1. According to La Barre (1976), an anthropologist known for his studies of the indigenous uses of the peyote cactus, Castaneda's first book "is pseudo-profound, sophomoric and deeply vulgar. To one reader at least, for decades interested in Amerindian hallucinogens, the book is frustratingly and tiresomely dull, posturing pseudo-ethnography and, intellectually, kitsch" (p. 42). De Mille (1980) calls Castaneda's work a "hoax" and a "farce" (pp. 11,22).
2. The projects were carried out despite an independent evaluation done in 1981 for the United States Agency for International Development, which showed that all the "uninhabited" areas the Peruvian government proposed to develop and colonize were actually occupied by indigenous people who had been there for millennia and who, in some cases, had already reached their territory's carrying capacity - see Smith (1982, pp. 39-57).
3. A large majority of Ashaninca men living in the Pichis Valley in 1985 spoke fluent Spanish.
4. Toé is Brugmansia suaveolens. According to Schultes and Hofmann (1979, pp.128-129), Brugmansia and Datura were long considered to belong to the same genus, but were finally separated for morphological and biological reasons. However, their alkaloid content is similar.

1 In this paragraph, I simplify the possible ingredients of ayahuasca. Building on the work of Rivier and Lindgren (1972), McKenna, Towers, and Abbott (1984) show that the Psychotria viridis bush (chacntna in Spanish) is almost invariably the source of the dimethyltryptamine contained in the ayahuasca brew prepared in the Peruvian Amazon, while in Colombia the Diplopterys cabrorana vine is used instead. The only constant in the different ayahuasca recipes is the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, containing three monoamine oxidase inhibitors, harmine. harmaline, and tetrahydro-harmine, which are also hallucinogenic at sufficient dose levels. As Luna (1986) points out, the basic mixture is often used to reveal the properties of all sorts of other plants; thus, "the number of additives is unlimited, simply because ayahuasca is a means of exploring properties of new plants and substances by studying the changes they cause on the hallucinatory experience, and by examining the content of the visions" (p. 159). According to McKenna, Luna, and Towers (1986), ayahuasca admixtures constitute a veritable "non-investigated pharmacopoeia." It should also be noted that the lianis-teriopsis caapi vine is commonly known as "ayahuasca," not to be confused with the brew of the same name of which it is a component. See Schultes and Hofmann (1979) for further information on these different plants. Concerning the endogenous production of dimethyltryptamine in the human brain, see Smythies et al. (1979) and Barker et al. (1981) - though Rivier (1996 personal communication) warns that current extraction procedures can lead to chemical transformation and that the presence of dimethyltryptamine in extracted cerebrospinal liquid does not prove its endogenous existence; it could simply be the result of the transformation of endogenous tryptamines, such as 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin). According to the archeological evidence gathered by Naranjo (1986), Amazonian peoples have been using ayahuasca for at least five thousand years. The quote in the text is from Schultes (1972, pp. 38-39). Finally, Levi-Strauss (1950) writes: "Few primitive people have acquired as complete a knowledge of the physical and chemical properties of their botanical environment as the South American Indian" (p. 484).
2. The use of hallucinogens is by no means uniform across the immensity of the Amazonian Basin. Out of approximately 400 indigenous peoples, Luna (1986) lists 72 who use ayahuasca and who arc concentrated in Western Amazonia. In other parts of the Amazon, dimethyltryptamine-based hallucinogens are also used, but are extracted from different plants, such as Virola - which is snuffed in powder form (see Schultes and Hofmann 1979, pp. 164-171). Some peoples use only tobacco, the hallucinogenic properties of which have been documented by Wilbert (1987). Finally, in some Amazonian cultures, shamans work with dreams rather than hallucinations (see Perrin 1992b, Kracke 1992, and Wright 1992). See Schultes and Raffauf (1990, p. 9) for the estimate of 80,000 plant species in the Amazon.
3. Reichel-Dolmatoff (1971, 1975, 1978), Chaumeil (1982, 1983), Chevalier (1982), Luna (1984,1986), and Gebhart-Sayer (1986) are exceptions.
4. Darwin (1871, p. 197).
5. The word "primitive" comes from the Latin primitivus, first born. Regarding the foundation of anthropology on an illusory object of study, see Kuper(1988).
6. Tylor (1866, p. 86). The word "savage" comes from the Latin silvati-cus, "of the forest."
7. Malinowski (1922) writes with satisfaction; "Ethnology has introduced law and order into what seemed chaotic and freakish. It has transformed for us the sensational, wild and unaccountable world of 'savages' into a number of well ordered communities, governed by law, behaving and thinking according to consistent principles" (pp. 9-10).
8. LeVi-Strauss (1963a), explaining the notion of "order of orders," writes: "Thus anthropology considers the whole social fabric as a network of different types of orders. The kinship system provides a way to order individuals according to certain rules; social organization is another way of ordering individuals and groups; social stratifications, whether economic or political, provide us with a third type; and all these orders can themselves be ordered by showing the kind of relationships which exist among them, how they interact with one another on both the synchronic and the diachronic levels" (p. 312). Trinh (1989) writes: "Science is Truth, and what anthropology seeks first and foremost through its noble defense of the natives cause (whose cause? you may ask) is its own elevation to the rank of Science" (p. 57).
9. Anthropological discourse is not understandable by those who are its object, but anthropologists have generally not considered this a problem. As Malinowski (1922) writes: "Unfortunately, the native can neither get outside his tribal atmospheres and see it objectively, nor if he could, would he have intellectual and linguistic means sufficient to express it" (p. 454). Likewise, Descola (1996) writes: "The underlying logic detected by scholarly analysis seldom rises into the conscious minds of the members of the culture that he is studying. They are no more capable of formulating it than a young child is capable of setting out the grammatical rules of a language that he has, notwithstanding, mastered" (p. 144).
10. LeVi-Strauss (1949a pp. 154-155).
11. Rosaldo (1989 p. 180). Bourdieu (1990) writes: "Undue projection of the subject onto the object is never more evident than in the case of the primitivist participation of the bewitched or mystic anthropologist, which, like populist immersion, also plays on the objective distance from the object to play the game as a game while waiting to leave it in order to tell it. This means that participant observation is, as it were, a contradiction in terms (as anyone who has tried to do it will have confirmed in practice)" (p. 34). The published translation of Bourdieu's paragraph is imprecise, and I have rectified it here; see the French original, Bourdieu (1980 p. 57) in comparison.
12. Bourdieu (1977) was the first to explain the pernicious effects of the objectivist gaze and the immobilization of time it implies. See also Bourdieu (1990 p. 26) on the limits of objectivism. LeVi-Strauss (1963a, p. 378) writes that "the anthropologist is the astronomer of die social sciences."
13. Tsing (1993) talks of "disciplinary conventions that link domination and description" (p. 32). See also Lewis (1973) and Said (1978). Foucault (1961) first pointed out the will to power inherent in the clinical gaze of the social sciences. For the "unbiased and supra-cultural language of the observer," see Bourguignon (1970, p. 185).
14. LeVi-Strauss (1991a, p. 2).
15. The word "shaman" comes from the Tungusic word soman, the original etymology of which may be foreign. Different authors have proposed a Chinese origin (sha-men = witch), a Sanskrit origin (sramana - buddhist monk), and a Turkish origin (kam) - see Eliade (1964, pp. 495-499). Lot-Falck (1963, p. 9) gives an indigenous etymology which she presents as "universally recognized nowadays": the Tungusic root sam-, which signifies the idea of body movement. She concludes: "All die observers of shamanism have therefore been justifiably struck by this gestural activity which gives its name to shamanism" (p. 18). However, Lot-Falck goes on to write ten years later: "The term 'shaman' was borrowed from die Tungusic saman. the etymology and origin of which are still doubtful" (1973. p. 3). Meanwhile Di6szegi (1974, p. 638) proposes the Tungusic verb "sa-" (= to know) as the origin of the word sarnan, which would therefore mean "the one who knows." Surprisingly, several authors base themselves on Lot-Falck's first text to claim that the word saman is etymologically linked to the idea of movement - see, for example, Hamayon (1978, p. 55), Rouget (1980, p. 187), and Chaumeil(1983, p. 10).
16. For summaries and bibliographies concerning the anthropology of shamanism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries see Eliade (1964, pp. 23-32), Lewis (1971, pp. 178-184), Delaby (1976), and Mitriani (1982).
17. Devereux (1956, pp. 28-29).
18. Levi-Strauss (1949b), published in Levi-Strauss (1963a, pp. 197-199).
19. Lewis (1971): 'The shaman is not the slave, but the master of anomaly and chaos. In rising to the challenge of the powers which rule his life and by valiantly overcoming them in this crucial initiatory rite which reimposes order on chaos and despair, man reasserts his mastery of the universe and affirms his control of destiny and fate" (pp. 188-189). Browman and Schwarz (1979): "Anthropologists use the term 'shaman' to refer to persons encountered in nonliterate cultures who are actively involved in maintaining and restoring certain types of order" (p. 6). Hamayon (1982); "On die other hand, what can distinguish the shamanic system is that it defines itself in terms of disorder, which is to be avoided, and not in terms of order, which is to be maintained" (p. 30). Hoppal (1987): "Shamans as mediators create order and reestablish balance within their groups such that their role is socially embedded in their cultures" (p. 93).
20. In his 1967 article entitled "Shamans and acute schizophrenia,'' Silverman writes that shamans and schizophrenics both exhibit "grossly non-reality-oriented ideation, abnormal perceptual experiences, profound emotional upheavals, and bizarre mannerisms" (p. 22). Since then, the view that shamans are mentally ill has withered, but has not entirely disappeared. Lot-Falck (1973) writes that "one can hardly contest that shamans are abnormal beings" (p. 4); Hultkrantz (1978) writes: "Our conclusion is, then, that the shaman has a hysteroid disposition which, however, does not provoke any mental disorder" (p. 26); Perrin (1992a) writes: "In other words, the first shamans would have been 'real hysterics' before the system they created became entirely accepted as a logical and formal representation, made up of elements of hysterical nature, but which are now semi-independent of their psychological origin" (p. 122). Finally. Noll (1983) provides a demonstration of the fundamental differences between shamanism and schizophrenia.
21. Browman and Schwarz (1979, p. 7). See Halifax (1979, pp. 3-4) for a similar jack-of-all-trades definition of the shaman.
22. Taussig (1987) writes: "But what would happen if instead of this we allow the old meaning to remain in the disorder, first of the ritual, and second of the history of the wider society of which it is part? My experience with Putumayo shamans suggests that this is what they do, and that the magical power of an image like the Huitoto lies in its insistently questioning and undermining the search for order" (p. 390). Brown (1988), in discussing the "anti-structural world of the Aguaruna shaman," considers the latters work to involve "struggle, uncertainty, ambivalence and partial revelation." According to Brown, the function of the shaman's revelations is to "shift disorder from the human body to the body politic" (pp. 115,103,102).
23. See Eliade (1964), p. 5 ("specializes in a trance"), pp. 96-97 ("secret language"), pp. 126ff. and 487ff. (vines, ropes, ladders), and p. 9 ("spirits from the sky").
24. See Hamayon (1990. pp. 31-32 - latent mysticism), Delaby and Hamayon quoted in Chaumeil (1983, p. 16 - detaching symbols from their context), Hamayon (1978, p. 55 - Eliade's mysticism mutilates and distorts the facts, obliterating the sociocultural aspect of the shamanic institution and practice), and Chaumeil (1983, p. 17 the mystical dead end into which Eliade locks the phenomenon). All these references are cited by Chaumeil (1983, pp. 16-19). Taussig (1992, p. 159) calls Eliade's work "a potentially fascistic portrayal of third world healing."
25. Ceertz (1966, p. 39). Furthermore. Taussig (1989, quoted in Atkinson 1992, p. 307) writes that "shamanism is ... a made-up, modern, Western category, an artful reification of disparate practices, snatches of folklore and overarching folklorizations, residues of long-established myths intermingled with the politics of academic departments, curricula, conferences, journal juries and articles, (and] funding agencies." The first anthropologist to criticize the concept of shamanism was Van Gennep, who protested, in 1903, against the use of an obscure Siberian word to describe the beliefs and customs "of the semi-civilized the world over" (p. 52).
26. See Levi-Strauss (1963b).
27. Luna (1986, pp. 62. 66).

1. See Swenson and Narby (1985, 1986). Narby (1986), Beauclerk, Narby, and Townsend (1988), and Narby (1989).
2. Until recently, and for unknown reasons, Spanish speakers have called the Ashaninca "Campas." The etymology of this word is doubtful. As Weiss (1969) writes: "The term 'Campa' is not a word in the Campa language" (p. 44). According to him, the word probably comes from the Quechua "tampa" ("in disorder, confused") or "ttampa" ("disheveled") (p. 61). However, there is no agreement among specialists on the word's exact etymology - see Varese (1973, pp. 139-144). Renard-Casevitz (1993) justifies her use of the word "campa" as follows: "The term campa is not appreciated as an ethnonym, though it does present a certain convenience 1 use
campa for want of a term with a comparable reach to designate the totality of the Arawak subsets who share a notable cultural trait: the prohibition of internal war, among all except the Piro" (pp. 29, 31). In the 1980s, one of the first demands put forth by the different Ashaninca organizations was that people stop designating them by a name that they do not use in their own language.
3. See Weiss (1969, pp. 93, 96, 97-100, 201).
4. See Weiss (1969, pp. 107-109,199-226). The quote is on page 222.
5. Weiss (1969, p. 200).
6. For a more detailed account of this experience, see Narby (1990. pp. 24-27).

1. Eight indigenous land-titling projects were carried out successfully, covering a total of 2,303,617 hectares (23,000 km2 or 5.692,237 acres). Details concerning these projects can be obtained from "Nouvelle Planete," CH-1042 Assens, Switzerland.
2. The Rio Declaration states: "Indigenous people and their communities ... have a vital role in environmental management and development because of their knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognize and duly support their effective participation in the achievement of sustainable development" (Principle 22). The Agenda 21 underlines the importance of the territorial rights of indigenous peoples and of their self-determination in matters of development (Chapter 26). The Statement of Forest Principles points out the importance of respecting the rights and interests of indigenous peoples and of consulting them on forestry policies (Points 2d, 5a, 13d). The Convention on Biological Diversity considers the importance of the knowledge and practices of indigenous peoples and calls for their equitable remuneration (Points 8j, 10c, lOd). The Rio conference was a spectacular turning point for indigenous rights. Just five years beforehand, the question of these rights remained largely ignored by most international organizations concerned with development or environmental matters.
3. For example. The Body Shop and Shaman Pharmaceuticals, whose vice-president declared: "Shaman [Pharmaceuticals] is committed to providing direct and immediate reciprocal benefits to indigenous people and the countries in which they live" (King 1991, p. 21).
4. These figures come from, respectively, Farnsworth (1988, p. 95), Eisner (1990, p. 198), and Elisabetsky (1991, p. 11).
5. Estimates of the number of "higher" (that is, flowering) plant species vary from 250,000 to 750,000. Wilson (1990) writes: "How much biodiversity is there in the world? The answer is remarkable: No one knows the number of species even to the nearest order of magnitude. Aided by monographs, encyclopedias, and the generous help of specialists, I recently estimated the total number of described species (those given a scientific name) to be 1.4 million, a figure perhaps accurate to within the nearest 100,000. But most biologists agree that the actual number is at least 3 million and could easily be 30 million or more. In a majority of particular groups the actual amount of diversity is still a matter of guesswork" (p. 4).
6. The Convention on Biological Diversity mentions the importance of "equitable" remuneration for indigenous knowledge, but fails to provide a mechanism to this effect. According to the Kari-Oca Declaration signed by the delegates of the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples on Territory, Environment and Development (May 1992): "The usurping of traditional medicines and knowledge from indigenous peoples should be considered a crime against peoples" (Point 99). Furthermore: "As creators and carriers of civilizations which have given and continue to share knowledge, experience and values with humanity, we require that our right to intellectual and cultural properties be guaranteed and that the mechanism for each implementation be in favor of our peoples and studied in depth and implemented. This respect must include the right over genetic resources, gene banks, biotechnology and knowledge of biodiversity programs" (Point 102). See also Christensen and Narby (1992).
7. Tubocurarine is the best-known active ingredient of Amazonian curare preparations, but, as Mann (1992) points out, C-toxiferine is twenty-five times more potent. However, "both drugs have been largely superseded by other wholly synthetic neuromuscular blocking agents, such as pancuronium and atracurium. Like tubocurarine these have a rigid molecular structure with two positively charged nitrogen atoms held in a similar spatial arrangement to that found in tubocurarine. This allows them to bind to the same acetycholine receptor and thus mimic the biological activity of tubocurarine. because the distance between the two canonic centres (N* to N' distance) is approximately the same" (pp. 21-23). Concerning the initial use of curare in medicine, see Blubaugh and IJnegar (1948).
8. See Schultes and Raffauf (1990. pp. 265ff. and 305ff.) for a relatively exhaustive list of the different plant species used across the Amazon Basin for the production of curare. As Bisset (1989) points out, the chemical activity of Amazonian curares is still poorly understood. Most of these muscle-paraly/ing substances contain plants of the Strychnos or Chondodendron genus, or a combination of both, to which a certain number of admixtures are added, according to the recipes. The exact role of these admixtures is obscure, even though they seem to contribute to the potentiation of the main ingredients. Moreover, Manuel O5rdova (in I -mil) 1985) provides a first-person account of the production of curare destined for medical use, in which he repeatedly mentions the importance of avoiding "the pleasantly fragrant vapors" (p. 48) - giving the example of a German zoologist who died for lack of care (pp. 97-98). First-person accounts of curare production are rare, as curare recipes are often jealously guarded secrets.
9. See Reichel-Dolmatoff(197l, pp. 24,37).
10. For examples of texts that illustrate the value of the botanical knowledge of Amazonian peoples with multiple references to curare, Pilocarpus jaborandi, and tikiuba, see the special issue of Cultural Survival Quarterly (Vol. 15. No. 3) devoted to the question of intellectual property rights of indigenous peoples, and in particular the articles by Elisabetsky (1991). Kloppenberg (1991) and King (1991). On the more general question of these rights, see Pose)' (1990. 1991). See Rouhi (1997) for references to Couroupita guienensis and Aristolochia. For recent work on the unidentified plants of the indigenous pharmacopoeia, see Balick, Elisabetsky, and Laird (1996), in particular the article by Wilbert (1996). as well as Schultes and von Reis (1995).
11. See Luna (1986, p. 57).
12. Schultes and Raffauf (1992, p. 58). Davis (1996) writes: " .. Richard Evans Schultes, the greatest ethnobotanist of all, a man whose expeditions. .. placed him in the pantheon along with Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, Henry Bates, and his own hero, the indefatigable English botanist and explorer Richard Spruce" (p. 11). Davis's book is a treat, beautifully written and well researched.
13. Slade and Bentall (1988) write: "Indeed, taking the ordinary language words 'real* and 'imaginary' to describe public and private events respectively, it is true by definition that the act of hallucination involves mistaking the 'imaginary' for the 'real'" (p. 205). Hare (1973) writes: "Let us instead define a hallucination as a subjective sensory experience which is of morbid origin and interpreted in a morbid way" (p. 474). Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines hallucination as follows: "perception of objects with no reality; experience of sensations with no external cause usually arising from disorder of the nervous system;... a completely unfounded or mistaken impression or notion; Delusion."
14. According to Renck (1989), who reviewed the scientific literature on the matter, and who bases himself on Tavolga's work, there are six levels of communication: vegetative (the color of the flower, the texture of the fur), tonic (the smell of the flower, the heat of the body), phasic (the chameleon changes skin color, the dog pricks up its ears), descriptive (the dog growls), symbolic (some monkeys can communicate with abstract signs), and linguistic ("The only known example is the language articulated by man," p. 4).

1. The Young Gods, and Steve Reich.
2. See Crick (1994, pp. 24.159) on the visual system, and more broadly Penrose (1994) and Horgan (1994) on the current limits of knowledge about consciousness.
3. Among the exceptions, Hofmann (1983, pp. 28-29) writes: "As yet we do not know the biochemical mechanisms through which LSD exerts its psychic effects"; Grinspoon and Bakalar (1979, p. 240) write on the main effects of hallucinogens: "The only reasonably sure conclusion we can draw is that their psychedelic effects are in some way related to the neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine, also called serotonin. Not much more than that is known"; and Iversen and Iversen (1981) write: "We remain remarkably ignorant of the scientific basis for the action of any of these drugs." See the bibliographies in Hoffer and Osmond (1967) and in Slade and Bentall (1988) for an overview of the numerous studies on hallucinations and hallucinogens during the 1950s and 1960s.
4. Schultes and Hofmann (1979, p. 173).
5. Psilocybin, which is found in over a hundred mushroom species, is a close variant of dimethyltryptamine, as Schultes and Hofmann (1980) write: "Degradation studies showed psilocybin to be a 4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine. Hydrolysis of psilocybin gives equi-molecular amounts of phosphoric acid and psilocin, which is 4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine" (p. 74). LSD is 100 times more active than dimethyltryptamine. See Hofmann (1983, p. 115) for the comparison between LSD and psilocybin, and Strass-man et al. (1994) for an estimate of the basic dose of dimethyltryptamine.
6. Grinspoon and Bakalar (1979) write: "Used to describe the estheticized perception or fascination effect, enhanced sense of meaningfulness in familiar objects, vivid closed-eye imagery, visions in subjective space, or visual and kinesthetic distortions induced by drugs like LSD, 'hallucination' is far too crude. If hallucinations are defined by failure to test reality rather than merely as bizarre and vivid sense impressions, these drugs are rarely hallucinogenic" (pp. 6-7). However, these authors consider that the term "pseudo-hallucinogenic" is awkward, even if it describes precisely the effects of substances such as LSD and MDMA ("Ecstasy"). Slade (1976) writes: "The experience of true hallucination under mescalin and LSD-25 intoxication is probably fairly infrequent" (p. 9). For a discussion of the concept of "pseudo-hallucination," see Kraupl Taylor (1981). Regarding the evolution of the relationship between science and hallucinogens, see Lee and Shlain (1985). Finally it should be noted that the synthetic compound known as "Ecstasy" differs from the other substances mentioned here in that it appears to be neurotoxic and to destroy the brains serotonin-producing cells (see McKenna and Peroutka 1990).
7. Besides the 72 ayahuasca-using peoples of Western Amazonia, there are those who sniff dimethyltryptainine-containing powders of vegetal origin, or who lick diniethyltryptamine-containing pastes. These pastes and powders are made from different plants (Virola, Anadenan-thera, Iryanthera, etc.) depending on the region. Sniffing dimethyltryptamine powders also seems to have been a custom among the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, until they were physically eliminated during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
8. As I noted in Chapter 2, the exact chemical composition of ayahuasca remains a mystery. It should be pointed out that, contrary to die recent scientific studies which indicate that dimethyltryptamine is die brew's main active ingredient, ayahuasqueros consider that Banisteriopsis caapi (containing the beta-carbolines) is the main ingredient, and that Psychotria viridis (containing the dimethyltryptamine) is only the additive - see Mabit (1988) and Mabit et al. (1992). Regarding scientific research on the effects of dimemyltryptaniine. the studies by Szara (1956, 1957, 1970), Sai-Halasz et al. (1958), and Kaplan et al. (1974) all consider this substance as a "psychotomimetic" or a "psychotogen," an imitator or a generator of psychosis. The study by Strassinan et al. (1994) is the only one that I found with a neutral approach. However, all of these studies agree on one point: Dimethyltryptamine produces true hal lucinations. in which the visions replace normal reality convincingly. As Strassman et al. (1994) write: "Reality testing was affected inasmuch as subjects were often unaware of the experimental setting, so absorbing were the phenomena" (p. 101). Finally it is worth noting that there are several interesting non-scientific studies, provided by people who have used this substance, published in Stafford (1977, pp. 283-304), as well as die writings of Terence McKenna (1991).
9. Slade and Bentall (1988) attribute the vertiginous speed of certain visual hallucinations to "the known time-distorting effects of hallucinogens" (p. 154) - hut I find this explanation to be insufficient in the light of my personal experience; under the influence of ayahuasca I saw images fly past at unimaginable speed without feeling a chronological acceleration in any other domain of my internal reality. Siegel and Jarvik (1975) sum up the usual scientific theory on the internal and cerebral origin of hallucinatory images: "The notion of hallucinations consisting of complex memory imagery is neither a radical nor a new idea. It is not radical because it appeals to an intuitive sense of what is reasonable to infer When one hallucinates something that is not there, the stimuli being perceived (i.e., the image) must come from some source. It is not reasonable for normal man to infer that such stimuli, when auditory, are 'voices talking to me," 'radio waves from another planet,' or clairvoyant communications with a deceased loved one. Nor is it always reasonable to infer that the stimuli, when visual, are real (e.g., 'that little green man is really there") or self-contained in a recently administered drug (e.g., 'God is in LSD'). Rather, it is more reasonable to infer that such phenomena originate in stored information in the brain, that is, memories" (p. 146).
10. In the nineteenth century, botanist Richard Spruce and geographer Manuel Villavicencio both described their personal ayahuasca experiences - see Reichel-Dolmatoff (1975, Chapter 2) for extracts of their reports. Currently, there is a range of positions within anthropology concerning the investigators personal use of hallucinogens. Taussig (1987), who uses the Colombian term \jag4 for ayahuasca, writes: There is no 'average' yage" experience; that's its whole point. Somewhere you have to take the bit between your teeth and depict yogi nights in terms of your own experience" (p. 406). At the other end of the spectrum, Chaumeil (1983) writes: "Moreover, I was never truly initiated into shamanic practices, which certainly gave me an external vision of the phenomenon, but which also guaranteed, on the other hand, a certain 'objectivity'" (p. 9). Strangely, even though I feel a greater affinity for Taussig's perspective - his book stimulated my thinking on how to broach the subject of Amazonian hallucinogens - I found Chaumeil's book more useful for clarifying questions of techniques and content. This seems to indicate that it is possible to be a good film critic without ever seeing a movie with ones own eyes, but by interviewing film buffs with patience and method - as Chaumeil did with Yagua shamans.
11- Harner (1968, pp. 28-29).
12. Buchillet(1982,p.261).
13. All quotes are from Harner (1980, pp. 1-10).
14. Reichel-Dolmatoff(1981,p.8l).
15. Ibid. (p. 87).

16. Ibid. (p. 78).
17. See Chaumeil (1983, pp. 148-149) for the two quotes. The "celestial serpent" appears in the drawing entitled "Schema 1" on the unnumbered page between pages 160 and 161.

1. Most authors report that ayahuasca is taken in complete darkness, which guarantees tranquility to a certain extent and enhances the visions - see Kensinger (1973, p. 10), Weiss (1973, p. 43), Chaumeil (1983, p. 99), Luna (1986, p. 147), and Baer (1992, p. 87). According to Gebhart-Sayer (1986), Shipibo-Conibo shamans wait for their neighbors' hearth fires and lamps to go out before drinking ayahuasca "given that light damages their eyes during the visions" (p. 193). However, Reichel-Dolmatoff (1972, p. 100) reports that the Tukano drink ayahuasca in the light of a red torch; Luna (1986, p. 145) reports that one of his informants had occasionally participated in sessions occurring on moonlit evenings and Whitten (1976, p. 155) describes a session which took place "around a very low-burning fire."
2. Regarding the presence of bananas and fish in the ayahuasqueros' diet, see Metraux (1967, p. 84), Lamb (1971, p. 24), Reichel-Dolmatoff (1975, p. 82), Whitten (1976, p. 147), Chaumeil (1983, p. 101), Luna (1984, p. 145), and Descola (1996, p. 339). The only mention I found of the connection between this diet and neurotransmitters was in a talk by Terence McKenna (1988, Cassette 5, Side B). On the concentration of serotonin in fish and bananas, see Hoffer and Osmond (1967, p. 503). In the short term, substances such as dimethyltryptamine displace serotonin by bonding to its receptors; this causes the synaptic levels of serotonin to rise and only hinders the brain's overall production of serotonin in the long term, after repeated use; it is precisely under these circumstances that ayahuasqueros eat bananas and fish. According to Pierce and Per-outka (1989): "Biochemical studies have demonstrated the indole-alkylamines [such as dimethyltryptamine and LSD] suppress 5-HT (serotonin) metabolism and decrease levels of 5-hydroxyin-doleacetic acid and increase synaptosomal levels of 5-HT" (p.J20). Descola (1996) writes regarding the diet of apprentice ayahuasqueros among the Achuar: "The resulting diet is dauntingly dull, its basis being plantains (from which the pips must be removed) and boiled palm hearts, sometimes accompanied by small fish" (p. 339). He explains these "dietary prohibitions," or "taboos," as follows: "However irrational they may seem, taboos may be regarded as an effect produced by classificatory thinking. Because they draw attention to a system of concrete properties signified by a limited collection of natural species - properties that make the point that no person is exactly like any other in that the flesh of these species is proscribed for him or her personally either temporarily or permanently - taboos testify to a desire to confer order upon the chaos of the social and natural world, purely on the basis of the categories of physical experience" (p. 340).
3. Suren Erkman, personal communication, 1994.
4. The quote is from Townsley (1993, pp. 452, 456). Ayahuasqueros generally consider the mothers, or animate essences, of plants to be the sources of their knowledge. Chaumeil (1983) writes regarding Yagua shamanism: "Every initiation begins with the ingestion of decoctions made from hallucinogenic plants, or plants considered as such, which allow the novice to apprehend the invisible world and to 'see,' renuria, the essence of beings and things, and above all the mothers of the plants who are the true holders of knowledge. The importance of hallucinogens in the process of gaining access to knowledge is clearly attested here; they are the main way. It is during such sessions that the novice will contact the mothers who, much more than the instructor shaman, will transmit the knowledge to him" (original italics, p. 312). Regarding these mothers, Chaumeil writes: "Everything that is animated, siskatia. 'which lives," has an essence, hamwo, or mother on which the shaman can act. On the contrary, all that is lacking one is ne siskatia, 'inanimate,' 'lifeless'" (p. 74). Luna (1984) writes regarding the vegetalistas of the city of Iquitos: "All four informants insist that the spirits of the plants taught them what they know" {p. 142). According to Reichel-Dolmatoff (1978), the Tukano acquire their artistic knowledge from the hallucinatory sphere. Cebhart-Sayer (1986, 1987) reports the same thing among the Shipibo-Conibo. Regarding the spirits, mothers, and animate essences more generally, see also Dobkin de Rios (1973), Chevalier (1982), Baer (1992), and Illius (1992).
5. Meiraux (1946) writes at the beginning of his article entitled "Twin heroes in South American mythology": "A pair of brothers, generally twins, are among the most important protagonists of South American folklore. They appear as culture heroes, tricksters and transformers. The Creator or Culture Hero himself is rarely a solitary character. In many cases he has a partner who is often a powerful rival, but who may be a shadowy and insignificant personage.... Whenever the partner of the Culture Hero is represented as an opponent or as a mischievous or prankish character, the mythical pair is indistinguishable from the Twin Heroes" (p. 114). Garza (1990) writes regarding Nahua and Maya shamanism: "We see the governing ungual, in the plastic arts of the classical period, emerging from the mouth of enormous serpents, which are magnificent, in other words plumed, and which symbolize water and the sacred vital energy" (p. 109).
6. Lévi-Strauss(1991b,p.295).
7. See Eliade (1964. pp. 129, 275, 326, 430,487-490). M6traux (1967) writes regarding the consecration ceremony of the young shaman among the Araucanians: "One prepares, first of all, the sacred ladder or rewe, which is the symbol of the profession" (p. 191).
8. As I wrote in Chapter 2. anthropologists have accused Eliade of "detaching symbols from their contexts," among other things. I must admit that I, too. had several prejudices regarding his work. The first time I read his book on shamanism and noted the repeated references to ladders, 1 thought Eliade simply had a folkloric obsession for the "ritual" objects of exotic cultures. 1 had other reasons for considering his book not to be very useful for the research I was conducting. Eliade considers "narcotic intoxication" to be a "decadence in shamanic technique" (1964, p. 401). This opinion has often been quoted over the last decades to depreciate Amazonian shamanism and its use of plant hallucinogens (which arc certain!) not "narcotic"). It is important to remember, however, that Eliade originally wrote his book on shamanism in 1951, before the scientific community became aware of the effects of hallucinogens. According to Furst (1994, p. 23), Eliade changed his mind toward the end of his life. The quote regarding the "Rainbow Snake" is from Eliade (1972, p. 118). Regarding crystals, he writes: "It is Ungud [the Rainbow Snake] who gives the medicine man his magic powers, symbolized by the kimbas, which are quartz crystals" (p. 87).
9. Campbell (1964, p. 11).
10. Campbell (1968, p. 154).
11. Chevalier and Gheerbrant (1982, pp. 867-868).
12. The quotes are from Campbell (1964, pp. 17, 9, 22). Campbell writes regarding the twin beings in the Garden of Eden: 'They had been one at first, as Adam: then split in two, as Adam and Eve" (p-29). However, "the legend of the rib is clearly a patriarchal inversion" (p. 30), as the male begets the female, which is the opposite of previous myths and of biological reality. Meanwhile, the damnation of the serpent is particularly ambiguous; Yahwch accuses it of having shown Eve the tree that allows one to tell the difference between good and evil; how can one apply the Ten Commandments without an understanding of this difference? According to Campbell, these patriarchal inversions "address a pictorial message to the heart that exactly reverses the verbal message addressed to the brain; and this nervous discord inhabits both Christianity and Islam as well as Judaism, since they too share in the legacy of the Old Testament" (p. 17).
13. See Campbell (1964, p. 22) and Chevalier and Gheerbrant (1982, p. 872).
14. Reichel-Dolmatoff (1975, p. 165). He adds: "Now, the phenomenon of macroscopia. the illusion of perceiving objects much larger than they are, is frequent in hallucinations induced by narcotic snuff' (p. 49). This phenomenon is frequently mentioned in the hallucinogen literature. It also calls to mind Alices Adventures in Wonderland, when Alice becomes extremely small after eating a piece of mushroom on which a caterpillar is smoking a hookah. Meanwhile, De-scola (1996) writes regarding his personal experience with ayahuasca: "Curiously enough, these unanchored visions do not obscure the still landscape that frames them. It is rather as though I were looking at them through the lens of a microscope operating as a window of variable dimensions set in the middle of my usual and unchanged field of vision" (pp. 207-208).
15. Gebhart-Sayer (1986) writes concerning the visual music perceived by Shipibo-Conibo shamans: "This spirit [of ayahuasca] projects luminous geometric figures in front of the shamans eyes: visions of rhythmic undulation, of perfumed and luminous ornamentation, or the rapid skimming over of the pages of a book with many motifs. The motifs appear everywhere one looks: in star formations, in a person's teeth, in the movements of his tuft of grass. As soon as the floating network touches his lips and crown, the shaman can emit melodies that correspond to the luminous vision. 'My song is the result of the motifs image," says the shaman to describe the phenomenon, a direct transformation of the visual into die acoustic. 'I am not the one creating the song. It passes through me as if I were a radio.' The songs are heard, seen, felt and sung simultaneously by all those involved" (p. 196). The notion that ayahuasqueros learn their songs directly from the spirits is generalized. According to Townsley (1993), Yaminahua shamans "are adamant that the songs are not ultimately created or owned by them at all, but by the yoshi themselves, who 'show' or 'give' their songs, with their attendant powers, to those shamans good enough to 'receive* them. Thus, for instance, in their portrayal of the process of initiation, it is the yoshi who teach and bestow powers on the initiate; other shamans only facilitate the process and prepare the initiate, 'clean him out' so as to receive these spirit powers" (p. 458). Likewise, according to Luna (1984): 'The spirits, who are sometimes called doctorcitos (little doctors) or abuelos (grandfathers), present themselves during the visions and during the dreams. They show how to diagnose the illness, what plants to use and how, the proper use of tobacco smoke, how to suck out the illness or restore the spirit to a patient, how the shamans defend themselves, what to eat. and. most important, they teach them icaros, magic songs or shamanic melodies which are die main tools of shamanic practices" (p. 142). Chaumeil (1993) talks of the extremely high-pitched sounds emitted by the spirits who communicate with Yagua shamans, more particularly of "strange melodies, both whistled and 'talked,' with a strong feminine connotation" (p. 415). Regarding the learning of songs by imitation of the spirits, see also Weiss (1973, p. 44), Chaumeil (1983, pp. 66, 219). Baer (1992, p. 91), and Townsley (1993, p. 454). See Luna (1986, pp. 104ff.) regarding the different functions of the songs (call the spirits, communicate with them, influence hallucinations, cure). See also, more generally. Lamb (1971), Siskind (1973), Dobkin de Rios and Katz (1975), Chevalier (1982), Luna and Amaringo (1991), Luna (1992), and Hill (1992). Finally, Bellier (1986) writes that among the Mai Huna of the Peruvian Amazon, "it is inconceivable to take yage [ayahuasca], to penetrate the primordial world (mina) and to remain silent" (p. 131).
16. Luna and Amaringo (1991, pp. 31, 43). Luna writes: "I asked Pablo how he conceives and executes his paintings. He told me that he concentrates until he sees an image in his mind - a landscape, or a recollection of one of his journeys with ayahuasca - complete, with all the details. He then projects this image upon the paper or canvas. "When this is done, the only thing I do is just add the colors." When painting his visions he often sings or whistles some of the icaros he used during his time as vegetalista. Then the visions come again, as clear as if he were having the experience again. Once the image is fixed in his mind, he is able to work simultaneously with several paintings. He knows perfectly well where each design or color will go. In his drawings and paintings there are no corrections - in the five years since we met he has never thrown away one single sheet of paper. Pablo believes that he acquired his ability to visualize so clearly and his knowledge about colors partly from the ayahuasca brew" (p. 29).
17. Suren Erkman, personal communication, 1994.
18. Jon Christensen, personal communication, 1994.
19. See Crick (1981, pp. 51, 52-53, 70). He also writes: "Consider a paragraph written in English. This is made from a set of about thirty symbols (the letters and punctuation marks, ignoring capitals). A typical paragraph has about as many letters as a typical protein has amino acids. Thus, a similar calculation to the one above would show that the number of different letter-sequences is correspondingly vast. There is, in fact, a vanishingly small hope of even a billion monkeys, on a billion typewriters, ever typing correctly even one sonnet of Shakespeare's during the present lifetime of the universe" (p. 52).

1. Angelika Gerhart-Sayer, personal communication, 1995.
2. The quotes about the Ouroboros are from Chevalier and Gheer-brant (1982, pp. 716, 868, 869), who also write that the dragon is "a celestial symbol, the power of life and of manifestation, it spits out the primordial waters of the Egg of the world, which makes it an image of the creating Verb." Mundkur (1983) writes in his exhaustive study of the serpent cult: "It is doubtful, however, that any serpent can or has ever been known to attempt to bite or 'swallow' its own tail" (p. 75).
3. According to Graves (1955), Typhon was "the largest monster ever born. From the thighs downward he was nothing but coiled serpents, and his arms which, when he spread them out, reached a hundred leagues in either direction, had countless serpents' heads instead of hands. His brutish ass-head touched the stars, his vast wings darkened the sun, fire flashed from his eyes, and flaming rocks hurtled from his mouth" (p. 134). Chuang-Tzu (1981) begins his book with this paragraph: "In the North Ocean there is a fish, its name is the K'un; the K'un's girth measures who knows how many thousand miles. It changes into a bird, its name is Peng; the Peng's back measures who knows how many thousand miles. When it puffs out its chest and flies off, its wings are like clouds hanging from the sky. This bird when the seas are heaving travels to the South Ocean. (The South Ocean is the Lake of Heaven.) In the words of the Tall stories, 'When the P'eng travels to the South Ocean, the wake it thrashes on the water is three thousand miles long, it mounts spiraling on the whirlwind ninety thousand miles high, and is gone six months before it is out of breath'" {p. 43).
4. Laureano Ancon is quoted in Gebhart-Sayer (1987, p. 25). Eliade (1949) svrites: "A limitless number of legends and myths represent Serpents or Dragons who control the clouds, live in ponds and provide the world with water" (pp. 154-155). According to Mundkur (1983): "Among the Aborigines of Australia, the most widespread of mythic beliefs has to do with a gigantic Rainbow Serpent, a primordial creature associated largely with beneficent powers of fertility and water. He (sometimes she) is also the source of magical quartz crystals known as kitnba from which the medicine man derives his own power" (p. 58). According to Chevalier and Gheerbrant (1982): "The Underworld and the oceans, the primordial water and the deep earth form one single materia prima, a primordial substance, which is that of die serpent. Spirit of the primary water, it is the spirit of all waters, those of below, those that run on the surface of the earth, or diose of above" (p. 869). Davis (1986) writes about Damballah, the Great Serpent of Haitian myth: "On earth, it brought forth Creation, winding its way through the molten slopes to carve rivers, which like veins became the channels through which flowed the essence of all life. In the searing heat it forged metals, and rising again into the sky it cast lightning bolts to the earth that gave birth to the sacred stones. Then it lay along the path of the sun and partook of its nature. Within its layered skin, the Serpent retained the spring of eternal life, and from the zenith it let go to the waters that filled the rivers upon which the people would nurse. As the water struck the earth, the Rainbow arose, and the Serpent took her as his wife. Their love entwined them in a cosmic helix that arched across the heavens" (p. 177). Davis (1996) discusses the cosmological notions of Kogi Indians as reported by Reichel-Dolmatoff: "In the beginning, they explained, all was darkness and water. There was no land, no sun or moon, and nothing alive. The water was the Great Mother. She was the mind within nature, the fountain of all possibilities. She was life becoming, emptiness, pure thought. She took many forms. As a maiden she sat on a black stone at the bottom of the sea. As a serpent she encircled the world. She was the daughter of the Lord of Thunder, the Spider Woman whose web embraced the heavens. As Mother of Ice she dwelt in a black lagoon in the high Sierra; as Mother of Fire she dwells by every hearth. At the first dawning, the Great Mother began to spin her thoughts. In her serpent form she placed an egg into the void, and the egg became the universe" (p. 43) - see also Reichel-Dolmatoff (1987). Bayard (1987) writes regarding the serpents symbolism: "Serpents, in their relationship with the depths of the primordial waters and of life, intertwine and establish the knot of life, which we find in the Osirian way in the druidic conception of the Nwyre" I (p. 74).
5. Each human cell contains approximately 6 billion base pairs (= 6 X 109, meaning 6 followed by 9 zeros). Each base pair is 3.3 angstroms long [1 angstrom = 10-10 meters (m)]. Multiplying these two figures, one obtains 1.98 m in length, which is generally rounded to 2 m. Moreover, the double helix is 20 angstroms wide (20 X 10-10 m). By dividing the length by the width, one obtains a billion - see Calla-dine and Drew (1992, pp. 3, 16-17). The average little finger is more or less 1 centimeter wide; Paris and Los Angeles are separated by a distance of approximately 9,100 kilometers. This comparison is supposed to give a notion easy to visualize rather than an exact equation; in fact, the DNA contained in a human cell is 10 percent longer, relatively speaking, than a centimeter-wide finger stretching from Paris to Los Angeles. Moreover, in the wide spectrum of electromagnetic waves, human eyes perceive only a very narrow band, from 7 X 10-7 m (red light) to 4 X 10-7 m (violet light). De Duve (1984) writes: "Even with a perfect instrument, no detail smaller than about half the wavelength of the light used can be perceived, which puts the absolute limit of resolution of a microscope utilizing visible light to approximately 0", 25
µm" (p. 9); that is, 2,500 angstroms.
6. Wills (1989) writes that the nucleus of a cell "is about two millionths of the volume of a pinhead" (p. 22). Frank-Kamenetskii (1993) writes: "If we assume that the whole of DNA in a human cell is one molecule, its length L will be about 2 in. This is a million times more than the nucleus diameter" (p. 42). Moreover, according to some estimates, there are 100 thousand billion, or 1014, cells in a human body - see, for example, Sagan and the Editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1993, p. 965), Pollack (1994, p. 19), and Schiefelbein (1986, p. 40). However, there is no consensus on this figure.
Dawkins (1976, p. 22) uses 1015 ("a thousand million million"); Margulis and Sagan (1986, p. 67) use 1012, but in the French translation of their book they write: "The human body is made up of 1016 (10 million billion) animal cells and 1017 (100 million billion) bacterial cells" (1989, p. 65). The difference between 1012 and 1016 is of the order of 10,000! To calculate the total length of the DNA in a human body, 1 chose the figure that seems to be the most widely used, and that is halfway between the extremes. When I write that our body contains 125 billion miles of DNA, or 200 billion kilometers, it is merely a rough estimate; the true number could be 100 times greater, or smaller. Finally, a Boeing 747 traveling for 75 years at 1,000 k/h would travel 657 million kilometers, which is 0.32 percent of 200 billion kilometers; the average distance between Saturn and the Sun is 1,427,000,000 kilometers.
7. Most cells contain between 70 and 80 percent water. According to Margulis and Sagan (1986): 'The concentrations of salts in both sea-water and blood are, for all practical purposes, identical. The proportions of sodium, potassium, and chloride in our tissues are intriguingly similar to those of the worldwide ocean... we sweat and cry what is basically seawater" (p. 183-184). Without water, a cell cannot function; as De Duve (1984) writes: "Even the hardiest bacteria need some moisture around them. They may survive complete dryness, but only in a dormant state, with all their processes arrested until they are reawakened by water" (p. 21). On the relationship between water and the shape of the DNA double helix, see Calladine and Drew (1992). who write: "We see right away how DNA forms a spiral or helix on account of the low solubility in water of the bases" (p. 21).
8. Pollack (1994. pp. 29-30).
9. Both quotes are from Margulis and Sagan (1986, pp. 115-116, 111). On the terrestrial atmosphere before the apparition of life, see Margulis and Sagan (1986, pp. 41-43). They also write: "Barghoorn's Swaziland discovery of actual 3,400-m ill ion-year-old microbes raises a startling point: the transition from inanimate matter to bacteria took less time than the transition from bacteria to large, familiar organisms. Life has been a companion of the Earth from shortly after the planets inception" (p. 72). The recently discovered traces of biological activity dating back 3.85 billion years consist of a reduced ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 in sedimentary rocks in Greenland - see Mojzsis et al. (1996) and Hayes (1996); Hayes writes: "The new finding seems to extend that record to the very bottom of our planet's sedimentary pile, crucially altering earlier views of these oldest sediments and leaving almost no time between die end of the 'late heavy bombardment' of bodies within the inner Solar System by giant meteorites and the first appearance of life" (p. 21). Judson (1992) writes regarding nucleated cells ("eukaryotes"): "Eukaiyotic cells are far larger than bacteria - proportionately as a horse to a bumblebee. They have hundreds of times more genes, and 500-fold more DNA" (p. 61).
10. Lewontin (1992) writes: "Fully 99.999 percent of all species that have ever existed are already extinct" (p. 119). For estimates regarding the current number of species, see Wilson (1990, p. 4, "most biologists agree that die actual number is at least 3 million and could easily be 30 million or more") and Pollack (1994, p. 170, "five million to fifty million"). Wilson (1992, p. 346) also writes: "Even though some 14 million species of organisms have been discovered (in the minimal sense of having specimens collected and formal scientific names attached), the total number alive on earth is somewhere between 10 and 100 million."
11. Wills (1991, p. 36). Regarding the direct observation of DNA's propensity to wriggle ("like small snakes slithering through mud"), see Lipkin (1994, p. 293). Dubochet (1993) writes: "It is not the enzyme that rotates along the DNA helix during transcription, but the DNA that rotates on itself, while moving like a supercoiled conveyor belt" (p. 2).
12. Regarding the "paradoxical passage," see Eliade (1964, p. 486). Regarding the serpent-dragon guarding the axis, see Eliade (1949, pp. 250-251), Chevalier and Gheerbrant (1982, p. 385). and Roe (1982, p. 118).
13. To describe DNA's form, Pollack (1994, p. 22) talks of "twisted vines"; Calladine and Drew (1992, pp. 24, 42, 123) of a "highly twisted ladder," a "spiral staircase," and a "snake"; Blocker and Salem (1994, p. 60) of a "spiral staircase"; Stocco (1994, p. 37) of a "ladder"; Frank-Kamenetskii (1993, p. 14) of a "rope ladder." The quote in the text ("like two lianas") is from Frank-Kamenetskii (1993, p. 92). Regarding the genetic nature of cancer, and the recent advances in scientific understanding of the phenomenon, see Sankarapandi (1994) and Jones (1993).
14. The quote is from Weiss (1969, p. 302). He also writes: "The Sky-Rope motif, which we have already encountered among the Campas and Machiguengas, and which we now find present among the Piros, turns out to be quite widespread among the Tropical Forest tribes. It is reported, in one form or another, for the Cashinahua. the Marinahua, the Jfvaro, the Canelo, the Quijo, the Yagua, the Witoto, a number of the Cuiana tribes (the Korobohana, Taulipang and Warrau), the Bacairi, the Umotina, the Bororo, the Mosetene, and the Tiatinagua; it is also reported for the Lengua, Mataco, Toba, and Vilela of the Chaco region.... Clearly equivalent to the concept of the Sky-Rope is that of the Sky-ladder, reported for the Conibo, the Tucuna and the Shipaya, and that of the Sky-Tree, reported for the Sherente, the Cariri, the Chamacoco. the Mataco, the Mocovf, and the Toba - in each case comprehended as having once connected Earth with Sky. The distribution of tliis motif might be extended even further if we care to recognize as equivalent the idea of a chain of arrows to the sky, reported for the Conibo, die Shipibo, the Jfvaro, the Waiwai, the Tupinamba, the Chiriguano, the Guarayu, the Cumana, and the Mataco" (p. 470). Weiss also notes: "Of particular interest is the Taulipang identification of the Sky-Rope with the same peculiarly stepped vine as that which the present authors Campa informants pointed out as their own inkiteca" (p. 505).

15. Bayard (1987) writes in his book on the symbolism of the caduceus: "First, one must retain the association of elements that we find in all civilizations, from India to the Mediterranean, including Egypt, Palestine and Sumerian Mesopotamia: the stone, the column, the truncated and sacred tree, with one or two entwined serpents.... The cult of the serpent is thus linked to the art of healing since the most ancient times" (pp. 161-163). Regarding the caduceus, Chevalier and Gheerbrandt (1982) write: "The serpent has a doubly symbolic aspect: one is beneficial, the other is evil, of which the caduceus represents, as it were, the antagonism and equilibrium; this equilibrium and polarity are above all those of the cosmic currents, which are figured more generally by the double spiral"; in Buddhist esotericism, for example, "the caduceus's staff corresponds to the axis of the world and the serpents to the Kundalini," the cosmic energy inside every being (pp. 153-155). See also Boul-nois (1939) and Baudoin (1918) on the ancientness of this symbol. According to Bayard (1987), the two serpents of the caduceus, the yin-yang of the T'ai Chi, and the swastika of the Hindus all symbolize "a cosmic force, with opposed directions of rotation" (p. 134) See Guenon (1962, p. 153) on the equivalence of the caduceus and the yin-yang.
16. There is a certain confusion surrounding the origin of the caduceus as the symbol of Western medicine. To start with, in Greek mythology, the caduceus's staff is the symbol of Hermes, who is, according to Campbell (1959), "the archetypal trickster god of the ancient world ... Hermes, too, is androgyne, as one should know from the sign of his staff' (p. 417). Campbell (1964) adds that Hermes is the "guide of souls to the underworld, the patron, also, of rebirth and lord of the knowledges beyond death, which may be known to his initiates even in life" (p. 162). Hermess staff is topped by two wings and is thus a variant on the theme of the plumed serpent. However, Hermess staff has mainly been interpreted as a peace symbol, devoid of medical significance. The official medical caduceus is considered to belong to Aesculapius, who was said to be a real-life healer practicing around 1200 B.C., and who only became the Greek god of healing much later. Around the 5th century B.C., rationalism and patriarchy were being set up and myths were modified: Zeus, who was at first represented as a serpent, defeats the serpent-monster Typhon with the help of his daughter Adiene ("Reason"), thereby guaranteeing the reign of the patriarchal gods of Olympus; concomitancy, he brings Aesculapius back to life (having previously killed him with a lightning bolt) and gives him a staff with a single serpent wrapped around it. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Aesculapius's staff "is the only true symbol of medicine. The caduceus with its winged staff and intertwined serpents, frequently used as a medical symbol, is without medical relevance since it represents the magic wand of Hermes, or Mercury, the messenger of the gods and the patron of trade" (vol. 1, p. 619). To make things more complicated, the caduceus symbol, sometimes with one snake, sometimes two, has been taken up again in the twentieth century for unclear reasons. For instance, in 1902, the medical department of the United States Army adopted Hermess staff as its symbol - while the American Medical Association took Aesculapius's staff shortly thereafter (see Friedlan-der 1992, pp. 127ff., 146ft). The caduceus formed by the cup and the serpent became the official symbol of French pharmacies only in 1942 (see Burnand 1991, p. 7). The pharmacists with whom I talked invariably said that the serpent was linked to dieir profession "because of the venom" - for which pharmacies have antidotes.
17. Metraux (1967, pp. 191,85,83, 95).
18. There are many different translations of Heraclitus's fragmented work. I rely mainly on Kahn (1979). The fragment that I quote is: 'The lord whose oracle is in Delphi neither declares nor conceals, but gives a sign" (p. 43). The town of Delphi was originally called Pytho. The oracle in Delphi first belonged to the earth goddess Gaia and was defended by her child, the serpent Python. Later, Apollo slew Python and appropriated the oracle.
19. See Eliade (1954, pp. 96ff.) on the secret language of shamans. Why has there not been more interest in this language of spirits, which is reported around the world? I believe that one of the reasons is that most anthropologists do not believe that spirits really exist, so they cannot take them seriously. As Colchester (1982) writes in his study of the cosmovision of the Sanema in the Venezuelan Amazon: "We can only designate this spiritual realm a 'meraphoric' one, because
we do not believe in its reality. Our effective understanding of Sanema phenomenology founders on this lack of belief (p. 131). Unfortunately, Colchester's honesty is not typical.
20. The six quotes are from Townsley (1993, pp. 459-460, 453, 465). Townsley is not the only anthropologist to report the existence of a highly metaphoric shamanic language. Siskind (1973, p. 31), regarding the songs of Sharanahua ayahuasqueros, writes: "These songs are sung in an esoteric form of language, difficult to understand, and filled with metaphors." See also Colchester (1982, p. 142) on the "poetic licence" used by Sanema shamans in their songs, and Chaumeil (1993, p. 415) on the "archaic language which is incomprehensible to most" and which is used by Yagua ayahuasqueros.
21. The double helix wraps around itself completely every 10 base pairs. As there are 6 billion base pairs in a human cell, the latter's DNA wraps around itself approximately 600 million times.
22. The estimate of 97 percent of non-coding passages in the human genome is the most frequent - see, for example, Nowak (1994, p. 608) or Flam (1994, p. 1320); but Calladine and Drew (1992) consider that only 1 percent of the human genome codes for the construction of proteins (p. 14), and Blocker and Salem (1994) write: "Currently, it is generally considered that only 10% of the human genome, at most, codes for proteins; ... No precise function has yet been found for the remaining 90% of our DNA, and it is not even certain diat one will be found: it could possibly be mere 'scrap'" (p-127). Regarding palindromes, Frank-Kamenetskii (1993) writes: "Palindromes are frequently encountered in DNA texts. Since DNA consists of two strands (i.e., as if they were two parallel texts), its palindromes may be of two types. Such palindromes in an ordinary, single text are called 'mirrorlike.' But more frequently to be met in DNA are palindromes that read alike along either strand in the direction determined by the chemical structure of DNA" (p. 106). The expression "junk DNA," meanwhile, was first coined by Orgel and Crick (1980) in an article entitled "Selfish DNA: The ultimate parasite," where they write: "In summary, then, there is a large amount of evidence which suggests, but does not prove, that much DNA in higher organisms is little better than junk. We shall presume, for the rest of this article, that this hypothesis is true" (pp. 604-605). See also Dawkins (1982, pp. 156ff.).
23. Calladine and Drew (1992, p. 14). Wills (1991, p. 94) estimates that there are between 30,000 and 50,000 "ACACACACACAC..." passages in the human genome. Nowak (1994, p. 609) estimates that the "Alu" sequence (which is 300 bases long) is repeated half a million times in the human genome. According to Watson et al. (1987, p. 668), there are several sorts of "Alu" sequences amounting to a total of a million. Jones (1993, p. 69) considers that approximately a third of the human genome is made up of repeat sequences.
24. Among the 64 words of the genetic code, only "UGG" has no synonym; it is the only word signifying the amino acid tryptophan. (The words of the genetic code are written in RNA, rather than DNA, with a U instead of a T.) 'I "he 63 other words all have at least one synonym. For instance, there are no fewer than six words for arginine: "CCU," "CGC," "CCA," "CGG," "AGA," "AGG." Moreover, two words have a double meaning: "AUG" and "GUG," which correspond respectively to amino acids methionine and valine, can also signify to the transcription enzyme where to start transcribing the text ("start"). Lewontin (1992) writes about this ambiguity: "Unfortunately, we do not know how the cell decides among the possible interpretations" (p. 67). Moreover, Watson et al. (1987) write: "Many amino acids are specified by more than one codon, a phenomenon called degeneracy" (p. 437, original italics). Tremolieres (1994) writes: "The code is considered to be degenerate. The word is perhaps badly chosen; let us say that we are dealing with a language that has many synonyms" (p. 97).
25. Editing enzymes are called "snurps" (small nuclear ribonucleopro-teins). Regarding the editing of the genetic message, Frank-Kamenetskii (1993) writes: "But what tells the enzyme how to cleave the molecule correctly and how to splice together the resulting RNA fragments? And how do in-between spaces get dropped out in the process? The inner workings of such cutting and assembling are far from simple, for if an enzyme just cuts RN A into pieces. Brownian motion will scatter them around, with no hope for Humpty-Dumpty being put back together again" (p. 79). Blocker and Salem (1994) write: 'The role of introns is extremely mysterious. Strangely, they arc copied during the first stage of transcription only to end up not being transformed into 'messages.' Indeed, "pre'-messenger RNA contains the entire gene, introns and exons. Then, still within the nucleus, a complicated mechanism takes out, or edits out, the introns. ... Furthermore, the editing of a gene can occur in several different ways, from one time to another, often to respond to die particular demands ot a given cell type. This means that this 'choice in editing' is probably stricdy regulated inside each type of cell, but the way in which this regulation is realized remains almost entirely unknown" (p. 128). The alternation of exons and introns within genes is the province of "higher" organisms - in chickens, for instance, the gene corresponding to the instructions to build collagen contains fifty exons (see Watson et al. 1987, p. 629); in comparison, bacterial DNA contains practically no introns. For genes that contain up to 98 percent introns, see Wills (1991, p. 112).
26. Most estimates consider that the human genome contains 100 thousand genes. But Pollack (1994) writes: "If larger human chromosomes carry as many surprises [as veast s], we can expect to find we are carrying, not the current estimate of one hundred thousand genes, but at least four hundred thousand genes, the majority of thein unexpected and unknown" (p. 92). Meanwhile, Wade (1995b) reports on the rapid gains on the sequencing of the human genome ("which may be 99% done by 2002").
27. For the translation of these signs, see Gardiner (1950, pp. 33, 122, 457, 490,525) and Jacq (1994. pp. 45, 204).

1. Jones (1993) writes: "A useless but amusing fact is that if all the DNA in all the cells in a single human being were stretched out it would reach to the moon and back eight thousand times" (p. 5). This calculation is based on an estimate of 3 X 1012 cells in a human body, which is 33 times smaller than the usual estimate of 10'* (which I use to obtain 125 billion miles of DNA in a human body). As I explained in a note to Chapter 7, this estimate varies considerably from one specialist to another.
2. Margulis and Sagan (1986) write: "In their first two billion years on Earth, prokaryotes continuously transformed the Earths surface and atmosphere. They invented all of life's essential, miniaturized chemical systems - achievements that so far humanity has not approached. This ancient high biotechnology led to the development of fermentation, photosynthesis, oxygen breathing, and the removal of nitrogen gas from the air" (original italics, p. 17). Wills (1991) writes: "So the DNA molecules themselves pack over a hundred trillion times as much information by volume as our most sophisticated information storage devices" (p. 103). Pollack (1994) writes: "The second strand [of the DNA molecule) is the minimum imaginable amount of extra-molecular baggage necessary to make either strand's information self-replicating" (p. 28).
3. Luna and Amaringo (1991, pp. 33-34).
4. For the details regarding the visual system, see Ho and Popp (1993, p. 185) and Wesson (1991, p. 61).
5. See Weiss (1969), pp. 108, 202 (Avfreri, "the Great Transformer"), p. 212 ("Avireri creates the seasons), and more generally pp. 199-226. Regarding the universality of the trickster-transformer in creation myths, Radin writes: "In the entire world there is no myth as widespread as the 'Trickster myth' that we will deal with here. There are few myths about which we can so confidently say that they belong to humanity's most ancient modes of expression; few other myths have kept their original content in such an unchanged way. The Trickster myth exists in a clearly recognizable form among the most primitive peoples as well as more evolved ones; we find it among the Ancient Greeks, the Chinese, the Japanese and in the Semitic world.... Though it is always linked to other myths and though it is markedly reconstructed and retold in a new form, the fundamental action seems always to have prevailed over the others" (in Jung, Kerenyi, and Radin 1958, p. 7).
6. Stocco(1994,p.38).
7. Harner (1973) writes: "Both Jívaro and Conibo-Shipibo Indians who had seen motion pictures told me that the ayahuasca experiences were comparable to the viewing of films, and my own experience was corroboratory" (p. 173).
8. In an article entitled "Evidence of photon emission from DNA in living systems," Rattemeyer et al. (1981) write: "Probably, DNA is the most important source of 'ultra-weak' photon emission (or electromagnetic radiation) from living cells" (p. 572). On DNA's trapping and transfer of electrons, see, for example, Murphy et al. (1993), Beach et al. (1994), Clery (1995), and Hall et al. (1996); Hall et al. write: "Although the reaction we have described involves long-range photoinduced electron transfer, the precise mechanism for this DNA-mediated charge transfer is not yet known" (p. 735).

9. Wilson (1992) writes: "The black earth is alive with a riot of algae, fungi, nematodes, mites, springtails, enchytraeid worms, thousands of species of bacteria. The handful may be only a tiny fragment of one ecosystem, but because of the genetic codes of its residents it holds more order than can be found on the surfaces of all the planets combined" (p. 345). See also Wilson (1984, p. 16).
10. Margulis and Sagan (1986) write: "As soon as there were significant quantities of oxygen in the air an ozone shield built up. It formed in the stratosphere, floating on top of the rest of the air. This layer of three-atom oxygen molecules put a final stop to the abiotic synthesis of organic compounds by screening out the high-energy ultra-violet rays" (p. 112). Meanwhile, the depth of the layer of microbial life on the planet is only beginning to be investigated - see Broad (1994). Frederickson and Onstott (1996) write in their article "Microbes deep inside the earth" that they have found bacteria "from depths extending to 2.8 kilometers (1.7 miles) below the surface" (p. 45). Regarding the presence of cell-based life in the air we breathe, Krajick (1997) writes: "A cubic yard of the atmosphere can contain hundreds of thousands of bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, pollen grains, lichens, algae, and protozoa" (p. 67).
11. Quoted in Gebhard-Sayer (1987, p. 25).
12. Harner (1973) writes: "The shamans under the influence of ayahuasca see snakes apparently at least as often as any other single class of beings" (p. 161). Harner cites visions of snakes among the Jivaro, Amahuaca, Tukano, Siona, Piro, and Ixiamas Chama. According to Schultes and Hofmann (1979): "Ingestion of Ayahuasca usually induces nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and leads to either an euphoric or an aggressive state. Frequently the Indian sees overpowering attacks of huge snakes or jaguars. These animals often humiliate him because he is a mere man" (p. 121).
13. In a groundbreaking and fascinating work, Reichel-Dolmatoff (1978) gave color crayons to Desana-Tukano shamans and asked them to draw their visions; there are a good number of serpents in these drawings - see drawings, I, IV, V, VI, VII, XVIII, XXI, XXIII, XXVI, XXVII, XXIX, XXXI, and XXXII; the latter shows two pairs of serpents wrapping around each other in spirals and, to their right, a yellow double helix; according to the caption: "This design represents four 'yage' snakes' (gahpí piró) that are seen after one or two cups of yagé and are in the act of climbing up the house-posts and winding around the rafters. The other, irregular, lines represent luminous sensations in the form of yellow flashes" (p. 112). Dobkin de Rios (1974) writes about the inhabitants of Iquitos who consult ayahuasqueros: "Informants repeatedly told of the boa appearing before them while under the effects of ayahuasca. However, despite the negative implications of a large, fearsome creature, this shared vision was believed to be an omen of future healing" (p. 16). See also Dobkin de Rios (1972, pp. 118-120). William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg (1963) were among the first to write about ayahuasca; Ginsberg describes his visions: "And then the whole fucking Cosmos broke loose around me, I think the strongest and worst I've ever had it nearly ... - First I began to realize my worry about the mosquitoes or vomiting was silly as there was the great slake of life and Death - I felt faced by Death, my skull in my beard on pallet on porch rolling back and forth and settling finally as if in reproduction of the last physical move I make before settling into real death - got nauseous, rushed out and began vomiting, all covered with snakes, like a Snake Seraph, colored serpents in aureole around my body, I felt like a snake vomiting out the universe - or a Jivaro in headdress with fangs vomiting up in realization of the Murder of the Universe - -my death to come - everyone's death to come - all unready - I unready.. (pp. 51-52). The Cashinahua talk also of brightly colored and large snakes (see Kensinger 1973, p. 9), as does ayahuasquero Manuel Cordoba-Rios (see Lamb 1971, p. 38). Anthropologist Michael Taussig (1987) writes about his personal experience with ayahuasca: "My body is distorting and I'm very frightened, limbs stretch and become detached, my body no longer belongs to me, then it does. I am an octopus, I condense into smallness. The candlelight creates shapes of a new world, animal forms and menacing. ... Self-hate and paranoia is stimulated by horrible animals - pigs with queer snouts, slithering snakes gliding across one another, rodents with fish-fin wings. I am outside trying to vomit; the stars and the wind above, and the corral for support. Its full of animals; moving" (p. 141). Some anthropologists drink ayahuasca without seeing snakes; Philippe Descola (1996) writes about his experience with the Achuar Jivaros: "It seems likely that the strange beings, monstrous spirits and animals in a perpetual state of metamorphosis that throng their visions - but have not yet visited me- - appear to them like a succession of temporarily coagulated forms against a moving background composed of die geometric patterns whose strange beauty. I am now experiencing" (p. 208) - though barely a page previous to this he also writes: "Animal forms of unrecognized species display their metamorphoses and transformations before my eves: the water-marked skin of the anaconda merges into tortoise-shell scales that elongate into the stripes of an armadillo, (hen reshape into the crest of an iguana against the intense blue of the wings of a Morpho butterfly, then stretch into black stripes which immediately fragment into a constellation of haloes standing out against the silk)- fur of some large cat" (p. 207). Some people hallucinate with greater difficult)' than others; the dose of the hallucinogen also plays a role; this may have influenced Descola's experiences based on "half a coffee-cupful" of ayahuasca (p. 206). According to Reichel-Dolmatoff (1975), the Desana-Tukano people can glance at a drawing of hallucinations and estimate almost exactly how many cups of ayahuasca the artist had consumed:" This is what one sees after two cups,' they would say; or This one can see after six cups'" (p. 173).

14. Of the 48 paintings by Pablo Amaringo in Ayahuasca visions (Luna and Amaringo 1991), only three do not have serpents (nos. 1. 6, and 28). The 45 odier pictures are filled with fluorescent snakes, often exceptionally large, and rather frightening. Amaringo comments on painting no. 3, called Ayahuasca and chacruna: "This painting represents the two plants necessary in preparing the ayahuasca brew. Out of the ayahuasca vine comes a black snake with yellow, orange and blue spots, surrounded by a yellow aura. There is also another snake, the chacruna snake, of bright and luminous colors. From its mouth comes a violet radiation surrounded by blue rays. The chacruna snake penetrates the ayahuasca snake, producing the visionary effect of these two magic plants" (p. 52). Luna writes: "By far the most conspicuous motif in Pablo's visions is the snake, which, together with the jaguar, is in turn the most commonly reported vision under the effects of ayahuasca by all tribes" (pp. 41^12). Finally, the snakes shaped like hammocks shown in painting no. 19 correspond exactly to the use of the word "hammock" to signify "anaconda" in the twisted language of Yaminahua ayahuasqueros (see Townsley 1993, p. 459): the Yaminahua live hundreds of miles from Pucallpa, where Pablo Amaringo lives.
15. Eliade (1964, p. 497).
16. Kekute describes his dream: "I turned the chair to the fireplace and sank into a half sleep. The atoms flittered before my eyes. Long rows, variously, more closely united; all in movement wriggling and turning like snakes. And see, what was that? One of the snakes seized its own tail and the image whirled scornfully before my eyes. As though from a flash of lightning I awoke; I occupied the rest of the night in working out the consequences of the hypothesis" (quoted in Beveridge 1950, p. 56). The commentator I quote Is Thuillicr (1986, p. 386). The quote on the universality of snake dreams is from Wilson (1992, p. 349).
17. Mundkur (1983, p. 6,8). Wilson (1984), who cites Mundkurs study, formulates the fear-of-venom theory as follows: "What is there in snakes anyway that makes them so repellent and fascinating? The answer in retrospect is deceptively simple: their ability to remain hidden, the power in their sinuous limbless bodies, and the threat from venom injected hypodermically through sharp hollow teeth. It pays in elementary survival to be interested in snakes and to respond emotionally to their generalized image, to go beyond ordinary caution and fear. The rule built into the brain in the form of a learning bias is: become alert quickly to any object with a serpentine gestalt. Overlearn this particular response in order to keep safe" (original italics, pp. 92-93).
18. Drummond (1981), one of the rare critics of Mundkurs theory, writes: "Mundkur finds that the relevant empirical feature is its venom: The serpent, in my view, has provoked veneration primarily through the power of its venom,' In making this generalization, he apparently forgets the several examples of venerated but nonvenomous serpents (i.e., boas and pythons) cited in his useful survey of the 'serpent cult.' Indeed, it would be difficult to make sense of The Serpents Children, and other Amazonian anaconda myths in an ethnographic context where die fer-de-lance and bushmaster are an everyday threat to life" (p. 643). Meanwhile, Eliade (1964) writes about the costume of the Altaic shaman: "A quantity of ribbons and kerchiefs sewn to its frock represent snakes, some of their being shaped into snakes" heads with two eyes and open jaws. The tails of the larger snakes are forked and sometimes three snakes have only one head. It is said that a wealthy shaman should have 1.070 snakes on his costume" (p. 152).

1. Weiss (1969) writes: "The Campas believe that the inability of the human eye to see the good spirits in their true form can be overcome by the continual ingestion of narcotics, especially tobacco and ayahuasca, a process that in time and with perseverance will improve the eyesight to the point where the good spirits can be seen for what they are" (p. 96). Sullivan (1988) writes in his comparative work on South American religions: "Tobacco smoke is a prime object of the craving of helper spirits, since they no longer possess fire as human beings do" (p. 653). Wilbert (1987, p. 174) lists fifteen Amazonian peoples who explicitly consider tobacco a food for the spirits; I will not repeat his work here, but will simply add to his list the Yagua, who also consider tobacco "a food for the spirits in general" (Chaumeil 1983, p. 110).
2. Wilbert (1987) writes: "In any case, tobacco craving is regarded as symptomatic of the hunger sensation of Supernaturals and is transferred from the tobacco-using practitioner to the spirit world at large. Lacking tobacco of their own, the Supernaturals are irresistibly attracted to man not just, let us say, because they enjoy the fragrance of tobacco smoke or the aroma of tobacco juice, but more basically to eat and to survive. Unfortunately, a scrutiny of the ethnographic literature gives the impression that had the idea been less exotic for Western observers or had investigators succeeded in penetrating indigenous ideology more deeply than they ordinarily did, we might have learned more often about this existential reason, as it were, behind 'the spirits' predilection for tobacco. Scanty as the ethnographic record may be, tobacco as spirit food, nevertheless, has been documented for a good number of societies in lowland South America, which are widely spread and numerous enough to suggest that the concept is of long standing on the subcontinent" (pp. 17^-174).
3. In a human brain there are tens of billions of neurons, and they are of several sorts. Each neuron is equipped with approximately a thousand synapses, which are junction sites connecting the cells to each other. Each synapse has ten million or so receptors. The number of neurons is frequently estimated at ten billion - see, for instance, Snyder (1986, p. 4), but Changeux (1983, p. 231) talks of "tens of billions," Wesson (1991, p. 142) puts the figure at 'TOO billion or so," and Johnson (1994, p. E5) proposes a bracket from "100 billion to a trillion." Sackmann (quoted in Bass 1994, p. 164) estimates the number of receptors at each synapse at "about ten million." There are approximately 50 known neurotransmitters, and a given cell can have different receptors for several of these (see Smith 1994). The nicotine and acetylcholine molecules have different shapes, but the receptor cannot tell them apart because they have the same size (10 angstroms) and the distribution of their electrical charges is similar (see Smith 1994. p. 37). Wilbert (1987) writes: 'This simulation capability of nicotine has been likened to the function of a skeleton key inasmuch as it fits and opens, so to speak, all cholinergic locks of postsynaptic receptors in the body" (p. 147).

4. See the article by Changeux (1993) for a clearly illustrated presentation of nicotinic receptors. The central role played by calcium ions in the activation of DNA transcription is discussed by Farin et al. (1990), Wan et al. (1991), and Evinger et al. (1994). Concerning the activation of DNA transcription by nicotine, see also Koistinaho et al. (1993), Mitchell et al. (1993), and Panget al. (1993). Concerning nicotines activation of genes corresponding to the proteins that make up nicotinic receptors, see Cimino et al. (1992); the latter note, however, that most studies of nicotinic receptors have been conducted on rats, and that recent research on monkeys reveals great differences from one species to another. The rat has nicotinic receptors in its cortex, which is not the case for the monkey; the precise distribution of these receptors in the human brain is still poorly understood: "It is difficult to perform such studies in human brain since the tissue can only be obtained a long time after death and it is difficult to obtain normal young brain. For these reasons, we undertook a preliminary study on nicotinic receptor distribution in monkey brain, whose CNS [central nervous system] organization is more similar to the human CNS organization than that of the rat or chick" (p. 81). Concerning the still poorly understood cascade of reactions set off by nicotine inside the nerve cell, see Evinger et al. (1994), as well as Pang et al. (1993), who note in passing: "The mechanisms with which nicotine . .. leads to repeated self-administrative behavior are poorly understood" (p. 162).
5. The Nicotiana rustica species used by shamans contains up to 18 percent nicotine (Wilbert 1987, pp. 134-136), whereas the Virginia-type tobacco leaves contain from 0.5 to 1 percent nicotine in Europe and occasionally reach 2 percent in the United States (according to the Centre for Tobacco Research, Payerne, Switzerland, personal communication, 1995). Some forms of contemporary Amazonian shamanism use cigarettes, as in the case I described in Chapter 3. However, the influence of the use of an adulterated product on the efficacy of the cure has not yet been studied. Moreover, according to the Edict on foodstuffs published by the Federal Chancellery of Switzerland (1991), producers are allowed to add a series of substances to tobacco "that will not exceed twenty-five percent [of the final dry product] for cigarettes, cigars and similar smoking articles and thirty percent for cut or rolled tobacco" (p. 196). These additives are divided into five categories, including moistening agents, preservatives, and flavor enhancers. The fourth category reads as follows: "d. Products for ash bleaching and combustion accelerators: aluminum hydroxide, aluminum oxide, aluminum and silicium het-eroxides, aluminum sulphate, alum, silicic acid, talc, titanium dioxide, magnesium oxide, potassium nitrate, carbonic, acetic, malic, citric, tartaric, lactic and formic acids, and their components of potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium, as well as ammonium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium phosphates." The fifth category reads: "e. Adhesives: the gelling and thickening agents of the Edict of the 31st of October 1979 on additives as well as pure lac, collodion, cellulose, ethyl-cellulose, acetyl-cellulose, hydroxy-ethyl-cellulose. hyxlroxy-propyl-methyl-cellulose, hydroxy-ethyl-mediyl-cellulose, polyvinyl acetate and glyoxal" (pp. 196-197) Unfortunately, it is not possible to obtain from the cigarette manufacturers the precise list of additives for each brand, given that the recipes for this "foodstuff" are jealously guarded.
6. Cigarettes emit 4,000 toxic substances, according to (Switzerland's) Federal Office of Public Health (1994, p. 1). Klaassen and Wong (1993) write in their article on radiation in the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "The largest nonoccupational radiation sources are tobacco smoke for smokers and indoor radon gas for the nonsmoking population" (vol. 25. p. 925). Martell (1982) writes in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine: "Indoor radon decay products that pass from room air through burning cigarettes into mainstream smoke are present in large, insoluble smoke particles that are selectively deposited at bifurcations. Thus, the smoker receives alpha radiation at bronchial bifurcations from three sources: from indoor radon progeny inhaled between cigarettes, from 2l4Po Ipolonium-214] in mainstream smoke particles, and from 210 Po [polonium-210] that grows into 210Pb [lead-210]-enriched particles that persist at bifurcations. I estimate that the cumulative alpha dose at the bifurcations of smokers who die of lung cancer is about 80 rad (1600 rem) - a dose sufficient to induce malignant transformation by alpha interactions with basal cells" (p. 310). Evans (1993) writes in an article entitled "Cigarette smoke - radiation hazard": "In 1 year, a smoker of 1 to 2 packs per day will irradiate portions of his or her bronchial epithelium with about 8 to 9 rem. This dose can he contrasted with that from a standard chest x-ray film of about 0.03 rem. Thus, the average smoker absorbs the equivalent of the dosages from 250 to 300 chest x-ray films per year" (p. 464). Strangely enough, the radioactivity of cigarette smoke is rarely mentioned in the majority of the articles dealing with the toxicity of this product. Abelin (1993), who provides a list of the different forms of cancer provoked by cigarettes, also notes that low-tar cigarettes have a lower risk factor than normal cigarettes. However, "up until now, a lowering of the risk of heart attacks or chronic lung diseases among smokers of 'light* cigarettes has not been noticed" (pp. 15-16).
7. Weiss (1969, p. 62) notes two literal translations for sheripidri. "he who uses tobacco" and "he who is transfigured by tobacco." Elick (1969. pp. 203-204) suggests the word combines sheri ("tobacco") and piai ("a rather common designation for the shaman in northern South America"). Baer (1992) translates the Matsigenka word serip-i'gari as "he who is intoxicated by tobacco" - the Matsigenka being the Ashaninca's immediate neighbors. In any case, the word means "healer" and contains the root sheri (or sen), "tobacco."
8. Johannes Wilbert, personal communication, 1994.
9. That the otherwise infallible Schultes and Hofmann omitted tobacco from their classic Plants of the gods: Origins of hallucinogenic use (1979) is an indication of the degree to which Western science has underestimated it. Wilbert. who has led a long and solitary campaign for the recognition of tobaccos importance in shamanism, wrote in 1972: "Tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) is not generally considered to be a hallucinogen. Yet like the sacred mushrooms, peyote, morning glories, Datura, ayahuasca, the psychotomimetic snuffs, and a whole series of other New World hallucinogens, tobacco has long been known to play a central role in North and South American shamanism, both in the achievement of shamanistic trance states and in purification and supernatural curing. Even if it is not one of the 'true' hallucinogens from the botanists or pharmacologist's point of view, tobacco is often conceptually and functionally indistinguishable from them" (p. 55).
10. The interaction of specific snake venoms with the different nicotinic receptors varies. Deneris et al. (1991) show that certain nicotinic receptors are sensitive to given snake toxins, but not to others, and that there is even a subclass of nicotinic receptors that is insensitive to all snake venoms. See Alberts et al. (1990, pp. 319-320) for an explanation of the central role played by nicotinic receptors in the history of ion channels and by the venom of certain snakes in their identification. Changexix (1993) provides a detailed historical outline of the evolution of the research conducted on the acetylcholine receptor, where he explains the successive stages covered by scientists and the role played by nicotine, curare, and the snake venom a-bungarotoxin. He also explains the importance of the development, in the 1980s, of new techniques which allow die determination of the exact sequence of amino acids making up the proteins that constitute the receptors.
11. Of course, the legislation on controlled substances varies from one country to another, but legislation in die United States seems to serve as a model for many other Western countries. For an exhaustive survey of American legislation on controlled substances, see Shulgin (1992). Moreover, Strassman (1991) discusses in detail the labyrinth of bureaucratic, and sometimes Orwellian, obstacles he had to surmount to obtain N, N-dimethyltryptamine and to administer it to human beings in the framework of a scientific investigation.
12. According to Strassman and Quails (1994): 'The group was high functioning, with only one subject not being a professional or student in a professional training program" (p. 86). According to Strassman et al. (1994): "Our description of subjective effects of DMT [dimethyltryptamine] used reports obtained by experienced hallucinogen users who were well prepared for the effects of the drug. In addition, these subjects. .. found hallucinogens highly desirable. Thus, our sample differed from those used to characterize hallucinogens' effects in previous studies" (p. 105). As I mentioned in Note 8 to Chapter 5, the studies by SzaVa (1956, 1957, 1970). Sai-Halasz et al. (1958), and Kaplan et al. (1974) all consider dimethyltryptamine as a "psychotomimetic" or a "psychotogen." Concerning the use of prisoners to test this substance, see, for example. Rosenberg et al. (1963), whose article starts with the following sentence: "Five former opiate addicts who were serving sentences for violation of United States narcotic laws volunteered for this experiment" (p. 39). Leary (1966) describes his visions in a scientific and personal study of the effects of dimethyltryptamine: "A serpent began to writhe up and through the soft, warm silt... tiny, the size of a virus ... growing... now belts of serpent skin, mosaic-jeweled, rhythmically jerking, snake-wise forward ... now circling globe, squeezing green salt oceans and jagged brown-shale mountains with constrictor grasp ... serpent flowing blindly, now a billion mile endless electric-cord vertebrated writhing cobra singing Hindu flute-song" (p. 93).
13. Strassman et al. (1994, p. 100).
14. Two articles published in die late 1980s (McKenna et al. 1989 and Pierce and Peroutka 1989) demonstrate that different hallucinogens activate distinct serotonin receptor subtypes. Deliganis et al. (1991) went on to show that dimethyltryptamine stimulates serotonin receptor TA" while blocking serotonin receptor "2." According to Van de Kar (1991): "Furthermore, an understanding of the 5-HT [serotonin ) receptor sub-types has led to a reevaluation of old data on the neuroendocrine effects of 5-HT agonists and antagonists" (p. 292). It had often been claimed throughout the 1980s that hallucinogens activated a single receptor (see Glennon et al. 1984). So far the precise serotonin receptors stimulated by psilocybin have not been determined.
15. According to Van de Kar (1991), serotonin receptor "3" is an ion channel, while the remaining six receptors (la, lb, le, Id, 2, and 4) are membrane-spanning antennae. Recent research subdivides these seven serotonin receptors into fifteen subcategories - see Thtebot and Hamon (1996).
16. Pitt et al. (1994) write in their article on the stimulation of DNA by serotonin: "Thus it is apparent that a novel intracellular signaling pathway contributes to the increase in DNA synthesis caused by 5-HT [serotonin] in smooth muscle and other cells in culture" (p. 185).
17. Kato et al. (1970) administered four to eleven LSD injections to four pregnant monkeys in their third or fourth month of pregnancy.
The total amount of these doses varied from 875 micrograms/kg to 9,000 micrograms/kg; the average total dose being 4,937 micrograms/kg. An average dose for a human being is estimated at 1.5 micrograms/kg (about 100 micrograms for a person weighing 70 kg or 154 pounds). Thus, die average total dose inflicted on these monkeys was 3,000 times greater than the normal quantity ingested by humans. Along the same lines, it is worth mentioning the research conducted by Cohen et al. (1967), which set off the whole "chromosome breaks" scare: These scientists poured high concentrations of LSD on cultured cells and went on to show that the chromosomes of these cells featured twice as many breaks as normal. It has since been shown that substances in common use, such as milk, caffeine, and aspirin, lead to similar results at sufficient concentrations (see, for instance, Kato and Jarvik 1969). Dishotsky et al. (1971), who reviewed a total of 68 studies on the supposed effects of LSD on chromosomes, wrote in the conclusion of their article for Science: "From our own work and from a review of the literature, we believe that pure LSD ingested in moderate doses does not damage chromosomes in vivo, does not cause detectable genetic damage, and is not a teratogen or a carcinogen in man. Within these bounds, therefore, we suggest that, other than during pregnancy, there is no present contraindication to the continued controlled experimental use of pure LSD" (p. 439). Finally, see Yielding and Stcrglanz (1968), Smythies and Antun (1969), and Wagner (1969) concerning the intercalation of LSD into DNA.

18. Yielding and Sterglanz (1968) write: "A study of the interactions between LSD and such macromolecules as DNA may also be relevant to the psychotomimetic actions of such drugs.... Thus, binding to DNA would appear to be a general property of this group of drugs" (p. 1096). This idea was taken further by McKenna and McKenna (1975) in a visionary speculation: "We speculated that information stored in the neural-genetic material might be made available to consciousness through a modulated ESR [electron spin resonance] absorption phenomenon, originating in superconducting charge-transfer complexes formed by intercalation of tryptamines and beta-carbolines into the genetic material. We reasoned that both neural DNA and neural RNA were involved in this process: Serotonin or, in the case of our experiment, exogenously introduced methylated tryptamines would preferentially bind to membrane RNA, opening the ionic shutter mechanism and, simultaneously, entering into superconductive charge transfer with its resulting modulated ESR signal; beta-carbolines could then pass through the membrane via the RNA-ionic channel and intercalate into the neural DNA" (p. 104). Dennis McKenna has since become an experienced researcher on neurological receptors, but his work does not deal any further with DNA. Terence McKenna (1993) tells the story behind the conception of these visionary speculations.
19. The advances accomplished over the last twenty-five years regarding science's understanding of neurological receptors can be gauged by reading Smythies (1970) on the possible nature of these receptors: 'This makes deductions from the chemical relation between various agonists and antagonists to the possible nature of the receptor site tentative at best. Such arguments would be more cogent if anything were known, on independent grounds, of the chemical nature of the receptor site. Unfortunately very little is known" (p. 182). In those days, scientists could only advance on this question by groping in the dark; Symthies theorized, incorrectly, that the receptors were made of RNA.
20. For instance, in die most recent edition of the Psychedelics encyclopedia (Stafford 1992). there is no reference to DNA. To my knowledge, the only other mention of a link between hallucinogens and DNA is by Lamb (1985). who suggests in passing: "Perhaps on some unknown unconscious level the genetic encoder DNA provides a bridge to biological memories of all living things, an aura of unbounded awareness manifesting itself in the activated mind" (p. 2). Lamb elaborates no further on this.
21. See Rattemeyer et al. (1981), Popp (1986), Li (1992), Van Wijk and Van Aken (1992). Niggli (1992), Mei (1992). and Popp. Gu, and Li (1994).
22. Popp (1986, p. 207).
23. Popp (1986, pp. 209,207). See also Popp, Gu, and Li (1994) regarding the coherence in biophoton emission.
24. Suren Erkman, personal communication, 1995.
25. Strassman et al. (1994, pp. 100-101).
26. Etymologically, "hallucination" comes from the Latin hallucinari, "to wander in the mind." which corresponds quite precisely to the description I propose of the phenomenon induced by hallucinogens^ - namely, a shifting of consciousness away from ordinary reality toward the molecular level. The word hallucinari only acquired the pejorative meaning "to be mistaken" in the fifteenth century; but I do not consider this connotation a sufficient reason not to use a word which is commonly understood and the original etymology of which corresponds to the described phenomenon. Finally, and in opposition to a certain number of current scholars. I do not subscribe to the use of the newly coined word "entheogen" (to replace "hallucinogen"), because it jargonizes a difficult subject and loads it with divine (theos = "God") connotations.
27. Popp, Gu, and Li (1994) write; "There is evidence of nonsubstantial biocomniunication between cells and organisms by means of photon emission" (p. 1287). On blophoton emission as a cellular language, see Galle et al. (1991), Gu (1992), and Ho and Popp (1993). One of the most eloquent experiments in this field consists of placing two lots of unicellular organisms in a device which measures photon emission and separating them with a metal screen; under these circumstances, the graph of the first lot's photon emission shows no relationship to that of the second lot. When the metal screen is removed, both graphs coincide to the highest degree - see Popp (1992a, p. 40). On the role of biophoton emission in plankton colonies, see Galle et al. (1991).
28. Ho and Popp (1993, p. 192).
29. Fritz-Albert Popp, personal communication, 1995.
30. On the precursory work of Alexander A. Gurvich, see the references in Popp, Gu, and Li (1994) as well as the writings of Anna A. Gurvich (1992, for example).
31. Reichel-Dolmatoff (1979, p. 117). On the importance of quartz crystals in shamanic practices, see also Harner (1980, pp. 138-140) and Eliade (1972).
32. Baer (1992) writes concerning the use of quartz crystals by Matsi-genka shamans: "Light-colored or transparent stones, especially quartz crystals, are regarded as curative. They are called isere'pito. Although this designation is the same as that for the auxiliary spirits, it is more correct to view them as 'bodies,' 'residences,' or material manifestations of these spirits.... The Matsigenka say the shaman feeds his stones tobacco daily. If he does not do so, his auxiliary spirits, which materialize in the crystals, will leave him, and then the shaman will die" (pp. 86-87). The same practice is found among neighboring Ashaninca sheripiari (see Elick 1969, pp. 208-209).
33. Frank-Kamenetskii (1993, p. 31).
34. Blocker and Salem (1994) write: "In DNA, one finds four bases which are different and all quite complex. The structure of two of these bases, thymine (T) and cytosine (C), is hexagonal. The other two, adenine (A) and guanine (G), have a nine atom structure, with a hexagon placed next to a pentagon" (p. 55).
35. While I suggest the hypothesis that DNA's "non-coding" repeat sequences serve, among other things, to pick up photons at different frequencies, it is worth mentioning that Rattemeyer et al. (1981) proposed, in the first article published on DNA as a source of photon emission, that the non-coding parts of the genome could play an unsuspected electromagnetic role: "Only a very small proportion (about 0.1 and 2%) of DNA operates as genetic material and is organized in nucleotide sequences according to the genetic code. Models have, therefore, been proposed which suggest some regulatory role for the non-protein-coding DNA. Recently, this regulatory role is being seen more in terms of some basic physical mechanisms, particularly the coherent electromagnetic interactions between different DNA sections, rather than a biochemical store of information" (p. 573). Li (1992, p. 190) also suggests that the aperiodic nature of the DNA crystal facilitates the coherence of photon emission. I suggest here that the converse is also true and that die repeat sequences in the DNA crystal facilitate its capacity to pick up photons.
36. Of course, biophoton researchers are aware of die fact that photon emission, considered as a cellular language, necessarily implies a receptor. Ho and Popp (1993) write that this phenomenon "points to the existence of amplifying mechanisms in the organisms receiving the information (and acting on it). Specifically, the living system itself must also be organized by intrinsic electrodynamical fields, capable of receiving, amplifying, and possibly transmitting electromagnetic information in a wide range of frequencies - rather like an extraordinarily efficient and sensitive, and extremely broadband radio receiver and transmitter, much as Frohlich has suggested" (p. 194). I write that biophoton reception has not been studied, but Li (1992, p. 167) and Niggli (1992, p. 236) both mention in passing the necessary existence of a photon-trapping mechanism.
37. Chwirot (1992) writes: "The properties of chromatin [the substance contained in Uie nucleus - that is, DNA and its coating of proteins], optical ones included, are very different in vivo and in vitro and depend on many factors which have not yet been fully understood (pp. 274-275). Popp, Gu, and Li (1994) conclude their review of the biophoton literature by writing that "the mechanism [of biophoton emission] is not known in detail at present" (p. 1293). 38. Popp (1992b) writes: The entity of all living systems (which can be considered as a more or less fully interlinked unit), rather than the individuals, is always developing" (p. 454).

1. Crick (1981, p. 58). Jones (1993) writes: The ancestral message from the dawn of life has grown to an instruction manual containing three thousand million letters coded into DNA. Everyone has a unique edition of the manual which differs in millions of ways from that of their fellows. All this diversity comes from accumulated errors in copying the inherited message" (p. 79). Delsemme (1994) writes: "The mechanism [of evolution] is extraordinarily simple, as it rests on two principles: copying errors, which cause 'mutations'; survival of the individual best adapted to its environment" (p. 185). Francis Crick coined the term "central dogma" in 1958. Blocker and Salem (1994) write regarding the central dogma: "However,... this principle can be seriously challenged. In fact, from a certain point of view, one can almost consider it to be wrong: information actually flows back from the proteins to the genes, but by a different means, that of regulation" (p. 66). Regarding resistance to the theory of natural selection until the middle of the twentieth century. Mayr (1982) writes: "Up to the 1920s and 1930s, virtually all the major books on evolution - those of Berg, Bertalanffy, Beurlen, BOker, Gold-schmidt, Robson, Robson and Richards, Schindewolf, Willis, and those of all the French evolutionists, including Cuenot, Caullery, Vandel, Guy^not, and Rostand - were more or less strongly anti-Darwinian. Among nonbiologists Darwinism was even less popular. The philosophers, in particular, were almost unanimously opposed to it, and this opposition lasted until relatively recent years (Cassirer. 1950; Grene, 1959; Popper. 1972). Most historians likewise rejected selectionism (Radi, Nordensldold, Barzun, Himmelfarb)"' (p. 549). Mayr goes on to describe an international symposium held in 1947: "All participants endorsed the gradualness of evolution, the preeminent importance of natural selection, and the populational aspect of the origin of diversity. Not all od»er biologists were completely converted. This is evident from the great efforts made by Fisher, Hal-dane, and Mnller as late as the 1940s and 50s to present again and again evidence in favor of the universality of natural selection, and from some reasonably agnostic statements on evolution made by a few leading biologists such as Max Hartmann" (p. 569).

2. Crick (1966, p. 10) and Jacob (1974, p. 320).

3. Monod (1971, pp. 30-31).
4. Jakobson (1973, p. 61). He also writes: "Consequently, we can say that, of all the information-transmitting systems, the genetic code and the verbal code are the only ones that are founded on the use of discrete elements, which are, in themselves, devoid of meaning, but which are used to constitute the minimal units of significance, namely the entities endowed with a meaning that is their own in the code in question" (p. 52). See Shanon (1978) on the differences between the genetic code and human languages.

5. Calladine and Drew (1992) write: "The mass of DNA is surrounded in most cells by a strong membrane with tiny, selective holes, that allow some things to go in and out, but keep others either inside or outside. Important chemical molecules go in and out of these holes, like memos from the main office of a factory to its workshops; and indeed the individual cell is in many ways like an entire factor)', on a very tiny scale. The space in the cell which is not occupied by DNA and the various sorts of machinery is filled with water" (p. 3). De Rosnay (1966) writes: "The cell is, indeed, a veritable molecular factory, but this 'miracle' factory is capable not only of looking after its own maintenance - as we have just seen - but also of building its own machines as well as the drivers of those machines" (p. 62). Pollack (1994) compares a cell to a city, radier than to a factory: "A cell is a busy place, a city of large and small molecules all constructed according to information encoded in DNA. The metaphor of a city may seem even more farfetched than that of a skyscraper for an invisibly small cell until you consider that a cell has room for more than a hundred million million atoms; that is plenty of space for millions of different molecules, since even the largest molecules in a cell are made of only a few hundred million atoms" (p. 18). In his book The machinery of life, Goodsell (1993) writes: "Like the machines of our modern world, these molecules are built to perform specific functions efficiently, accurately, and consistently. Modem cells build hundreds of thousands of different molecular machines, each performing one of hundreds of thousands of individual tasks in the process of living. These molecular machines are built according to four basic molecular plans. Whereas our macrosocopic machines are built of metal, wood, plastic and ceramic, the microscopic machines in cells are built of protein, nucleic acid, lipid, and polysaccharide. Each plan has a unique chemical personality ideally suited to a different role in the cell" (p. 13). De Rosnay (1966. p. 165) compares enzymes to "biological micro-computers" and to "molecular robots," whereas Goodsell (1993, p. 29) calls them "automata." Wilis (1991) writes: "The genome is like a book that contains, among many other things, detailed instructions on how to build a machine that can make copies of it - and also instructions on how to build the tools needed to make the machine" (p. 41). For discussions of DNA as a "language" or a "text," see, for example, Frank-Kamenetskii (1993, pp. 63-74), Jones (1993), or Pollack (1994). Atlan and Koppel (1990) reject the classical metaphor of DNA as a "program" and suggest instead that it is better understood as "data to a program embedded in the global geometrical and biochemical structure of the cell" (p. 338). Finally, Delsemme (1994, p. 205) writes that "we can consider with complete peace of mind that life is a normal physicochemical phenomenon."
6. Piaget (1975) writes: Thus the most developed science remains a continual becoming, and in every field nonbalance plays a functional role of prime importance since it necessitates re-equilibration" (p. 178).
7. Scott quoted in Freedman (1994), whose article inspired this paragraph. Goodsell (1993) writes that "proteins are self-assembling machines," which, among other functions, "form motors, turning huge molecular oars that propel bacterial cells" or "specific pumps [that] are built to pump amino acids in, to pump urea out, or to trade sodium for potassium" (pp. 18,42).
8. Calladine and Drew (1992, p. 37). See Wills (1989, p. 166) on the speed of carbonic anhydrase. See Radman and Wagner (1988. p. 25) on the minute rate of error of repair enzymes. Science nominated DNA repair enzymes "molecules of the year 1994." Recently, it was found that these enzymes are highly adaptable and that "repair" enzymes also participate in DNA replication, the control of the cell cycle, and the expression of genes. Similarly, enzymes that splice the double helix can do so in both chromosome recombination and repair operations. Enzymes that unwind DNA can act during transcription of the genetic text as well as repair (see Culotta and Koshland 1994). Wills (1991) writes on the speed of DNA duplication by enzymes called replisomes: "Replisomes work in pairs. As we watch, about 100 pairs of replisoines seize specific places on each of the chromosomes, and each pair begins to work in opposite directions. Since all the chromosomes are being duplicated at once, there are about ten thousand replisomes operating throughout the nucleus. They work at incredible speed, spewing out new DNA strands at die rate of 150 nucleotides per second.... At full bore, the DNA can be replicated at one and a half million nucleotides per second. Even at this rate, it would still take about half an hour to duplicate all six billion nucleotides" (pp. 113-114).
9. Margulis and Sagan (1986, p. 145). Since the time of writing the French original of this book, two articles by Heald et al. (1996) and Zhang and Nicklas (1996) seem to indicate that the dance of chromosomes is orchestrated by spindle microtubules, which function even in the absence of chromosomes. This does not remove the question of intention, however. As Hyams (1996, p. 397) comments: "A great many questions about mitosis remain to be answered. To what extent do chromosomes contribute to spindle formation and to their own movement at anaphase? Do they have a role in positioning the cleavage furrow? What holds sister chromatids together, how are they 'unglued,' and what is the signal for this detachment? How do the checkpoints that sense a single detached chromosome or an imperfect one work?"
10. Wade (1995a) writes: "Only DNA endures. This thoroughly depressing view values only survival, which the DNA is not in a position to appreciate anyway, being just a chemical" (p. 20).
11. Tremolieres (1994, p. 138) considers that "our human comprehension and intelligence reach their own limits. It seems that our brain is one of the most complex objects that we can find in the universe." McGinn (1994, p. 67) writes: "We want to know, among other things, how our consciousness levers itself out of the body. We want, that is, to solve the mind-body problem, the deep metaphysical question about how mind and matter meet. But what if there is something about us that makes it impossible for us to solve this ancient conundrum? What if our cognitive structure lacks the resources to provide the requisite theory?"
12. Hunt (1996) writes: "Crow tool manufacture had three features new to tool use in free-living nonhumans: a high degree of standardization, distinctly discrete tool types with definite imposition of form in tool shaping, and the use of hooks. These features only first appeared in the stone and bone tool-using cultures of early humans after the Lower Paleolithic, which indicates that crows have achieved a considerable technical capability in their tool manufacture and use" (p. 249). See Huffman (1995) on chimpanzees using medicinal plants. Perry (1983) writes about ants that herd aphids: "In one species, the ants take fine earth up to the leaves and stems of plants and, using their own saliva, cement together tiny shelters, shaped like mud huts, for their aphid partners. These shelters help to protect the aphids from severe weather and to some extent from predators.... Some ants will round up local populations of aphids at the end of the day, in much the same way that a sheepdog herds sheep. The ants then take their aphids down into the nest for protection from predators. In the morning the aphids are escorted to the required plant for another days feeding and milking" (pp. 28-29). See also Holldobier and Wilson (1990, pp. 522-529). Concerning mush room-cultivating ants, see Chapela at al. (1994) and Hinkle et al. (1994). Wilson (1984, p. 17) compares an ants brain to a grain of sugar.
13. Monod (1971, p. 18). Wesson (1991) writes: "By what devices the genes direct the formation of patterns of neurons that constitute innate behavioral patterns is entirely enigmatic. Yet not only do animals respond appropriately to manifold needs; they often do so in ways that would seem to require something like forethought" (p. 68). He adds: "An instinct of any complexity, linking a sequence of perceptions and actions, must involve a very large number of connections within the brain or principal ganglia of the animal. If it is comparable to a computer program, it must have the equivalent of thousands of lines. In such a program, not merely would chance of improvement by accidental change be tiny at best. It is problematic how the program can be maintained without degradation over a long period despite the occurrence from time to time of errors by replication" (p. 81). On the absence of a goal, or teleology, in nature. Stocco (1994) writes that "biological evolution does not proceed in a precise direction and aims at no particular goal" (p. 185), and Mayr (1983) writes: 'The one thing about which modern authors are unanimous is that adaptation is not teleological, but refers to something produced in the past by natural selection" (p. 324). According to Wesson (1991): "For a biologist to call another a teleologist is an insult" (p. 10).
14. According to several recent studies, non-coding DNA might actually play a structural role and display the characteristics of a language, the meaning of which remains to be determined. See Flam (1994), Pennisi (1994), Nowak (1994). and Moore (1996).
15. The twenty amino acids used by nature to build proteins vary in shape and function. Some play structural roles, such as making a hairpin turn that folds the protein back on itself. Others make sheetlike surfaces as dot-king sites for other molecules. Others form links between protein chains. Three amino acids contain benzene, a greasy compound that is the molecular equivalent of Velcro and that can hold certain substances and then release them without modifying its own structure. One finds these benzene-containing amino acids at exactly the right place in the "lock" of nicotinic receptors, where they bond molecules of acetylcholine or nicotine (see Smith 1994). Couturier et al. (1990) provide the exact sequence of the 479 amino acids that constitute one of the five protein chains of the nicotinic receptor. My estimate of 2,500 amino acids for the entire receptor is an extrapolation based on their work. See Lewis et al. (1987) regarding the presence of nicotinic receptors among nematodes.
16. Wesson (1991, p. 15).
17. Tiemolieres (1994, p. 51). He adds: "We know that more than 90% of the changes affecting a letter in a word of the genetic message lead to disastrous results; proteins are no longer synthesized correctly, the message loses its entire meaning and this leads purely and simply to the colls death. Given that mutations are so frequently highly unfavorable, and even deadly, how can beneficial evolution be attained?" (p. 43). Likewise, Frank-Kamenetskii (1993) writes: "It is clear, therefore, that you need a drastic refitting of the whole of your machine to make the car into a plane. The same is true for a protein. In trying to turn one enzyme into another, point mutations alone would not do the trick. What you need is a substantial change in the amino acid sequence. In this situation, rather than being helpful, selection is a major hindrance. One could think, for instance, that by consistently changing amino acids one by one, it will eventually prove possible to change the entire sequence substantially and thus the enzyme's spatial structure. These minor changes, however, are bound to result eventually in a situation in which the enzyme has ceased to perform its previous function but it has not yet begun its 'new duties.' It is at this point that it will be destroyed - together with the organism carrying it" (p. 76).
18. Nash (1995,68, 70).
19. See Wesson (1991, p. 52). He adds: "By Mayr's calculation, in a rapidly evolving line an organ may enlarge about 1 to 10 percent per million years, but organs of the whale-in-becoming must have grown ten times more rapidly over 10 million years. Perhaps 300 generations are required for a gene substitution. Moreover, mutations need to occur many times, even with considerable advantage, in order to have a good chance of becoming fixed. Considering the length of whale generations, the rarity with which the needed mutations are likely to appear, and the multitude of mutations needed to convert a land mammal into a whale, it is easy to conclude that gradualist natural selection of random variations cannot account for this animal" (p. 52). Wessons book is a catalogue of biological improbabilities - -from bats' hypersophisticated echolocation system to the electric organs of fish - and of die gaping holes in the fossil record.
20. Mayr (1988, pp. 529-530). Goodwin (1994) writes: "New types of organism appear upon the evolutionary scene, persist for various periods of it. and then become extinct. So Darwin's assumption that the tree of life is a consequence of the gradual accumulation of small hereditary differences appears to be without significant support. Some other process is responsible for the emergent properties of life, those distinctive features that separate one group of organisms from another, such as fishes and amphibians, worms and insects, horsetails and grasses. Clearly something is missing from biology" (p. x).
21. Shapiro (1996, p. 64).
22. Mycoplasma genitalium is the smallest genome currently known, at 580.000 base pairs. Mushegian and Koonin (1996) compared it to the genome of bacterium Hemophilus influenzae, which contains 1,800,000 base pairs, and concluded that the minimal amount of genetic information necessary for life is 315,000 base paris. This is still an enormous amount of information.
23. See Butler (1996) on the 12 million base pair genome of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. See Hills (1996) on the similarities between yeast and human genes. In some cases, the contrary is also true, and genomes vary greatly between closely related species: Wade (1997b) writes about a conference on small genomes: "As work on one genome after another was described at the meeting, the scientists' mood was like that of people looking at newly-discovered treasure maps, with the treasure not yet in hand but with wonderfully tantalizing clues all about. For example, the order of genes in a genome seems to vary widely, even between closely related species of microbes, as if evolution were constantly shuffling the deck" (p. A14).
24. Langaney (1997, p. 122). Holder and McMahon (1996) write: "Remarkably, many of the genes that are important for the control of fly development are also crucial players in vertebrate, and by association human, development. ... Some of the similarities are amazing: for example, mutations in both human Pax6 gene and in eyeless, the Drosophila homologue, cause abnormal eye development. This maintenance of function occurs in spite of the overtly different manner in which Drosoj>hila and human eyes develop" (p. 515). Yoon (1995) writes: "From silken-petaled roses to popping snapdragons to a willow tree's fuzzy catkins, the plant world offers a dazzling array of flowers. Yet the difference between all this blooming beauty and a plain green shoot appears to be nothing more than the flicking on of one master genetic switch, according to two new studies. Using genetically engineered plants, researchers were able to show that either of two genes, on its own. could turn on the cascade of thousands of genes that produce a flower. Researchers were able to use the genes ... to produce blossoms where there should instead have been leafy shoots in plants as diverse as Arabidopsis, a roadside weed, tobacco and aspen trees" (p. B5). Wade (1997c) writes: "Many of the most important fruit fly genes, like those that tell the developing embryo to produce organs at certain places, have been found to have counterparts in humans. The fly and human versions of these genes are not identical but have recognizably similar DNA sequences, reflecting their descent from a common ancestral gene some 550 million years ago"; he also writes that there is "surprising and extensive overlap of the genes among all the model organisms" (p. B7). Biology's main model organisms are fruit fly, mouse, worm C. elegans, zebra fish, and human.
25. See Hilts (1996, p. C19) on genes "that appear to clump together in families that work on similar problems." See Wade (1997a) on the similarities in gene clusters on mouse and human X chromosomes.
26. Pollack (1997, p. 674).
27. Luisi (1993. p. 19) and Popper (1974, pp. 168, 171). Popper (1974) writes: "I now wish to give some reasons why I regard Darwinism as metaphysical, and as a research program. It is metaphysical because it is not testable. One might think that it is. It seems to assert that, if ever on some planet we find life which satisfies conditions (a) and (b) [heredity and variation), then (c) [natural selection] will come into play and bring about in time a rich variety of distinct forms. Darwinism, however, does not assert as much as this. For assume we find life on Mars consisting of exactly three species of bacteria with a genetic outfit similar to that of three terrestrial species. Is Darwinism refuted? By no means. We shall say that these three species were the only forms among the many mutants which were sufficiently well adjusted to survive. And we shall say the same if there is only one species (or none). Thus Darwinism does not really predict the evolution of variety. It therefore cannot really explain it. At best, it can predict the evolution of variety under 'favorable conditions.' But it is hardly possible to describe in general terms what favorable conditions are - except that, in their presence, a variety of forms will emerge" (p. 171, original italics). Dawkins (1986) provides a good illustration of the tautologous tendencies of Darwinism when he writes: "Even if there were no actual evidence in favour of the Darwinian theory (there is, of course) we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories" (p. 287). He also tells a charming story of a beaver that undergoes a point mutation in its genetic text; this leads to a change in the beaver's brain's "wiring diagram." which makes the beaver hold its head higher in the water while swimming with a log in its mouth; this makes it less likely that the mud washes off die log, which makes the log stickier, which makes the beavers dam a sounder structure, which increases the size of the lake, which makes the beaver's lodge more secure against predators, which increases the number of offspring reared by the beavers. This means that beavers with the mutated gene will become more numerous in time and will eventually become the norm. He concludes: 'The fact that this particular story is hypothetical, and that the details may be wrong, is irrelevant. The beaver dam evolved by natural selection, and therefore what happened cannot be very different, except in practical details, from the story I have told" (p. 136). Wilson (1992) even provides an explicitly Darwinian explanation for the worldwide phenomenon of snake veneration, thereby showing that the theory of natural selection can be used to justify more or less anything: "People are both repelled and fascinated by snakes, even when they have never seen one in nature. In most cultures the serpent is the dominant wild animal of mythical and religious symbolism. Manhattanites dream of them with the same frequency as Zulus. This response appears to be Darwinian in origin. Poisonous snakes have been an important cause of mortality almost everywhere, from Finland to Tasmania, Canada to Patagonia; an untutored alertness in their presence saves lives. We note a kindred response in many primates, including Old World monkeys and chimpanzees" (p. 335). See also Moorhead and Kaplan, eds. (1967), Chandebois (1993), and SchiUzenberger (1996) on the limits of Darwinism.

1. Jacques Mabit, a medical doctor doing remarkable work with mestizo ayahuasqueros in Peru, notes that in the ayahuasca literature, which contains over five hundred titles, less than 10 percent of the authors have tried the substance, and none has followed the classical apprenticeship (see Mabit et al. 1992). Mabit himself is one of the rare exceptions.
2. Hill (1992), in his article on Wakuenai musical curing, writes regarding the fragmentation of Western knowledge: "Wakuenai curing rituals are simultaneously musical, cosmological, social, psychological, medical, and economic events, a multidimensionality that 'embarrasses the categories' of Western scientific and artistic culture" (p. 208).
3. Regarding the failure of Western-style education among the indigenous people of Amazonia, see Gasché (1989-1990). Moreover, Gasché points out that intercultural education requires not only funds, but a calling into question of anthropology as a science, given that the discipline bases its existence on intercultural dialogue between Indians and non-Indians, which can only occur through a constant confrontation of these two realities; up until now, an anthropology that is truly useful to the people who are its object remains to be realized. Thus, Gasché (1993) writes: "From a strictly logical, or more precisely topological, point of view, one can envisage the orientation of anthropological discourse in the direction not of the researchers own society, but, on the contrary, of the society which is, or was, its object of study. Such a proposition no doubt surprises, or even shocks some anthropologists, because, indeed, it has hardly been formulated and has even less led to careers. However, for anthropologists who assume the principle of cultural relativism as a presupposition founding their scientific attitude towards human societies, this proposition would logically emerge as soon as they postulate the coherence between their scientific statements and dieir social actions: if all societies are of equal worth, why do anthropologists keep the benefits of the product of their labor exclusively for their own society? This question is all the more urgent that it brings into play two other central notions in anthropology, namely exchange and reciprocity: the data, which are the raw material of all anthropological thought, come from the society that never benefits from the finished product. And it is the question of return, of equilibration in the relationship between the Indian society and the anthropologist, between the object and subject of the research, which many Indians are currently posing in the Peruvian Amazon" (pp. 27-28).
4. Davis (1993) writes: 'The current international discussion of biodiversity prospecting and intellectual property rights fails to comprehend this sacred or spiritual quality of Indigenous plant knowledge, because it is so rooted in material considerations and the economic dunking of the West" (p. 21). Posey (1994) writes: "Intellectual property rights is a foreign concept to indigenous peoples" (p. 235).
5. Luna and Amaringo (1991, p. 72). Regarding the multicultural past of Pablo Amaringo, see p. 21 of the same book.
6. See Taussig (1987, p. 179).
7. Chaumeil (1992) writes: "We know about the fascination that the forest and its inhabitants exert in matters of shamanism on Andean and urban society. Urban and Andean shamans generally attribute great powers to their indigenous colleagues, whom they visit frequently, setting up vast shamanic exchange networks in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In Brazil, many mestizo shamans adopt indigenous methods and live temporarily in Indian villages to learn the shamanic arts. Indeed, most claim to have had at least one indigenous instructor, or recognize the indigenous origin of their knowledge" (p. 93). Chaumeil goes on to explain that this exchange works both ways and that there is "an increasing flux of young indigenous people into towns where they go to learn the shamanic arts with mestizo instructors, who develop the opposite tendency" (p. 99).
8. Rosaldo (1980) writes: "Doing oral history involves telling stories about stories people tell about themselves. Method in this discipline should therefore attend to "our' stories, 'their' stories, and the connections between them" (p. 89). Rosaldo (1989) writes: "Such terms as objecivitij, neutrality, and impartiality refer to subject positions once endowed with great institutional authority, but they are arguably neither more nor less valid than those of more engaged, yet equally perceptive, knowledgeable social actors" (p. 21, original italics). He adds: "Because researchers are necessarily both somewhat impartial and somewhat partisan, somewhat innocent and somewhat complicit, their readers should be as informed as possible about what the observer was in a position to know and not know" (p. 69).

9. "Learned analysis" often escapes the understanding not only of those who are its object, but of many Western individuals. Anthropologists have written so many unreadable texts that the literary critic Pratt (1986) writes: "For the lay person, such as myself, the main evidence of a problem is the simple fact that ethnographic writing tends to be surprisingly boring. How, one asks constantly, could such interesting people doing such interesting things produce such dull books? What did they have to do to themselves?" (p. 33).
10. For a detailed discussion of the role of intuition, dreaming, imagination, and illumination in the history of scientific discoveries, see Beveridge (1950). Watson (1968) writes: "Afterwards, in the cold, almost unhealed train compartment, I sketched on the blank edge of my newspaper what I remembered of the B pattern. Then as die train jerked towards Cambridge, I tried to decide between two- and three-chain models. As far as I could tell, the reason the King's group did not like two chains was not foolproof. It depended upon the water content of the DNA samples, a value they admitted might be in great error. Thus by the time I had cycled back to college and climbed over the back gate, I had decided to build two-chain models. Francis would have to agree. Even though he was a physicist, he knew that important biological objects come in pairs" (p. 166). The "B structure" mentioned by Watson refers to an X-ray photograph of DNA taken by Rosalind Franklin, whose work was thus central to Watson and Crick's discovery, but who received no mention when the Nobel Prize was awarded. That she was a woman, and that things should have occurred this way, was surely no coincidence.
11. Beveridge (1950, p. 72). He adds: "The most important prerequisite is prolonged contemplation of the problem and the data until the mind is saturated with it. There must be a great interest in it and desire for its solution. The mind must work consciously on the problem for days in order to get the subconscious mind working on it.... An important condition is freedom from other problems or interests competing for attention, especially worry over private affairs... . Another favorable condition is freedom from interruption or even fear of interruption or any diverting influence such as interesting conversation within earshot or sudden and excessively loud noises.... Most people find intuitions are more likely to come during a period of apparent idleness and temporary abandonment of the problem following periods of intensive work, light occupations requiring no mental effort, such as walking in the country, bathing, shaving, travelling to and from work, are said by some to be when intuitions most often appear.... Others find lying in bed most favorable and some people deliberately go over the problem before going to sleep and others before rising in the morning. Some find that music has a helpful influence but it is notable that only very few consider that they get any assistance from tobacco, coffee Or alcohol" (p. 76). Mullis (1994) discusses in his Nobel lecture how he conceived the polymerase chain reaction while driving along a moonlit mountain road with his driving companion asleep next to him. The polymerase chain reaction allows one to amplify DNA from a few cells to vat full of cells in a few hours; it spawned the genetic engineering revolution.
12. Artaud (1979, p. 193). The French original is "Je me livre a la fievre des reves. mais e'est pour en retirer de nouvelles lois."
13. The contents of this famous soup are problematic. In 1952. Stanley Miller and Harold Urey did an experiment that was to become famous; they bombarded a test tube containing water, hydrogen, ammonia, and methane with electricity, supposedly imitating the atmosphere of the primitive earth with its permanent lightning storms; after a week, they had produced 2 of the 20 amino acids that nature uses in the construction of proteins. This experiment was long cited as proof that life could emerge from an inorganic soup. However, in the 1980s, geologists realized that an atmosphere of methane and ammoniac would rapidly have been destroyed by sunlight and that our planets primitive atmosphere most probably contained nitrogen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and traces of hydrogen. When one bombards the latter with electricity, one does not obtain biomolecules. So the prebiolic soup is increasingly considered to be a "myth" (see Shapiro 1986).
14. Iteisse (1988) writes about panspermia "that this theory presents a major defect. No acceptable criterion allows one to measure its quality: by essence it cannot be refuted. Moreover, panspermia in its modem version displaces the location where life originated but leaves the fundamental problem of its origin intact" (p. 101). De Duve (1984) writes: "If you equate the probability of the birth of a bacterial cell to that of the chance assembly of its component atoms, even eternity will not suffice to produce one for you. So you might as well accept, as do most scientists, that the process was completed in no more than 1 billion years and that it took place entirely on the surface of our planet, to produce, as early as 3.3 billion years ago, the bacteriumlike organisms revealed by fossil traces" (p. 356). Watson et al. (1987) write in their chapter on the origins of life: "In this chapter, we will assume, as do the vast majority of practicing biologists, that life originated on Earth" (p. 1098).

15. In the early 1980s, researchers discovered that certain RNA molecules, called "ribozymes," could cut themselves up and stick themselves back together again, acting as their own catalysts. This led to the following speculation: If RNA is also an enzyme, it could perhaps replicate itself without the help of proteins. An RNA that is both gene and catalyst would solve the old chicken-and-egg problem that has haunted the debate on the origin of DNA and proteins. Scientists went on to formulate the theory of the "RNA world," according to which the first organisms were RNA molecules that learned to synthesize proteins, facilitating their replication, and that surrounded themselves with lipids to form a cellular membrane; these RNA-based organisms then evolved into organisms with a genetic memory made of DNA, which is more stable chemically. However, this theory is not only irrefutable, it leaves many questions unsolved. Thus, to make RNA, one must have nucleotides, and for the moment, no one has ever seen nucleotides take shape by chance and line up to form RNA. As Shapiro (1994b) writes, the "experiments conducted up until now have shown no tendency for a plausible prebiotic soup to build bricks of RNA. One would have liked to discover ribozymes capable of doing so, but this has not been the case. And even if one were to discover any, this would still not resolve the fundamental question: where did the first RNA molecule come from?" (pp. 421-422). He adds: "After ten years of relentless research, the most common and remarkable property of ribozymes has been found to be the capacity to demolish other molecules of nucleic acid. It is difficult to imagine a less adapted activity than that in a prebiotic soup where die first colony of RNA would have had to struggle to make their home" (p. 421). Kauffman (1996) writes: "The dominant view of life assumes that self-replication must be based on something akin to Watson-Crick base pairing. The 'RNA world" model of the origins of life conforms to this view. But years of careful effort to find an enzyme-free polynucleotide system able to undergo replication cycles by sequentially and correctly adding the proper nucleotide to the newly synthesized strand have not yet succeeded" (p. 497). Laszlo (1997) writes: "The origin of life is more a question of metaphysics than a scientific problem. The experimental facts gleaned by different well-established authors allow only for scenarios, in an unlimited number, all of which are fictive" (p. 26). Regarding clay-based speculations, see Cairns-Smith (1983); regarding oily bubbles, see Morowitz (1985); regarding self-replicating peptides, see Lee et al. (1996).
16. Trémolieres (1994) writes: "Despite these terrible paradoxes, the scientific world agrees that there must have existed something before the current organization of life, and more precisely that there were 'living* or 'pre-living' forms that did not yet contain the genetic code, or in any case, not the code that we know. And science has strangely developed its branches in a direction where nothing exists any longer; this is the contrary of futurology - which is apparently a science - or of science fiction, which is an art" (p. 70). Shapiro (1986) writes: "Scientific explanations flounder, however, and possibilities multiply when we ask how this first cell arose on earth. Competing theories abound - which seems always the case when we know very little about a subject. Some theories, of course, come labeled as The Answer. As such they are more properly classified as mythology or religion than as science" (p. 13).
17. Shapiro (1994a, p. II). Watson et al. (1987) write: "Unfortunately, it is impossible to obtain direct proof for any particular theory of the origin of life. The sobering truth is that even if every expert in the field of molecular evolution were to agree on how life originated, the theory would still be a best guess rather than a fact" (p. 1161). Wade (1995c) writes: "With a handful of trivial exceptions, all forms of life have the same, apparently arbitrary code through which DNA specifies protein molecules. If life arises so spontaneously, why don't we see a variety of different codes and chemistries in earths creatures? The universal nature of the genetic code implies a one-time event, some narrow gateway through which only a single entity or family of related life forms was able to pass. One possibility is that life evolved independently several times on earth and creatures with our genetic code destroyed those based on all other codes. But there's no evidence for such a code war. Or maybe the emergence of life is indeed so improbable that it only happened once. Strange then, that life seems to have arisen at the earliest moment possible almost immediately after the primitive earth had cooled enough (pp. 22-23).
18. SuUivan(1988.p.33).
19. Chuang-Tzu(1968,p.43).

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