[ExI] Religious Idiocy Triumphs Over Science Yet Again

Henry Rivera hrivera at alumni.virginia.edu
Sat Feb 6 20:13:08 UTC 2016

On Fri Dec 11 22:54:02 UTC 2015, Will Steinberg wrote:
I just don't understand particularly why you would believe that besides
cultural bias.  Do you know what receptors psychedelics act on?  Do you
have evidence that the insights would be poorer than "sobriety"?  Sobriety
a diverse collection of mental states, and drugs add another state.  What
makes whatever mental state you were in, not on drugs, when you gained some
insight, valid?  Isn't the state of your brain right now a fairly
stochastic phenomenon which may or may not produce valid insights?
Sobriety is full of illusion too.  I honestly suggest you go try some.

Another effect of psychoactive you CANNOT have without them is: being able
to look at receptor affinities and compare effects.  If one takes two drugs
with different affinities for the 5HT1 or GABAB or CB2 receptor, then one
can compare effects and gain insight on what it feels like to have sets of
those particular receptors active.  It is very valuable in neuroscience.
And there's a long history of enthusiastic scientists using themselves as

I read this lengthy 2012 article recently which brought me back to the
psychedelics branch of this thread. I think some of you will enjoy
reading it.


A sampling of excerpts that could be responses to questions posed and
comments in this thread:

"After their 5HT2A neural receptors simmered down, they remained firm:
LSD absolutely had helped them solve their complex, seemingly
intractable problems. And the establishment agreed. The 26 men
unleashed a slew of widely embraced innovations shortly after their
LSD experiences, including a mathematical theorem for NOR gate
circuits, a conceptual model of a photon, a linear electron
accelerator beam-steering device, a new design for the vibratory
microtome, a technical improvement of the magnetic tape recorder,
blueprints for a private residency and an arts-and-crafts shopping
plaza, and a space probe experiment designed to measure solar
properties. Fadiman and his colleagues published these jaw-dropping
results and closed shop."

"Still, intriguing hints suggest that, despite stigma and risk of
incarceration, some of our better innovators continued to feed their
heads—and society as a whole reaped the benefits. Francis Crick
confessed that he was tripping the first time he envisioned the double
helix. Steve Jobs called LSD “one of the two or three most important
things” he’d experienced."

"At the moment, we’ve got two Nobel Prize winners who’ve copped to the
fact of where they got their ideas.Francis Crick is one and the other:
Kary Mullis, who was intermittently under the influence of LSD as he
developed the polymerase chain reaction, a genetic sequencing
technique through which scientists can detect certain infectious
diseases, map the human genome, and trace ancestral heritage back
thousands of years."

"What happened to Dorothy Fadiman that morning? How about Francis
Crick and the people with cancer in the anxiety studies? Staunch
materialists might argue that exogenous, psychotropic molecules had
simply transformed their three pounds of gelatinous gray head muscle
into funhouses for a few hours. But Ms. Fadiman, Crick, and most study
volunteers say something quite different—that the psychedelics they
ingested acted as a sort of antenna, allowing them to receive rather
profound transmissions that they couldn’t typically access during
their ordinary states of consciousness. Such a claim is not without

"Despite the 45-year government ban, Fadiman had never stopped longing
to tinker with LSD, to catalogue what we might be capable of with this
byproduct of mold. Of all the possible forays into this psychic terra
incognita, he was most eager to explore micro-dosing—specifically its
long-term effects."

"The urge to connect with the numinous remains strong throughout the
world, including the West—even as medical experts pathologize it,
monotheistic bureaucrats neuter it, and Madison Avenue spellcasters
exploit it. Of course psychoactive plants, fungi, and synthetics
aren’t the only way to sate this urge: Sufis spin, musicians riff, and
physicists formulate. And sometimes psychedelics just get in the way,
according to religious scholar Huston Smith."


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