbiotic evolution, the expansion of a highly specialised developmental organ rich in transcription factors, simplistically the equivalent of a mammalian uterus. Forming a symbiotic relationship with the hormonally rich developmental organs of many of the most bio-chemically rich species to have ever evolved is no ordinary relationship.

    Once these factors are seen in context it is possible to join the dots and a simple if unfamiliar picture emerges, the rapid expansion of neo-cortex (and other traits) was the a direct result of and entirely dependent on an extremely rare form of symbiosis.

    When this picture is clear only then is it possible to realistically assess, refute dismiss etc.

    That increasing numbers of people including those with specialised knowledge in relevant disciplines can see the picture suggests it is there hiding in the extant data only becoming visible when you ask the relevant questions.

  16. I can believe that left-brain dominance took hold after humans were forced to leave the abundant forests and scrape an existance on the planes, but I always thought it was more due to the fact that the humans who survived were the ones who were able to think laterally to trap prey and find food (more right brain activities).

    • Trevor Smith | Sep 16, 2013 at 6:18 pm |

      The thinking used to be that each hemisphere had its own special functions, but more and more these past few decades the split brain research has highlighted how the right hemisphere is capable of everything the left can do, and that it can even do it better (along with a number of other functions…savant abilities are probably just a glimpse).

      This may seem unlikely but the research is all there, the problem is that we don’t factor the left hemispheres tendency for delusion and denial into the equation when making our interpretations of the data. Its as if we forget that we have a left hemisphere, that it is dominant, and that whatever interpretations we make will be limited by its perceptual capabilities.

      Having studied this all throughout college its astounding how more people haven’t seen this. Once you assess all of this data and ask the right question it becomes clear as day.

  17. Ethan Celery | Sep 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm |

    This article certainly coalesces with one of my favorite books: When Santa Was a Shaman by Tony van Renterghem. (ISBN 1-56718-765-X)

    The author describes the commonly accepted Biblical account of the Fall from Grace like so: [My words, not his, for brevity]
    Adam & Eve, the first man and woman who really mattered, encountered a tree struck by lightning. Lightning frightened primitive humans, and had been symbolized in mythology by a snake. She picked up the felled and flaming branch from the safe end, and The Human Race began taming fire.

    Consider the allegorical implications: Lightning, the snake tempts The First Humans in paradise. They eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, learning how to master their environment, and God forces the snake to crawl on its belly on the ground.The human race now possesses the ability to migrate far away from their tropical paradise.

    The rest, as they say, is History.

    The author wrote a fascinating book worth reading. Please do.

  18. Tony Wright | Sep 18, 2013 at 9:05 am |

    The primary objective of my proposal is to test the idea that our neural/perceptual equipment is seriously damaged. It is always fascinating to observe the resistance to even considering such an idea when a sane response would make such an assessment a priority even if there were no obvious cause for concern.

    This might help explain why, brief introduction to split brain research

    Remember the data/observations must apply to the author and his interpretation of same data. As his data predicts he fails to notice the conundrum as do all others researching this and related disciplines.

    Relates to this recent article

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