It's not a widely known fact that Crick was under the influence of LSD when he discovered the double-helix structure of DNA and that this supreme achievement of scientific rationalism, for which he won the Nobel Prize, came to him in an altered, even mystical state of consciousness. Until his death in 2004 Crick remained an atheist, deeply committed to the materialist view of reality.

Nevertheless he was unable to accept that the DNA molecule could have assembled itself by accident. So he came to the idea that perhaps life originated on Earth this way: perhaps billions of years ago on the other side of the galaxy, doomed by a supernova, some ancient alien civilization sought to preserve its DNA, and he suggests that bacteria - perhaps with genetically engineered DNA inside them - were sent out into the Universe in spaceships. Eventually one of those ships crashed into the early Earth, and the bacteria containing that DNA began to reproduce, and the whole story of evolution as our scientists tell it started there. Once we have the DNA, evolution becomes plausible. Until we have the DNA, it's difficult to explain.


The Cosmic Serpent : DNA and the Origins of Knowledge is a 1995 non-fiction book by Jeremy Narby. Narby performed two years of field work in the Pichis Valley of the Peruvian Amazon researching the ecology of the Ash. Moreáninka, an indigenous peoples in Peru.

Investigating the connections between shamanism and molecular biology, Narby hypothesizes that shamans may be able to access information at the molecular level through the ingestion of entheogens, specifically Ayahuasca. Biophysicist Jacques Dubochet criticized Narby for not testing his hypothesis. Narby and three molecular biologists revisited the Peruvian Amazon to try to test the hypothesis, and their work is featured in the documentary film, Night of the Liana.


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