Terence McKenna
Terence Kemp McKenna was an Irish-American
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 philosopher, psychonaut
Psychonautics refers both to a methodology for describing and explaining the subjective effects of altered states of consciousness, including those induced by mind altering substances, and to a research paradigm in which the researcher voluntarily immerses him/herself into an altered...

, researcher, teacher, lecturer and writer on many subjects, such as human consciousness
Consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind...

, language, psychedelic drugs, the evolution of civilizations, the origin and end of the universe, alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

, and extraterrestrial beings
Extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

Terence McKenna grew up in Paonia, Colorado
Paonia, Colorado
The Town of Paonia is a Statutory Town in Delta County, Colorado, United States. The population was 1,497 at the 2000 census.-History:The area was first explored in 1853 by Captain John W. Gunnison of the United States Army...

. He was introduced to geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 through his uncle and developed a hobby of solitary fossil hunting in the arroyos
Arroyo (creek)
An arroyo , a Spanish word translated as brook, and also called a wash is usually a dry creek or stream bed—gulch that temporarily or seasonally fills and flows after sufficient rain. Wadi is a similar term in Africa. In Spain, a rambla has a similar meaning to arroyo.-Types and processes:Arroyos...

 near his home. From this he developed a deep artistic and scientific appreciation of nature.

At age 16, McKenna moved to Los Altos, California
Los Altos, California
Los Altos is a city at the southern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The city is in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 28,976 according to the 2010 census....

 to live with family friends for a year.

for approximately 500 years [sciences] argument for its pre-eminence was the beautiful toys that it could create: aircraft, railroads, global economies, television, spacecraft. But that is a fool’s argument for truth! I mean, that’s after all how a medicine show operates, you know: the juggler is so good, the medicine must be even better! This is not an entirely rational way to proceed."

"The World and It's Double"

The Beliefs of a Witoto|Witoto shaman and the beliefs of a Princeton phenomenologist|phenomenologist have an equal chance of being correct, and there are no arbiters of who is right. Here is something we have not assimilated. We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together.

The Archaic Revival (1991)

The real secret of magic is that the world is made of words, and that if you know the words that the world is made of you can make of it whatever you wish.

"Alien Dreamtime" a multimedia event recorded live. (27 February 1993)

If the truth can be told so as to be understood, it will be believed.

Re: Evolution (24 June 1994) This is derived from a statement of William Blake: "Truth cannot be told, so as to be understood, and not be believ'd."