The Biology of Hallucinations w/ Mitch Diamond

It ain’t just psychosis and psychedelics anymore. While there are many diseases that cause unwanted sensory hallucinations, humans seem to relish and seek out hallucinations as a means to achieve altered states of consciousness. Drugs are a favorite method to achieve hallucinations, but societies may also intentionally leverage natural hallucinatory etiologies or use ritual to induce them. What is the attraction for altered consciousness? Mitch describes various neurological syndromes and practices that may result in hallucinations and discuss the implications for people’s beliefs, religious and otherwise.

Mitch Diamond got his BA in Biology from UC Santa Cruz and has maintained a keen interest in the biology of human behavior. He is the author of Darwin’s Apple: The Evolutionary Biology of Religion, which he wrote because he was unsatisfied with the existing scientific explanations for religion. He shucked the prevailing dogma and derived a new hypothesis for the origin of religious behavior. Mitch has previously given talks to the ACSJ about The Problem with Consciousness and The Problem with Scientists.

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