Joseph Knoll’s reply to Hector Warnes’ comment    

Joseph Knoll: The Future of Mankind

Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Unfortunately, my book (329 pages) was only published in Hungarian and INHN provides the summary.

Let me first explain why my theory, “The Brain and Its Self. A Neurochemical Concept of the Innate and Acquired Drives” (Knoll 2005), was built on the reasoning that Homo sapiens sapiens necessarily created about 150-thousand years ago the still functioning myths-directed society. The human cortex is namely born with the ability to create a non-existing world, thus everybody is born with an artistic gift, but nobody is born with any scientific knowledge. The rational function of the human cortex, the ability to explore and develop the natural mechanisms (science), was the condition sine qua non for survival. The slow, continuous development of science and technology improved the quality and prolonged the duration of human life.

Thank you for directing me to the Arend book, which I have read, and for calling my attention to the Lifton and Menken books which are new for me. You mentioned in your comment the tripartite drive concept. This is an interesting analysis, but I could not find any relation to our research. The same applies for the important paper, regarding the membrane hypothesis of aging, published in 2002 by Nagy.

The enhancer-sensitive regulations in the mammalian brain opened a new domain in brain research (Knoll 2003, Knoll 2005). This was obvious since the discovery that behavioral manipulability is restricted to mammals capable to fix acquired drives. The mouse brain, in contrast to the rat brain, is unable to build an acquired drive, demonstrating that the mammalian brain capable to fix acquired drives possess a higher development (Knoll 1969). In our two last papers, we published importantly new data supporting the conclusion that the synthetic enhancers opened a new chapter in brain research (Knoll and Miklya 2016; Knoll et al. 2017). It is of special importance that we successfully counteracted the regressive effects of brain aging in rats treated from sexual maturity until death with 0.0001 mg/kg BPAP (Knoll and Miklya 2016).

 I enjoyed your intellectually pleasurable analysis and even your understandable pessimism regarding the future of mankind.  Since the Great War, followed by Second World War and the Holocaust, continued in the 21th century with the ISIS terror, pessimism is fully justified.

It is worth, however, to consider that after the extinction of Pithecanthropus erectus, Sinanthropus pekinensis, Roanthropus dawsoni, Homo heidelbergiensis, Homo sapiens fossilis, etc., Homo sapiens sapiens is the unique, surviving member of the human family. Since humanity is born tabula rasa how the real world and the human body and mind are functioning, but capable to create a “non-existing world,” Homo sapiens sapiens created the still operating myths-directed society. However, in order to survive, it was compelled to discover how the real world is functioning.

            It wasn’t until the end of the 18th century that general knowledge progressed to a critical level. Since the age of enlightenment, science and technology developed progressively. To illustrate the dramatic change: Georg Stevenson created the first steam engine in 1814; Nicolaus Otto discovered the four-stroke engine in 1876; Benz and Daimler created the automobile in 1885; the Wright brothers developed the first airplane in 1903; the rocket technique soon developed and Gagarin, the first astronaut, left the earth in 1961. Thus, mankind used the horse for thousands of years and the spiritual revolution of enlightenment enhanced the development of science and technology and experts created within 147 years the steam engine, the automobile, the airplane and the rocket technic. The development of science is still accelerating.

There is little doubt that the agony of the myths’-directed phase of human-society’s history offers daily convincing proof that it is overdue to terminate this era where one hand destroys what the other hand has created. Due to sciences’ unimaginably speedy development, humanity rapidly approaches the final state: the rationally organized human society, fully grounded on scientific knowledge, first of all in understanding how the human brain, the creator of science, works. Nevertheless, the agony of the myths-directed era might take a few centuries, but humanity’s future is the ratio-directed era. Myths naturally find their place in art. Science and art are and remain forever the two intelligent fields of human activity. Without science humanity would not survive, but without art, it would not be worth surviving.

Since “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come” (Victor Hugo), I firmly believe that the development of science will finally terminate the myths-directed, short first phase of human society and stabilize the ratio-directed hopefully, longer and happier phase of human history.


Knoll J, The theory of active reflexes. An analysis of some fundamental mechanisms of higher nervous activity. Budapest/New York: Publishing House of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences/ Hafner Publishing Company; 1969.

Knoll J, The brain and its self. A neurochemical concept of the innate and acquired drives. Berlin/ Heidelberg/New-York: Springer; 2005.



Knoll J., Enhancer regulation/endogenous and synthetic enhancer compounds:
A neurochemical concept of the innate and acquired drives, Neurochem. Res 2003; 28: 1187-1209.

Knoll J, Baghy I, Eckhardt K, Ferdinandy P, Garami M, Harsing LGJr, Hauser P, Mervai Z, Pocza T, Schaff Z, SchulerD, Miklya I. A longevity study with enhancer substances (Selegiline, BPAP) detected an unknown tumor-manifestation-suppressing regulation in rat brain, Life Sci 2017; 182: 57-64.

Knoll J, Miklya I. Longevity study with low doses of selegiline/(-)-deprenyl and (2R)-1-(1-benzofuran-2-yl)-N-propylpentane-2-amine (BPAP), Life Sci 2016; .916; 32-8.


January 11, 2018