The Hundredth Monkey : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

About twenty years ago western hegemony (choose your own descriptor) got into its head that everyone should have nuclear energy.

At the same time a book was released called, I think, The Hundredth Monkey. Has anyone else read it? Got it and can tell me the author's name?

I recall the story being about monkeys learning a new skill. The individuals learned by observing others. At some point, unexpectedly soon, all the monkeys finally 'acquired the new skill'.

When I get discouraged about Y2K and human intransigence in the face of Y2K I remember the story of the Hundredth Monkey and tell myself maybe the next person will be the 'hundredth monkey!

-- Bob Barbour (, October 20, 1998


The 100th Monkey Theory,...based on the theory of morphogenesis! I love it.

Ken Keyes is the author, and I would bet the book is out of print. It was and continues to be either hotly debated or totally dismissed or believed in whole heartedly.

Morphogenesis hypothesizes that nature has no laws; that what we see in the Universe are only habits. Laws are immutable, habits are not, and can be changed. In the Washington Post in 1985 was an article about a peace group, in which a Stanford University professor stated that when approximately 5 percent of a population adopts a new idea it becomes "imbedded", and when the new idea is accepted by 20 percent of the people, it is "unstoppable."

In lab work with crystals morphogenesis can be observed. "New crystals are very difficult and very tricky to grow. To bring a totally new crystalline pattern into the world is arduous and time-consuming work. However, what scientists have noticed for a long time is that once they have managed to grow a new crystal in a laboratory, that crystal soon begins to appear in other laboratories and other countries in a fraction of the time it took the first scientists to develop it."

There is more but I don't want to use up more than my fair share of bandwidth. There is the study with Harvard rats and learning a maze. The phrase connected to morphogenesis/100th Monkey is "critcal mass"...The monkeys were learning to wash yams before they ate them...

This and other "theories" are fascinating, and many tend to be interconnected...fractals, holographic brain. If each of us is a hologram of society, then our knowledge of Y2K and what is needed to create something better from the events is already out there and the critcal mass number is growing.

So great that you brought this thread to light...You might do a web search on morphogenesis, 100th Monkey, Ken Keyes, Koshima Monkeys.

Now you got me thinking,...we should discuss the Nobel prize winning theory of 1977: The Theory of Dissipative Structures in another thread.

Way cool, Bob!

-- Donna Barthuley (, October 20, 1998.

The Hundredth Monkey Effect

This is one version of the concept. Scientists were studying monkeys on a remote island, and observed that one of them had developed the habit of going to the ocean to wash its food. Then other monkeys started to do the same thing. There were other remote islands in the area with monkeys but no people lived on these islands and there was no transportation among the islands.

On the first island eventually more and more monkeys started practicing the food-washing behavior. At some point, about the time that 100 monkeys or more were using this idea, suddenly a monkey on a neighboring island got the idea and started doing it. This monkey did not learn by example, it just 'got the idea.' Eventually more and more monkeys on the second isolated island started doing this. The scientists concluded that the thought form was able to propagate 'telepathically' after enough (100 or more) of the monkeys had the idea.

The concept applies to people when certain scientific discoveries seem to happen in different parts of the world at or about the same time, with no apparent communication link between them.

This is a very rough paraphrase of my understanding of the concept.

-- Jon (, October 20, 1998.

An interesting concept which also nonsense. See /si/9605/monkey.html for a limited discussion on the subject.

As for the idea that crystals are easier to grow once the first one is created, I would really like to see the evidence on this. I have read that this concept has been tested - silicon chips should be becoming easier to grow by the day, as millions more are created - but no change is seen.

-- Ned (, October 20, 1998.

Is this theory akin to Lamarckianism, the inheritance of acquired characteristics.

-- Richard Dale (, October 20, 1998.

Though there might be a superficial resemblance, I'm not aware of any connection. Lamarckianism says that if you cut off a rat's tail, its offspring will have no tails. This 'theory of morphogenetic fields' as I've heard it called, would suggest that rats other than the tailless rat's offspring will start to be born with no tails.

-- Ned (, October 20, 1998.

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