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Good questions, unlikely answers.,
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Narby is right to seize on the fact that certain hallucinogenic concoctions seem so complex in their preparation that it must be impossible that they were the product of trial and error. But he's silly to think that the common occurence of serpentine imagery/symbols in various mythologies should be seen as DNA. It seems much more probable that the serpent as a symbol of life giving reoccurs because of its phallic resemblance--a possibility that Narby seems to completely ignore.
I am glad that someone decided to look more closely at the mystery of how indigenous peoples have some complex knowledge of plant use, preparation and interaction. But Narby, whose knowledge of genetics and DNA is very spotty, is far too attracted to his DNA hypothesis. Readers who want a more scientifically-grounded look at hallucinogens and Amazon-river basin cultures should read Wade Davis's great ONE RIVER. Davis isn't asking the same sorts of questions that Narby is, but there is some overlap, and Davis is a much better scientist, thinker and writer.