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A Species in Denial Paperback – October 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


'Like to improve your understanding of the human condition? Ever wondered about our contradictory capacity for good and evil? Jeremy Griffith believes he has the answer to the riddle of humanity. To why humanity's progress is stalled in a state of unknowing...A Species In Denial, with a foreword by Charles Birch, traverses wide ground indeed. From deciphering Plato's cave allegory, to human denial, to bringing peace to the war between the sexes, to the denial-free history of the human race and the demystification of religion.' -- John McConnell, The Sydney Institute Quarterly

'Jeremy Griffith is an Australian biologist but his range of interests and his store of knowledge seem almost infinite... The chapter called Resignation is brilliant in its insight into human nature and what we call the idealism of the young... It's worth reading the book for this essay alone but, of course, there's so much more. Those who need brain food will find it here. It can't be said of many books that the world looks different after you've read them. It can be said of this book.'-- Antonia Hilderbrand, Toowoomba Chronicle

'A book that confronts the way we think about life...People like [Griffith] used to be drummed out of town by the vicar...Griffith gives the serious reader plenty to ponder...There is never any doubt of the courage of [Griffith's] stance in writing this book because of his commitment to his fellow man and the future of the planet.' -- Pat White, Wairarapa News, New Zealand'

'10/10. Prepare to be confronted...Prepare to be enlightened.' -- Wendy O'Hanlon, Noosa Times'There is no doubt that Jeremy is talking about the big stuff.' -- Katie Wilkie, The Land's 'Friday Magazine'


'A breakthrough in understanding the human condition.' -- Dr John H. Champness, Australian psychologist, 2003

'A most enlightening treatment of the human situation.' --
Dr Arthur Jones, former Anglican Bishop of Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

'A superb book, it brings out the truth of a new and wider world.' --
John Morton, Emeritus Professor Zoology, Auckland University, New Zealand

'Boy! what a book ... Should be in hotel rooms like the other book.' --
Ambi Kaur, Melbourne, Australia - reader response, 2003

'Offers so many insights into our divided selves.' --
Ronald Conway OAM, distinguished Australian psychologist

'Reading it with great interest and excitement, I can't put it down.' --
Jeremy Shaw, retired Anglican Priest, Auckland, New Zealand, 2003

'A most important contribution to human understanding.' --
Professor Harry Prosen, former President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: WTM Publishing and Communications; 1st Revised edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741290015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741290011
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,789,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeremy Griffith (1945-) is an Australian biologist who has dedicated his life to bringing fully accountable, biological understanding to the dilemma of the human condition--the underlying issue in all human life of our species' extraordinary capacity for what has been called 'good' and 'evil'. While it's undeniable that humans are capable of great love and empathy, we also have an unspeakable history of greed, hatred, rape, torture, murder and war; a propensity for deeds so shocking and overwhelming that the eternal question of 'Why?' has seemed depressingly inexplicable. Even in our everyday behaviour, why, when the ideals of life are to be cooperative, selfless and loving, are we so ruthlessly competitive and selfish that human life has become all but unbearable and our planet near destroyed? How could we humans possibly be considered good when all the evidence seems to unequivocally indicate that we are a deeply flawed, bad, even 'evil' species?
For most people, trying to think about this ultimate of questions of whether we humans are fundamentally good or not has been an unbearably self-confronting exercise. Indeed, the issue of the human condition has been so depressing for virtually all humans that only a rare few individuals have been sound and secure enough in self to go anywhere near the subject. Nurtured by a sheltered upbringing in the Australian bush (countryside), Jeremy is one of those rare few. His soundness and resulting extraordinary integrity and thus clarity of thought, coupled with his training in biology, has enabled him to successfully grapple with this most foreboding of all subjects of the human condition and produce the breakthrough, human-behaviour-demystifying-and-ameliorating explanation of it, which is presented in all his publications, including his 2015 summa masterpiece, 'FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition'

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Tim Macartney-Snape on February 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm a Director of the Foundation for Humanity's Adulthood, an organisation based in Sydney Australia, set up to promote inquiry into the human condition and in particular to promote the work of Australian biologist Jeremy Griffith the author of A Species In Denial. I have a long association with Jeremy and have spent the last sixteen years studying and debating the ideas he has synthesized. In my opinion A Species In Denial and the ideas underpinning it are critically important to any real progress for our species and therefore this planet.
However, as the title suggests, and from my own personal experience, this is a difficult subject for humans to even look at, but look at it we must because it is dealing with the central issue and problem of human consciousness, that of our insecurity about our human condition, the cause of all our psychosis and general malaise. This issue of the human condition is the underlying problem in all human affairs, which until now we have had no choice but to cope with by denying its existence. Inevitably therefore we are all intimidated by having this central issue of the human condition, this issue of self, raised. Looking so deeply into ourselves is very confronting and destabilising, that is why this issue has been so contentious and off-limits. But now, armed with understanding we can safely go there and it is a very rewarding experience. It is difficult and inevitably some will find it too difficult at first.
Our habituated response is naturally one of extreme fear so there is resistance to these ideas that manifests in the form of derision and ridicule. This is to be expected and is an understandable response to so fearful a proposition as confronting our human condition, but we can no longer be ruled by this fear.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Miranda Ellis on February 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading A Species In Denial and I must congratulate author Jeremy Griffith for re-igniting my faith in humanity.
This book's exploration and explanation of all aspects of what it is to be human is remarkable, in particular the essay on men and women titled "Bringing Peace to the War Between the Sexes". It is provocative and challenges feminist and political correct
thinking. It even explains that men are not what women have thought they are - monsters only interested in reproducing their own genes. It explains that men are heroes and not the villains that we thought they were of the human journey.
I have read some of the popular literature on human psychology and this is the only book that makes sense of the many questions that I thought were unanswerable. What strikes me most is how compassionate the author is about humans, that we are worthwhile despite all our frailties. I encourage everyone to read this book as I think it is meant for everyone to read.
But be warned this book is extremely confronting as it really makes you take a good hard look at yourself and the world around you - I am still in shock that yes I am living in denial of the human condition, sitting still in my comfort zone happily ignoring the atrocities that humans deal out to each other and nature everyday. It's given me a massive wake up call and I am excited that there is potential for a real future for humanity, not one marred by superficiality and anger. I have no doubt this book will shatter many conventional views and shake people's foundations but I am so thankful that someone actually has had the guts to write this book and then some more to go ahead and publish it.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Anna Fitzgerald on April 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Approaching 'A Species In Denial' as a PhD student, whose research is based in molecular biology, scepticism was almost unavoidable. Such is the in-grained methodology practiced by scientists. New ideas that challenge current schools of thought need to be proven before they are accepted. This however is hard when you are dealing with the immense subject matter broached in this book. In spite of this Griffith's explanation seems logical and it provides a plausible basis from which to explain such human behaviours as religion and the interaction between men and women. Such behaviours have previously attempted to be accounted for in a scientific context by the reductionist theory of the `selfish gene', which had its limitations.
In 'A Species In Denial', Griffith summarises the biology upon which his ideas are based. His earlier book `Free: End of the Human Condition', details the biology. In essence, Griffith suggests the onset of the human condition was brought about by the development of consciousness. Our instinctive nature, a product, he says, of the tendency in nature to form wholes (known as `negative entropy') was to be co-operative. However this newly found ability to make conscious decisions often veered us from this co-operative path, and conflict between our instinctive and conscious thoughts inevitably arose.
Griffith proposes this clash caused us to become insecure because our instincts were in effect telling us we were `bad' to deviate from their orientation. Unable to explain the biological reason why we had to diverge, we could only defend ourselves by becoming angry toward the `criticism', and become preoccupied with proving our worth: in other words become egocentric.
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