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While I am a psychiatrist, not a biologist, the subject of our human condition is the area of inquiry where psychiatry and biology finally converge. Evidence for this is the term ‘Evolutionary Psychology’, which is one of the theories currently used to explain human behaviour—specifically the human condition. Given the plight of the world—which we humans are responsible for—the human condition is certainly the subject upon which all areas of science should be focused. As the Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson has said, ‘The human condition is the most important frontier of the natural sciences’ (Consilience, 1998, p.298).
However, in terms of understanding our peculiar ‘human condition’, I don’t believe the theories that have been put forward by mainstream biologists have succeeded in presenting a satisfactory, truly accountable explanation of it. In fact, I have become aware of two statements made by the great Australian biologist Charles Birch that I think accurately capture the stalled situation that has existed in biology, which are that ‘Biology has not made any real advance since Darwin’ (in recorded conversation with this author, 20 Mar. 1987), and ‘Biology right now awaits its Einstein in the realm of consciousness studies’ (ABC Radio National, Ockham’s Razor, 16 Apr. 1997). I say ‘has existed’ because I believe, as I’ve said on occasions elsewhere, that Jeremy Griffith’s biological treatise on the human condition does finally provide humanity with a truly accountable explanation of this most perplexing and important of subjects. The clarity with which he explains the grand concepts featured in this book alone is testament to this.
I must say I am so thrilled with Griffith’s explanation of the human condition that I am dedicated to promoting it wherever possible. As a psychiatrist I recognise that the impasse to finding this great breakthrough understanding of the human condition has been that the subjective issue of the human condition has been all but impossible for humans to think effectively about, but now that this great psychological denial blocking access to the truth about ourselves has finally been penetrated and understanding of ourselves found, the now long overdue psychological rehabilitation of the human race can finally occur. Again, as I have also said on numerous occasions, this is all so exciting—I am quite overwhelmed to be here on Earth when these REAL answers are finally established!
I cannot recommend strongly enough the understandings contained in this book, or in the more complete presentation that is provided in Griffith’s book FREEDOM.
Harry Prosen, M.D., M.Sc.
December 2011 (revised 2015)
Harry Prosen is a professor of psychiatry who has worked in the field for over 50 years, including chairing two departments of psychiatry and serving as president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association. Professor Prosen was recently appointed one of 500 Specially Selected Distinguished Life Fellows of the American Psychiatric Association. He is also psychiatric consultant to the Bonobo Species Preservation Society.