Scientific research: Will poppy fields lead to the missing link in human development?

The reason for the rapid acceleration in human development starting some 5,000 to 10,000 years ago has long been considered a mystery. Here is a new theory that I believe offers a compelling explanation:

For most of the three million or so years of human evolution, beginning in the Stone Age, mankind lived in what we now consider a primitive state. We began using tools only some 50,000 years ago and modern man evolved during the Neolithic period and Bronze Age just 5,000 to 10,000 years ago.

Humankind’s interest in philosophy and debate, sublime expressions of art and music along with intense expressions of joy and sorrow, love and hatred — not to mention an extremely rapid pace of scientific and technological development — are of recent date.

These rapid changes are probably related to physical alterations in the human endogenous system caused by a massive ingestion of (external) opium alkaloids. The absorption of these alkaloids through the ingestion of poppy seeds and the consumption of opiates eventually led to a drastic increase in the amount of endorphins transmitted by opioid neuropeptides within the bodies of humans in particular.

Endorphins were first discovered in 1974. They play a significant role in our feelings of pain and relief, despair and joy, hatred and love as well as our ability to think and feel at more sublime and intense levels.

People suffering from opiate withdrawal demonstrate such changes in our evolutionary state. Those who look and feel like the walking dead have been transformed from today’s state of consciousness and feeling to that existing less than 5,000 to 10,000 years ago. They have been deprived of the necessary opium alkaloids, while their bodies have already adapted to an abundance of opioid receptors.

The proliferation of poppy fields (the plant Papaver somniferum) and the consumption of opiates and perhaps other plants containing drugs (medicines) with the ability to affect the endogenous system could bear a direct relation to the rapid changes in human evolution which began some 5,000 to 10,000 years ago.

Since nearly all opiate research has been misdirected as the result of a subjective campaign by the ‘War on Drugs,” objective scientific research in the Start-Up Nation could lead to new and promising medical breakthroughs.

About the Author
Asaf Shimoni is an author, journalist and translator who returned to Israel in 2016 after spending 40 years abroad, most of them in the Netherlands. He grew up near Boston, made aliyah while living on a kibbutz (from 1973 to 1976), and graduated from Syracuse University in 1978. He also lived some 5 years in Sicily. He believes that the media should be as critical and truthful as possible.
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