Podcast 703 – McKenna and the Big Bang

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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

PROGRAM NOTES:

The session begins with a discussion about the nature of the Big Bang and its relation to philosophical concepts, specifically Kant’s notion of space as an a priori function of consciousness. Terence questions the traditional metaphor of the Big Bang as an explosion in empty space and suggests a more accurate understanding as the creation of time, space, and matter simultaneously. They argue that this event is highly improbable and that science’s request for belief in such an event is akin to asking for a miracle.

The conversation then shifts to the notion of the universe as a process of novelty condensation and explores the idea that the universe might be much older than currently believed, possibly around 17.5 billion years. Terence critiques current cosmological theories and highlights issues such as the discovery of stars older than the universe. They suggest that the universe’s true age and nature might be significantly different from mainstream scientific consensus, emphasizing the chaotic and competitive nature of scientific research and the limitations of formal systems in generating all true statements within a system.

Finally, Terence touches on the evolution of consciousness and language, challenging the idea that speech is a natural human ability. They propose that language, defined broadly as the coordination of details about the present to create a model of the world, predates speech and has deep roots in animal behavior. The discussion includes the role of psychedelics in early human development, particularly how psilocybin may have influenced social, sexual, and cognitive behaviors, leading to the emergence of complex consciousness and culture. The narrative underscores the impact of psychedelics on early human societies and their eventual decline, leading to the development of agriculture, hierarchy, and modern civilization.

SUGGESTED READING: The Spirit of the Internet: Speculations on the Evolution of Global Consciousness (Free PDF copy)

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Consciousness, Language, Psychedelics, Stoned Apes, Terence McKenna (mp3).

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