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Any regulars at cannabinoid.com might recognize this...it's the same exact post. I just wanted to throw it up here to see what you all think.
Earlier today I was day dreaming about shit that's happened to me in the past and I wound up thinking back to one of my ecstasy experiences from about a year or two ago. Specifically I thought about a conversation I had with one of my closest friends. He was theorizing about modern drugs compared to 'natural' drugs, and possible generalized overall long term side effects of such drugs on the human race as a whole. One of the things I had brought up (which actually initiated the convo in the first place) was my theories on how evolution spurts *could* have been directly linked to the use of various psychotropic substances by early human beings. This of course eventually lead to his ideas about modern designer drugs of our times. His theory was that with drug laws becoming more and more strignent, people would have a natural tendency to veer from traditional drugs which have been around forever (shrooms, salvia, etc) and begin embracing newer man made alternatives which were not controlled by existing drug laws. (obviously this has been happening for quite some time now with substances like LSD and what not) He then went on to say that as the laws became more and more restrictive and as drug use in general went up, there's bound to be more and more people getting into the drug development business...many of whom would likely be less experienced then the professionals that created many of the mind altering substances widely produced in the 60s (can we say clandestine chemist?) This in turn could very likely lead to a plethora of new age drugs created by people that didn't have proper funding (or reason) to properly test it for possible long term effects. And naturally, this all leads to the inevitable possibility of entire generations of people becoming permanently brain damaged due to abuse of untested mind altering chemmicals.
Obviously this is all just speculation, but I'd like to think that it's not so far fetched that it couldn't happen. And it was this whole line of thinking that lead me to my newest theory about drug use and possible long term effects on the human race as a whole. Which goes something like this:
Assuming that the aforementioned theory has some truth to it, it wouldn't be too difficult to imagine a future full of brain dead psychonauts running around like chickens with their heads cut off. But imagine if you will that this permanent brain damage wasn't at all harmful, but rather a blessing in disguise. (I know that sounds like crazy talk, just hear me out) Take the ever so popular club drug ecstasy for example. Research has shown that repeated use over extended periods of time can and does cause the breakdown of serotonin nerve cells. Fortunately these cells will eventually grow back over time. Unfortunately, however, the regrowth is seldom the same as the loss (e.g. your body may produce many more cells then needed to attempt to compensate for anticipated loss, or they may grow in areas that didn't used to have em, etc...) This is a very important point considering the versatility of these cells. In essence they can interact with virtually every other cell in the brain (at least in theory anyway) and effect different sections of the brain in different ways. That being the case, if they started showing up in areas where they hadn't been before then it's entirely possible that they will have a tremendous effect on the brain as a whole. It's possible that this could lead to the 'opening up' of areas of the brain which have previously been dormant.
And all of that is just one example of how some of these newer drugs that are being created these days *could* drastically change the outcome of human evolutionary history. Especially if these drug induced changes of the brain become hereditary. Imagine if increased amounts of serotonin receptors (or any other possible permanent damage) wind up being passed on to future generations. Given enough time these 'abnormalities' could become part of the human physiological make-up. Which would essentially result in mankind as a whole becoming physically more evolved then we are today...and all because a certain era of drug loving neo-hippies decided to pump themselves full of untested club drugs for recreational purposes.
"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go..." T.S. Eliot
Lamark was an evolutionary scientist on the scene prior to darwin... he proposed that acquired traits were heritable.. ie: a giraffe got its long neck because its ancestors stretched their necks all day long their whole lives to try and reach the leaves that hadnt been grazed on the trees... in effect he believed changes created in their lives were passed down to subsequent generations... this is wrong..
In reply to: And all of that is just one example of how some of these newer drugs that are being created these days *could* drastically change the outcome of human evolutionary history. Especially if these drug induced changes of the brain become hereditary
these changes have to affect the genome to induce a change in subsequent heritable generations, drugs cannot do this.. imagine what we'd be like if we inherited our parents habits.... hmm
we are de-evolving, the population is too large for certain traits to be selected... everyone can get a sexual partner these days, the byproducts of evolution no longer are left to die like earlier victims of survival of the fittest, theyre supported and free to reproduce with whoever theyre able to, intelligent humans as a whole tend to have less children, whereas the uneducated tend to horde children... as ive said before, with a population this large in our current circumstance, it is going to take a miracle for us to even be alive in another few hundred years... i digress
i do think certain drugs can reinforce pathways in ones mind that you are not usually aware of, in order to look at situations in a different perspective, i think this action would be more controlled and profound, than a random long term serotonin site regeneration... its sort of like a lottery, unless the serotonin sites spring up where theyre used most, or needed most... the effect of serotonin sites emerging in new locations would be feelings of well-being and joy for new stimulii, thereby changing our behaviour somewhat..