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Saturday, July 21 • 9:00am - 9:40am
Voices of the Gods: How We Lost Our Minds to Agriculture

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Julian Jaynes' "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" posits a provocative but well-supported thesis: inhabitants of early agricultural civilizations were not conscious as we are today. They literally heard the voices of their gods, who commanded them to sow and reap and build monuments in the most rigid, authoritarian, hierarchical societies ever to exist - “palace economies.” What if this were true? In this presentation, I unite several well-substantiated but orphaned theories and inconvenient facts from archaeology, botany, history, medicine, and psychology - including work by and about Julian Jaynes, Gobekli Tepe, Wadley and Martin, clinical schizophrenia, Richard Dawkins, and Jonathan Sauer - into a startling yet coherent narrative that explains how we literally lost our minds to wheat-based agriculture, and only regained consciousness after thousands of years.

avatar for J. Stanton

J. Stanton

J. Stanton is one of the few remaining polymaths in a world of increasing specialization. In addition to his extensive research on nutrition and metabolism in an evolutionary and biochemical context, presented at previous AHS conferences and at gnolls.org, he has written and published... Read More →

Saturday July 21, 2018 9:00am - 9:40am MDT
Room 233/235