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The evolutionary power of Denial

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The evolutionary power of Denial

Postby lehman scott » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:45 am

A fascinating hypothesis I'd not encountered before...

The evolutionary power of Denial

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | Categories: Books, Episodes

Ajit Varki believes the human capacity to deny mortality is <br> crucial for the development of human intelligence. (UCSD)

Ajit Varki believes the human capacity to deny mortality is
crucial for the development of human intelligence. (UCSD)

Ajit Varki believes that to really understand how we reached the top of the evolutionary ladder you have to be in denial. He shares his theories on how Denial, Self-Deception and False Beliefs allowed human beings to surpass other species, to survive ... thrive and think.

Cornelius the chimp in the film Planet of the Apes had a dangerous idea; that somehow humans made a cognitive break from other animals and launched themselves on a new evolutionary road.

We don't need Roddy McDowall in a monkey suit to tell us we're special. But we do need someone to tell us what we did that was so special in the first place. Why did one kind of primate drag rockets to the moon, while the rest drag knuckles?

Ajit Varki has a theory that may be just as contentious as the theory of Cornelius.


Listen to the podcast here.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
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Pessimism of the Intellect; Optimism of the Will.
- - Antonio Gramsci
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Re: The evolutionary power of Denial

Postby zilch » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:10 am

I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but it should be pointed out that denial of mortality is most likely only possible- and necessary- in humans. I would say that the denial of mortality that most religions offer is the prize that motivates people to willfully deny reality- and sometimes to willingly die for their faith. It works.
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Re: The evolutionary power of Denial

Postby lehman scott » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:56 am

zilch wrote:I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but it should be pointed out that denial of mortality is most likely only possible- and necessary- in humans. I would say that the denial of mortality that most religions offer is the prize that motivates people to willfully deny reality- and sometimes to willingly die for their faith. It works.

Yupp, sounds like you and he are in agreement. Apparently this is a new idea in the cognitive sciences.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
- - Barack Obama

Pessimism of the Intellect; Optimism of the Will.
- - Antonio Gramsci
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lehman scott
 
Posts: 2245
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:33 pm


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