The Current

The evolutionary power of Denial

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....
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.



Professor of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, Ajit Varki

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.

Ajit Varki is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, co-director of the Glycobiology Research and Training Centre at the University of California, San Diego. He is also the co-author with Danny Brower of the new book Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind. Ajit Varki joined us from San Diego.


This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.

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