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News

The Human Capacity For Denial Will Only Get Us So Far
Huffington Post Living, by G. Elijah Dann
"...denial enabled early Homo sapiens to ignore the realities of their fragile circumstances.

More Than Just Apes
Peaceful Science, by S. Joshua Swamidass
Varki explains "Wallace's Conundrum." 

Many animals seem to kill themselves, but it is not suicide
BBC Earth, by Melissa Hogenboom
"Depressed people truly appreciate reality... "

Why Great Athletes are Great Liars
Positive Performance, by Lindsey Wilson
"Dr. Varki contends that our unique ability to deny or deceive reality may also be the key to our success on the evolutionary ladder."   .pdf

Critics' Picks for 2013
The Georgia Straight Weekly, by Brian Lynch
"Denial brought forth the most important insight...that the brains of human beings--unlike those of all other species--evolved to deny reality under certain circumstances."

Only Humans Are Able to Deny the Reality That We're Hastening Our Own End
New Indian Express, by TJS George
"Denial asserts that man went beyond elephant by developing the ability to deny reality. This gave him optimism and the confidence to face problems. But it also emboldened him to take on unnecessary risks."

"What makes humans the most successful of all earthly creatures?"
The Week, by James Graaf
" [The authors say]...That's why we're running the show on this planet, but it's also why we eat in ways we know will kill us..."

Self Deception and Denial – Human Behavior and Climate Change
21st Century News, by Len Rosen
"The authors.....hypothesize that denial comes out of awareness of our morality an our natural aversion to believing in it."

The price of an apology: In politics, it's hard to walk away from the table
The Globe and Mail, by Elizabeth Renzetti
"What if denial isn't just a handy political foxhole, but an actual survival strategy bred in our bones?"

Are we going the way of the glyptodon?
Yukon News, by Michael Dougherty
"Symbolic art, grave and personal adornments demonstrated a breakthrough interest in humans perception of others....This awareness led our ancient ancestors to the disturbing awareness of their own mortality."

Authors suggest denial, including about the climate, is embedded in human species
Straight.com, by Charlie Smith
"This new theory raises troubling questions."

Climate Change Realism Requires Lifting Veil of Denial
Straight.com, by Daniel Tseghay
"The evidence is overwhelming and convincing. Our actions are quickly changing the geochemistry of the planet."

Cultivating Self-Awareness
Huffington Post Blog, by Bradley Foster & Features in "Hot Type" - Vanity Fair June 2013
"In a ground-breaking theory, Ajit Varki and Danny Brower postulate.....that human ability to create deceptions, false beliefs and live in denial has been a powerful force in human evolution" 

Is Denial The Secret of Humanity's Success?
Special to The Globe and Mail, by Alanna Mitchell
"Denial's basic idea is that the big breakthrough came when two things happened simultaneously....The fusion of these two developments spread like wildfire..."

If you really want to live, then forget about death
Winnipeg Free Press, by Mike Stimpson
"...the authors certainly present an intriguing theory, and in mostly jargon-free prose that non-scientists can follow....."

Is Denial How Civilization Began?
The Buffalo News, Life & Arts, by Michael D. Langan
"This book is a warning about this remarkable ability of denying reality. It is a gift, the authors write, which will either lead to our downfall or be our greatest asset...."

El Indio: Death and Denial
Jakarta Globe, by Jamil Maidan Flores
"This much I agree with Varki and Brower: fear of death drives people to denial. Some can get very good at it..."