“Long a tool for artists and musicians, could psychedelics refined with endogenous practices yield a high-octane fuel to advance science and engineering? If so, this capability will come just in time to tackle the hard problems of human and planetary survival.”
May 25, 2022 1:45 pm
Dr. Bruce Damer, has spent his life pursuing two questions: how did life on Earth begin? and how can we give that life (and ourselves) a sustainable pathway into the future and a presence beyond the Earth? A decade of laboratory and field research with his collaborator Prof. David Deamer at UCSC and teams around the world resulted in the Hot Spring Hypothesis for an Origin of Life published in the journal Astrobiology in 2020. Deep testing of the hypothesis holds the potential at uncovering an “engine of creation”, a fundamental algorithm underlying novel emergence in all magisteria, from biology to culture, technology and perhaps even conscious experience.
Damer practices a form of visionary reverie described by Albert Einstein as his “thought experiments.” Drawing from early work by James Fadiman on the use of psychedelics in creative problem solving, he developed practices utilizing both endogenous meditative states and exogenous plant entheogens which been key enablers of his scientific and technical breakthroughs. He is also a curator of the history of psychedelia with extant archives of Timothy Leary, Terence McKenna and others. Dr. Bruce enjoys a fine life with his partner Kathryn Lukas, three cats and one adorable chihuahua in their Gandalf-inspired house high up in the Santa Cruz redwoods of Northern California. Find his personal site, Levity Zone and 4By podcasts, and his Patreon community where you can engage him directly at: www.damer.com
It’s High Time for Science
From Isaac Newton to Albert Einstein to today, Science has relied upon its own brand of “mystical experience” to make substantial progress. For certain kinds of minds, intense downloads of visionary experiences arrive at opportune moments to transform a long-sought inquiry into discoveries which change history. It might be argued that these endogenously-sourced experiences bear some resemblance to a tryptamine trance. In 1966, James Fadiman published the first pilot study of creative problem solving with groups of engineers after exogenously-ingesting psychedelics such as LSD. Perhaps it is now possible to synergize these two sources of visionary states to achieve even more potent products of human intellect? Dr. Damer will recount his own experimentation in this realm which led to the conception and publication of an internationally recognized hypothesis for the origin of life on Earth, and how it can arise elsewhere in the universe. Long a tool for artists and musicians, could psychedelics refined with endogenous practices yield a high-octane fuel to advance science and engineering? If so, this capability will come just in time to tackle the hard problems of human and planetary survival.