So Hancock assumes that the cave paintings, and by correlation, modern man, sprang full blown into existence out of the encounters of homo sapiens
with entheogenic plants. His evidence is largely based upon the imagery displayed in cave paintings in the range of 32,000 BCE, which he identifies as corresponding to typical imagery of the trance state, including therianthropes and entopic visual phenonmena. This raises a few questions:
Doesn't it seem likely that the evolution of human language might have predated the cave paintings significantly?
Doesn't it seem likely that other, less durable forms of visual and cultural expression must have predated the cave paintings, such as drawings and paintings which were rendered outside of the protective environment of the caverns, and that this evolution may have taken place during the 100,000 years prior to the cave paintings?
Does it seem to make sense that during the 100,000 years before the cave paintings during which time humans were for all extants and purposes modern in form might not have encountered and eaten the entheogenic plants in their environment? Animals are regularly seen doing just that.
Does it make sense to assume that the cave paintings arose fully formed as they are without a significant period during which the iconography and techniques associated with their production were developed?
Can we really overlay meanings like this onto symbolic imagery of this advanced age? Does it really make sense to assume these are images of shamans rather than a form of pictographic language the translation or metaphors of which we simply cannot be aware?
Hancock asserts that possibly the encounter with entheogenic plants which gave rise to the flowering of culture during the Aurignacian needs to be reexperienced through new encounters today - but didn't that very flowering lead inexorably to the disasters of today?