Darwin’s Pharmacy
336 pages, 7 x 9
9 b&w illustrations
Release Date:01 May 2011
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Release Date:01 May 2011

Darwin’s Pharmacy

Sex, Plants, and the Evolution of the Noösphere

University of Washington Press
Are humans unwitting partners in evolution with psychedelic plants? Darwin’s Pharmacy weaves the evolutionary theory of sexual selection and the study of rhetoric together with the science and literature of psychedelic drugs. Long suppressed as components of the human tool kit, psychedelic plants can be usefully modeled as "eloquence adjuncts" that intensify a crucial component of sexual selection in humans: discourse. In doing so, they engage our awareness of the noösphere, defined by V.I. Vernadsky as the thinking stratum of the earth, the realm of consciousness feeding back onto the biosphere. Sharing intelligence, connecting with the noösphere and integrating individuality into its ecosystemic context offers powerful and promising ways to respond to ecosystems in crisis, and formed the backdrop of what Doyle dubs the "ecodelic" thought of the environmental movement. Yet current policies criminalize the use of plant-based psychedelics while simultaneously feeding a violent global black market for refined and chemically-derived drugs.
Richard M. Doyle is professor of English and science, technology, and society at Pennsylvania State University, and the author of On Beyond Living and Wetwares.
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