Question: who "discovered" DNA? Well, not exactly. They popularised the discovery for the west, describing the essence of life as twin snakes, or the snaking ladder of the double helix. But were they the first? Swiss-Canadian anthropologist Dr Jeremy Narby argues in his book, The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, that the twin snake-shaped vital principle - representing the origin of life, or DNA by any other name - has been known to indigenous peoples across the world for thousands of years.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. This adventure in science and imagination, which the Medical Tribune said might herald "a Copernican revolution for the life sciences," leads the reader through unexplored jungles and uncharted aspects of mind to the heart of knowledge.
In a first-person narrative of scientific discovery that opens new perspectives on biology, anthropology, and the limits of rationalism, Th This adventure in science and imagination, which the Medical Tribune said might herald "a Copernican revolution for the life sciences," leads the reader through unexplored jungles and uncharted aspects of mind to the heart of knowledge.
In a first-person narrative of scientific discovery that opens new perspectives on biology, anthropology, and the limits of rationalism, The Cosmic Serpent reveals how startlingly different the world around us appears when we open our minds to it.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published April 5th by TarcherPerigee first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Cosmic Serpent , please sign up. Why do people in reviews try to criticize his science when this is overall accepted as scientifically sound, even if its not a widely accepted theory? Bob Melemede, Dr. Carl E. Ruck, etc.
See 1 question about The Cosmic Serpent…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 25, D. This not light reading, but on the other hand it is essential reading. Narby's premise is that hallucinogenic drugs used by shaman in the Western Amazon actually give them access to medicinal information through knowledge coded in DNA. This would be a rather bizarre premise except for the fact that Narby is a trained PhD.
His journey starts with his experience in the Western Amazon basin where he was invited to try powerful hallucinogen called "ayahuasca". This compound, by itself is mystifying because it is made through a complex chemical process that one would not expect would be within the reach of native Amazonian chemistry. And yet, ayahuasca is used throughout the Amazon rain forest as an access to a hallucinatory world where images of spirits inform shaman how to use the hidden power of the plant life in the Amazon rain forest cure a very broad spectrum of disease.
Only in the past decades have pharmaceutical companies invade the province of these shaman to start mining for botanical compounds to patent and basically steal from the indigenous population. More than an anthropological account of how shaman use hallucination to find cures for disease, The Cosmic Serpent is a challenge to Western rationalism and modern science. Narby calls into serious question the limits of the scientific process and how we come to know things int he industrialized world.
His argument is actually quite convincing as he punches holes in rational constructive thinking and makes the case for completely different and more intuitive platform of knowledge.
While many in the scientific world have scoffed at his theories, Jeremy Narby has succeeded at least in throwing a monkey wrench in the the more-myth-than-truth paradigm of science and has opened the door for inquiry into what may prove to be the future of human knowledge.
View 1 comment. I'm not sure if this is one of those cases of, "When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail," or something entirely different, but either this guy is really onto something here, or he's a complete and utter banana sandwich.
For the first half of the book, I was strongly in the former camp. For the second half, I began to slowly drown in the latter. This is the first audiobook where I want to keep a review short because I don't want to post spoilers. I also want to keep it short because I'm not entirely sure what to say.
DNA is an actual vector through the electromagnetic fields of which human beings and other animals receive instructions about how to interact with their world. Except literally. I mean, read it. It's quick. But make sure you've got your tinfoil hat ready. View all 3 comments. Shelves: non-fiction. For anyone interested in DNA, shamanism and the origins of life and knowledge, this book is a must-read.
The author attempts to establish connections between modern science's biomolecular understanding of DNA and the knowledge imparted on shaman by their ayahuasca-induced hallucinations. Open your mind and read on. You won't be disappointed. Aug 21, Jonathanstray Stray rated it did not like it. This book is an astonishing example of delusional thinking and exceptionally insane reasoning.
View all 4 comments. This was a slightly crazy book by an anthropologist who has taken too many hallucinogenic "ayahuasca journeys". He has a thesis that ayahuasca allows shamans to communicate with nature via DNA.
He proposes that DNA crystals in cells can receive information from biophotonic emissions and that all life is interacting in this way. I could have entertained his ideas if he presented them differently. He was very antagonistic to Western science, but still attempted to take advantage of it's legitimacy This was a slightly crazy book by an anthropologist who has taken too many hallucinogenic "ayahuasca journeys".
He was very antagonistic to Western science, but still attempted to take advantage of it's legitimacy to prop up his theories about nature.
I was very annoyed by this book. View all 12 comments. Oct 30, Jenny rated it liked it Shelves: owns. Let's start with what I liked. I like how Narby takes a deconstructionist approach to anthropology. I like how he fearlessly points out the cultural biases and confirmation bias of the scientific method.
I love Narby's cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, "big picture" approach. I like how he tries to find evidentiary support for all of his claims. I like that he wrote for a regular, non-academic audience.
I like that he framed his theory in the context of a story. As you can see, there are a lot of Let's start with what I liked. As you can see, there are a lot of positive things about this book! Now, for what I didn't care for: his actual theory.
While in this hallucinogenic state, a person can communicate with their own DNA through images and music. Furthermore, he claims that DNA itself is conscious and can talk to the DNA in any other life form through light waves, so when you establish contact with your own DNA, you also have access to all the knowledge in all the DNA in the world. This explains the advanced botanical knowledge of indigenous peoples, as well as the extremely common mythological imagery across the world of a divine creator represented by a "twinned snake" the double helix structure of the DNA molecule.
Also, DNA is from space and is consciously controlling the course of evolution. I've been intrigued by shamanism and the religious experiences associated with hallucinogens for years; I think there's a lot there that we don't understand. The combination of spirituality and science feels like it's on the right track to me, and I've always liked the idea of SOMETHING that connects all the living creatures on the planet let's call it the over-soul, to borrow a term from Emerson , even if I've never actually felt such a connection myself.
That being said, I just. Buy it. Each successive chapter makes a wilder claim, and as they say, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I don't think Narby provides anywhere near enough evidence to support his theory though to be fair, he makes a valiant effort and does indeed support his ideas better than I expected him to.
Still, it was definitely an interesting read. I can think of several people I know who would eat this up, so to them, I say go for it. Jan 19, Emily rated it liked it.
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. 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. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Book by Jeremy Narby.
The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge
The Cosmic Serpent