“Doyle takes off after Aldous Huxley, Crick, Wasson, Lilly, Timothy Leary, and what Psychedelics mean for Human, Noospherian, Gaian, Earth, Moon , & our Solar System Destiny after Teilhard de Chardin & V I Vernadsky. Someone has , finally, reviewed Huxley’s Doors of Perception and Leary’s Acid Tao manuals of the 60’s. After Fifty Plus years. Introduces the new FPS, First Person Science, to include ourselves in studying ourselves. Gregory Bateson’s Mind in Nature really gets fleshed out and embodied. Rhetoric gets the Embodied Treatment. It’s immense, imbricate your Self too! DNA & Cellular Wisdom will thank you!
“Darwin’s Pharmacy is an extraordinary book, which is simply overflowing with exciting new ideas about the co-evolution of psychedelic plants, the human mind, and the planet. Penn State English professor Richard Doyle’s book is a mind-stretching achievement, that views the literature on psychedelic drugs and plants through the eyes of evolutionary theory, and how our interaction with these mind-altering plants effects their selection in evolution, and ours, by symbiotically increasing one another’s reproductive success. Doyle synergistically combines a Darwinian perspective with what is known about psychedelic states of consciousness, and fruitfully builds upon the work of great thinkers and pioneers in the field of psychedelic research–such as Aldous Huxley, Terence McKenna, Timothy Leary, John Lilly, and Rick Strassman–taking us into whole new realms of thought.
Doyle’s primary thesis is that psychedelic plants and human beings have been influencing one another’s evolution over time, often in surprising ways. With their mind-amplifying powers, psychedelic plants seduce us into interacting with them. We help to propagate them, and they intensify “a crucial component of sexual selection in humans: discourse.” That is, they give us a lot to talk about, and, according to Doyle, psychedelic plants are also helping us to engage our minds with the “noosphere,” what the late French paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin called the thinking layer of our planet.
So many novel and thought-provoking ideas are playfully explored and masterfully blended in this unique volume, that I can barely summarize them here. There are fascinating sections in Doyle’s book about the relationship between discoveries in genetics and LSD, the evolution of rhetoric, and how the human mind can communicate with DNA, as well as thoughts on DMT and alien encounters, cannabis pornography, ayahuasca and plant intelligence, and the philosophy behind Philip K. Dick’s science fiction and William Burroughs’ novels.
This amazing book is simply bursting at the seams with outrageous, unorthodox ideas and new insights. It is overflowing with mind-blowing revelations, but it is also a demanding book to read. A lot of this cognition-packed volume is densely written, and the ideas in it can seem more than a bit complex at times. So reading this ambitious book requires a strong focus and good concentration–but the huge rewards that can be gained are most definitely worth it!
I highly recommend this wonderful book to anyone interested in how psychedelics might be influencing our future evolutionary development.” – David J. Brown
“A Note on Darwin’s Pharmacy:
“May we give true voice/ To the statements of Thy creatures [ . . . ] May we compete with one another,/ To Speak for Thy Creation with more justice–“ Kenneth Burke, “Dialectician’s Hymn”
I can’t provide a better summary than those already posted here, and elsewhere on the web. However . . . on one very significant point, those posted here miss the mark. Darwin’s Pharmacy *performs* its thesis. Doyle/ayahuasca’s prose is persuasive, rhythmic, organic, and sensual. It rises to the sublime with astonishingly frequency. Its richness, music, and exuberance are hypnotic. It is the glow of his personal rhetorico-spiritual practice. It conjures bliss. It induces longing. It rocks, and it’s a real trip. But most importantly, it rings true like a Tibetan gong.” – Christine Skolnick
On Beyond Living (1997)
Press and Reviews
Science Under Glass. Sohnya Sayres. American Literary History. Vol. 14, No. 1. Spring 2002. pp. 160-180.
Reviewed Work: On Beyond Living: Rhetorical Transformations of the Life Sciences. Michael Fortun. The Quarterly Review of Biology. Vol. 74, No. 3. September 1999. p. 335.
The Final Six: A screenplay based on the life of William S. Burroughs. (With John Schliesser)
2012: The Interim, Screenplay featuring the escheton. (With Robert Yarber)
Director of Zebrapedia.org, a group working on a full digital copy of The Exegesis for online scholarship
The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, a novel (manuscript)
The Dharma of Philip K. Dick: Spiritual and Practical Guidance from a Sci Fi Master (proposal in progress)
Articles and Collaborations
Stairway to Eleusis: PDK, Perennial Philosopher. The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (2011). Also composed 20 annotations for this text.
- New York Times Book Review by Charles Platt: “The Voices in Philip K. Dick’s Head.” (December 16, 2011)
Understanding Open Source Design: A White Paper: In the Begining Was the Noosphere: Community and Collaboration in Open Source Evolution of Technology. Richard Doyle, Erick Froede, David Saint John, and Richard Devon. Proceedings of the American Society Engineering Education (ASEE). 2010. Archived by http://www.asee.org/
William S. Burroughs, Life Scientist. for Naked Lunch After Fifty Years. editor Oliver Harris, Southern Illinois UP, 2009.
Just Say Yes to the Noosphere. MAPS Bulletin. Volume xviii-number 1, 2008.
Divining Ayahuasca. Discourse. 27.1. Winter 2006. pp.6-33.
Transgenic Involution in Signs of Life: Bio Art and Beyond. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. Editor Eduardo Kac. 2006. pp. 69-83.
Close Encounters of the Nth Kind. Writing Extraterrestrialiality. Duke University Press. Editor Debbora Battaglia. 2006.
Passages: In Lieu of Flowers. Jeffrey T. Nealon and Richard Doyle. SubStance. Vol. 34, No. 1, Issue 106. 2005. pp. 72-77.
Representing Life for a Living. Growing Explanations. Duke University Press. Editor Norton Wise. 2004.
LSDNA. Data Made Flesh. Eds. Rob Mitchell and Phillip Thurtle. Routledge. 2004.
LSDNA. Semiotic Flesh. Eds. Phillip Thurtle and Rob Mitchell. 2003.
LSDNA: Rhetoric, Consciousness Expansion, and the Emergence of Biotechnology. Philosophy and Rhetoric. Vol. 35, Number 2. 2002. pp. 153-174.
The Coma Speaks. POROI: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Inquiry, Vol. 1, no. 1. Winter 2001.
Uploading Anticipation. Journal of Advanced Composition. Winter 2001.
Remains to be Seen: A Self Extracting Amalgam. Late Editions. Ed. George Marcus, University of Chicago Press. 2000. pp. 103-120.
“Give Me a Body Then”: Corporeal Time Images. Symploke. Vol. 6, No. 1/2, Special Issue: Practicing Deleuze & Guattari. 1998. pp. 26-37.
Emergent Power: Vitality and Theology in Artificial Life. Writing Science. Ed. Timothy Lenoir. Stanford UP. 1998.
Disciplined by the Future: The Promising Bodies of Cryonics. Science as Culture. Vol. 6, Part 4, No.29. 1997. pp.582-616.
Introduction. Leah Ceccarelli, Richard Doyle, and Jack Selzer. Rhetoric Society Quarterly. Vol. 26, No. 4, The Rhetoric of Science. Autumn 1996. pp. 7-12.
Vital Language. Are Genes Us? The Social Implications of the Human Genome Project. Rutgers UP. 1994.
Dislocating Knowledge, Thinking Out of Joint: Rhizomatics, C. Elegans, and the Importance of Being Multiple. Configurations. Winter 1993.
Mr. Schrodinger Inside Himself. Qui Parle. Vol. 5, No.2, Distractions. Spring/Summer 1992. pp. 1-20.