Agriculture and Civilization; In Search of a Buzz?

From :

What might head a list of the defining characteristics of the human species? While our view of ourselves could hardly avoid highlighting our accomplishments in engineering, art, medicine, space travel and the like, in a more dispassionate assessment agriculture would probably displace all other contenders for top billing. Most of the other achievements of humankind have followed from this one. Almost without exception, all people on earth today are sustained by agriculture. With a minute number of exceptions, no other species is a farmer. Essentially all of the arable land in the world is under cultivation. Yet agriculture began just a few thousand years ago, long after the appearance of anatomically modern humans.

Given the rate and the scope of this revolution in human biology, it is quite extraordinary that there is no generally accepted model accounting for the origin of agriculture. Indeed, an increasing array of arguments over recent years has suggested that agriculture, far from being a natural and upward step, in fact led commonly to a lower quality of life. Hunter-gatherers typically do less work for the same amount of food, are healthier, and are less prone to famine than primitive farmers (Lee & DeVore 1968, Cohen 1977, 1989). A biological assessment of what has been called the puzzle of agriculture might phrase it in simple ethological terms: why was this behaviour (agriculture) reinforced (and hence selected for) if it was not offering adaptive rewards surpassing those accruing to hunter-gathering or foraging economies?

This paradox is responsible for a profusion of models of the origin of agriculture. ‘Few topics in prehistory’, noted Hayden (1990) ‘have engendered as much discussion and resulted in so few satisfying answers as the attempt to explain why hunter/gatherers began to cultivate plants and raise animals. Climatic change, population pressure, sedentism, resource concentration from desertification, girls’ hormones, land ownership, geniuses, rituals, scheduling conflicts, random genetic kicks, natural selection, broad spectrum adaptation and multicausal retreats from explanation have all been proffered to explain domestication. All have major flaws … the data do not accord well with any one of these models. ‘

Recent discoveries of potentially psychoactive substances in certain agricultural products – cereals and milk – suggest an additional perspective on the adoption of agriculture and the behavioral changes (’civilisation’) that followed it. In this paper we review the evidence for the drug-like properties of these foods, and then show how they can help to solve the biological puzzle just described .

I have heard of this theory before, but only in the context of physical human evolution, i.e., lactose intolerance. Until the discovery/invention of animal agriculture, adult humans didn’t drink milk after being weaned from their mother’s breast. It was after the domestication of goats, sheep and cattle (horses too, possibly?) that mankind started to incorporate milk-type products into their diet.

While the use of milk agriculture tended toward a more nomadic living which was more in line with the hunter-gatherer life-style (because of seasons and grazing habits), the invention of cereal grain agriculture to support a psychoactive drug reinforcement is the focus of this essay. I have to say it is logical to assume such a theory. Years ago when I was in college I wrote a paper for a health class I was taking. The topic was the history of psychedelic drugs, mainly LSD and the discovery that it was from a mold that grew on the rye plant. The act of grinding the seeds into a flour and baking didn’t kill the active ingredient of the mold, so the bread that resulted from it got alot of people high and it caused quite a bit of trouble. Mainly witch trials and genocide. It seems many people weren’t having a good “trip”.

The authors mention the discovery/invention of beer also. When you look at it, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between beer and bread.

Could all of the great accomplishments (and violence) of mankind, past, present and future be the result of the urge to party? History from plant molds, the ultimate irony!

Original Article


9 responses

  1. A commenter from a previous thread mentioned the cocaine mummies of Egypt. Since the cocoa plant didn’t grow in the Middle East then, how did the person get his “fix”?

    One can make a good case for a world-wide drug trade in ancient times as Carl pointed out.

    The motivation to get high resulted in the world we have now.

    A bad trip for alot of folk!

  2. Yep. Zap ’em out of the air like a video game!

    They’ll probably use it to bring down Chinese anti-satellite missiles.

    So what do you think about neolithic people inventing agriculture so they can get buzzed? Pretty wild huh?

  3. If this gives the urge to party, those supposed moralist obviously lacked the proper nutrition in their growing years.

  4. Plants that produce either mind-altering states or have proven medicinal properties have been used since the dawn of mankind.

    Rather than ramble on about drug use in ancient times, I thought I’d
    provide three convenient links that will allow people to immerse themselves in the history of the big three, cannabis, opium, and cocaine. Opium use from poppies goes back as far as 4200 BCE and no doubt even further back in time. Cannabis too has a long history useage again going back to very ancient times. Shamans would pitch the flowers from the plant into fires and have a major
    “smokeout”, possibly giving them visions and guidance for their tribe. Coca leaves have been chewed by the natives of areas where the plant is indigenous since long before Cortez landed in Mexico in
    1519. The leaf gives energy to the peoples that work at high altitudes. Cocaine, the highly addictive extract of the coca leaf was not discovered until 1859 by Albert Niemann a German chemist. It was not until this extraction was made and the compounds unique to the coca leaf became problematical to society over time.

    The traces of cocaine found in the Egyptian mummies were either ingested in a concentrated form or simply from chewing leaves along with a or quite possibly the ancients came up with a way to
    extract and concentrate the compounds unique to the plant. The leaf does not store nor ship well well, so there’s a possibility that the ancients had come up with a primitive method of extracting and
    concentrating the compound long before Columbus discovered the Americas. They had access to alcohol a solvent, acid through vinegar, and the calcinated ashes of plants for an acid neutralizing base. Bases are used in the production of soap.

    So with a lot of time on their hands, and an eagerness to be able to ship the imagined pleasures of ingesting the compounds of the coca leaf and to be able to ship it afar, they just might have had a
    breakthrough at a primitive, but functional level, long before Albert Niemann’s breakthrough in 1859.

    Here’s an extract concerning the chewing of coca leaves in the native tradition along with its described effects from a book titled “The Daily Grind” by Bob Lutsky. The link is available via a Google search
    The restaurant also sold bags of Cocoa Leaves which are available everywhere throughout the country and are more common than cigarettes. You can buy a whole bag about the size of a
    basketball for about 20 cents. Since there wasn’t much else to two in this two-road town, I thought I’d try the Cocoa Leaves. You chew them with a pinch of baking soda or some black sweat tasting
    tar-like substance to help bring out the full effect. You chew them like chewing tobacco only you swallow the liquid instead of spitting it out, every so often adding to the mixture. Every few hours,
    you spit out the whole wad and start again. Pushing the wad from side to side can provide for hours of amusement on the long stretches of biking. There is no “High” no “WHOOPEE” and no adrenaline rush or sudden burst of energy. In fact, there is no noticeable change at all. You simply, gradually, feel GOOD, like you feel when you’re having a great day, no aches, no pains, no headache, no fatigue, no hunger or thirst – you just feel GOOD, like you can go on. It’s not a wonder drug or a cure-all. I found myself chewing the leaves mostly for the novelty of it, not for any effect it might have, but it truly does relieve the altitude discomforts on the altiplano. Stuart, still struggling with an uncertain tummy takes a pass on the leaves. His only concern was that I make sure that I get rid of them all before we cross into Brazil, where they are still illegal, I agreed that this would be a wise precaution.
    Opium and cannabis don’t have the problem of extraction as being necessary for engaging in their useage. As a note though the use of poppy extracts such as opium and of course cocaine is highly addictive.

    Many people don’t realize that our self-consciousness; ie., self-awareness is a product of evolution. Out visual consensus of colors, sounds, music and everything that makes modern mankind
    transcendental over the lower animals did not happen overnight. I recommend people read the works of Julian Jaynes and his books concerning the evolution of the bicameral mind; ie, left-brain,
    right-brain cognition and how the lack thereof possibly explains the use of “oracles” by the ancients to foretell the future etc. A more primitive brain on drugs might have been “oracalized” too for a
    short period allowing creative thoughts to pop out of the quantum field and allow humans the toolmakers, the gadget makers, and farmers too make leaps of progress after their drug induced experiences.

    I thought I’d supply a link concerning the invention of benzene or at least an understanding of the carbon and hydrogen bonds of this compound interlocked with each other by Friedrich Kekule a
    German chemist from an article titled the “Engines of our Ingeniuty”. My thoughts are that throughout history either through dreams or dreams enhanced by the ingestion of drugs have brought about quantum leaps in societal advancement.

    Possibly too extensive use of grain alcohol, a nervous system depressant, has caused more problems thoughout history than any other compound. It’s simply a solvent and not a drug in the strictist
    sense, and ingested in large quantities simply dulls the brain and the senses, unlike cannabis, opium, and even cocaine in judicious amounts. We all know “mean drunks” and “happy drunks” and I
    personally prefer the latter.

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. Ref Post #2 & #3

    Hi Christopher and dad2059…

    Our airborne chemical laser project has been in the works for many years. Almost 5 billion dollars has gone down the MIC rathole for the development of this questionable toy. The Chinese have been aiming lasers at our satellites on occasion with the intention of blinding them and no doubt are well on their way to developing a ground based laser using our airborne laser technology;ie., using a “rubber mirror” technology which will deform via actuators at the rate of one thousand times per second in order to maintain a concentrated beam on the target/s and to counteract the effects of atmospheric turbulence etc. which scatter laser energy. The same technology is used on modern multi-mirrored telescopes which allow large apertures to be achieved with many smaller mirrors which are deformed via computer control to counteract the effects of the atmosphere on the starlight image.

    The project is soon to end up in the ashcan because we are flat, dead broke as a nation and with the precipitous decline of the USD along with the Chinese et. al. losing interest in financing our wars and our general national profligacy will put an end to this protracted national blood-sucking by out of control MIC sponsored programs in a NY minute.

    If this airborne, chemical laser as simply one of a few projects then this would not be so, but the MIC has thousands of questionable, treasury draining projects going on simultaneously to develop more “pull-toys” for the waging of war and to keep our lazy-assed, overrated general staff grinning.

    What’s worse is how much of this technology will be compromised or simply given to our enemies as Bill Clinton did by allowing China access to hardened guidance chip technology via Loral Space & Technologies Division under Bernard Schwartz.

    They also gave Israel the technology for tactical lasers that blind enemy combatants which they in turn gave to their long time buddes the “Red Chinese”. Yes, Virginia, Israel and China are buddies that go back a long way. Israel has never admitted to having nukes and Kennedy refused to help them develop or test the technology, so the Israeli’s when to the Chinese who allowed them to test their nukes in the Gobi desert during the 60’s. The Chinese got the benefit of the use of Israeli “brainpower” which is indeed heavy duty when it comes to science and applied engineeriing.

    Also our state of the art nuclear weapons technology was compromised during the Clinton era. Believe it or not they allowed Chinese officers up to General grade tour our Los Alamos facilities during the Clinton era. It was said the Chinese were carrying cameras and taking photo’s of chalkboard supported discussionals and possibly swiped data disks and other items while on these tours…say what?!

    So the American tax-debt payer is shaken down by an international cabal of weapons developers and foreign nationals. We pay for the R&D while our traitorous leaders give it away freely for political percs an no doubt deposits in their offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Mann, Lichtenstein and possibly just a plain old suitcase full of Euro notes or whatever.

    When these shenanigans become public, our traitours, complicit Congress always goes “duh”, acting shocked, and as if they don’t have a clue about this nonsense. Oops, it’s time for Henry Waxman to open another impotent investigation…no?! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  6. Since the focus of this article has to do with agricultures effects upon civilization, I thought I’d share this frightening post taken from an posting.

    Evidently the movers and shakers of the NWO have plans for the citizens of this earth through their all pervasive GMO seed projects. The concept of using GMO seeds piggy-backed with sterilizing genes, or even death-dealing genes is quite fascinating. These same mattoids declared as far back as the 60’s that the earth needed a great pruning of the human population, so now they’ve evidently found a way to both control and cull the herd at will.

    Bill Gates through the Gates Foundation has climbed onboard with the Rockefellers et. al. I knew Gates was a globalist when he advocated the elimination of official borders between the U.S. and Mexico with unfettered colonization of the U.S. from the south. I don’t think we have to worry about many Canadians wanting to come here though, especially now that their dollar the “loonie” is advancing against the USD. They’ve also had national surplus in their treasury for the past seven years. We as a nation have nothing to offer Canadians, but not so with Mexicans and Central American illegal immigrants from the south.

    Gates along with most of his corporatist ilk are always looking for an ever-cheaper, ever-expanding labor pool of desperate workers, regardless of how low the quality of their lifestyles may degenerate.

    I think readers will enjoy this article and its grave ramifications. I must say their plan although quite evil is quite ingenius and doable.

  7. Carl #7: I read this on the Graham Hancock site, probably linked to the same source. Oh yeah, quite evil and doable. Keep a pure gene stock of unmodified seeds locked away so nobody else has access to them and only feed the world’s population the genetically engineered crap. Not only do the farmers have to keep going back to Monsanto and the other criminal chemical companies, but these crops are dubbed the “terminator” because they are only good for one growing season, meaning they self destruct after harvest.

    Real nice “people”, huh?

  8. Hi dad2059…

    It’s already happening in India and South America. This is what happens when too much global wealth ends up in the hands of a few, power-crazy, money-hungry; ie., never-to-be satisfied transgenerational elitists.

    Gates is a noveau riche’ example of this lot. When I hear him speak at forums on any issue other than computers and technology, I wince. Outside of his expertise, his public views indicate he’s climbed onboard with the New World Order crowd.

    This GMO seedplan is no different than Gates wanting the world to be stuck with one OS; ie., a MS system/product…no!

    What’s interesting is the Chinese are up to his scam and have engineered their entire national computer sytems around open architecture’d OS such as LINUX. Good for them and screw him and his GMO seed plan too.

    Carl Nemo **==

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