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Media Reviews & Feedback

The Newcastle Herald newspaper

4 July 1992, review by Bron Sibree.

‘Jeremy Griffith, biologist and author…expansive in vision…He admits that many mistake his enthusiasm for arrogance…Griffith has amassed some pretty heavy interest and support…Among those lending weight are Ilya Prigogine, the Russian born winner of the 1977 Nobel Prize for chemistry [in Professor Prigogine’s response to Beyond he asked that his commendation not be used in publicity; however, it is a necessary inclusion here in the context of this review], and prizewinning British physicist Paul Davies. [Note: Professor Davies publicly rescinded his commendation in August 1995. He was the only commendation-giver to do this.]

Beyond The Human Condition is a fusion of a number of disciplines. It is an attempt to bring together science and theology. It is a recognition that there is development in the order of matter: heresy for a biologist…Although his work places him in the more provocative holistic ranks of scientific thought, as opposed to the mainstream mechanistic view, he maintains his book is a defence of mechanistic science. Holism in science has been a contentious issue for a decade. It allows the idea that there is goal-directed change as opposed to random change…To even begin to grasp the full impact of what Mr Griffith is saying, requires a radical shift in thinking…He candidly concedes that his work is confronting to established thought…“This is a shock to the system.”’

Swara

East African Wildlife Society magazine, March/April 1993, review by Doug Rigby.

‘On 29 Sept 1992, Jeremy Griffith presented his new book, Beyond The Human Condition, at a special Kenya Museum Society lecture. Once in a long while you come across an “aha” book. Every few pages of Jeremy Griffith’s biological synthesis of human behaviour stretching back millions of years, I found myself, a scientific layman, saying, “aha, that makes sense!”’

Portfolio

Executive women’s magazine, Aug. 1990.

‘Elaine Briggs press officer with David Jones in Sydney, found Free: The End of The Human Condition by Jeremy Griffith one of the most confrontational books she’s ever read. “...It is a book which touches the core of our existence, probing and forcing the reader to address the human condition — why we are who we are. Highly recommended for those who choose to ask that question.”’

Sydney University Gazette

Sydney University Graduate Magazine, Dec. 1988, review by Jo Knowsley.

‘[Jeremy Griffith’s] concept is revolutionary because it reverses the process assumed by most scientists who are still searching history to discover when man developed a soul…his book is worth reading.’

Arena

Macquarie University Student Newspaper, May 1989, review by Janice Williams.

‘After years of reading scientific reports and heavy, analytic, academic texts at Uni, it’s refreshing to find something that is pure original thought…[This] is an excellent book, and despite its complexity, is easy to grasp…[the] ideas are so simple, and make such good sense, you’ll wonder why you didn’t put them to paper yourself. The reason why most of us wouldn’t write such a book, along with all the other questions and problems faced by humanity are answered in Free: The End of The Human Condition…In tracing all our environmental, social and political problems back to basic human psychology, Griffith provides a new way of looking at the world…His ideas are in a class of their own.’

Response from senior national newspaper journalist

‘I’ve looked at your book but I’m unable to review it because its subject is too daunting.’ (Journalist Jane Frazer in 1991 after she had been asked to review Jeremy Griffith’s book by her literary editor at The Australian newspaper.)

The New Zealand Herald newspaper

10 June 1992, review by Rowan Dodds.

‘He has been hailed as a prophet. His theories reconcile science and religion, idealism and realism, good and evil, holism and mechanism, instinct and intellect…His book Beyond The Human Condition…quotes freely from the Bible, Sir Laurens van der Post, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Richard Leakey, Bob Dylan, Eugene Marais, Einstein, Olive Schreiner and Dian Fossey, along with a host of other sources. It also draws on practical anthropological and zoological studies to explain our self-destructive behaviour…Despite the biblical illustrations, Griffith’s philosophy is free from religious cant. It explains how the Green and New Age movements contain portions of the truth, and offers rational and logical answers. Chanting mantras or the wearing of saffron robes is not required…

A final analogy—fitting when Griffith is a former rugby player who once made the Wallaby trials—is that for the last two million years mankind has been playing a ferocious football game with no purpose, rules or result. Many of us are so exhausted and embattled from being at the bottom of the scrum that we have lost our ideals. Now Griffith is offering to blow the final whistle and send us to the showers.’

The Canadian Journal Edges

Review of Free in 1988, Vol 1, No.3, by Brian Griffith.

‘His [Griffith’s] grasp of biology and physics places him in the tradition of Teilhard de Chardin and Ilya Prigogine. But he goes beyond this…proclaiming that all our past divisive behaviour was a necessary phase of “human adolescence”.’

Southern Crossings, alternative lifestyle magazine

Oct-Nov. 1988, review by Patti Burke.

‘[Free] raised in me a thousand questions of the variety: “how can he make such a categorical statement about such and such—where’s his evidence for it?” etc, etc. I suggest you persevere, “suspend your disbelief” for a few hours, and read this book—it could have much to say to many of us—especially those interested in the life sciences. No, Griffith makes no attempt to “explain away” altruism, love and integrated behaviour. On the contrary his aim is to champion these.’

The West Australian newspaper

4 April 1992, review by Mark Thornton.

‘The closer we get to the edge of existence the more we appear to need to explain where we have been—presumably in the hope it will show us where we are going. Out of the horror have emerged seers and philosophers offering solace to anyone tormented by the idea that the world has become too complex for us to deal with. Many of these are charlatans …Fortunately, there are also some thinkers of such stature that their thoughts may genuinely change the way of the world. With his new book Jeremy Griffith is seeking to join these ranks…like many significant works, it [Beyond] prompts responses from the reader like “why didn’t I think of that?”…It is a bold and inspiring work.’

Geelong Advertiser newspaper

25 Aug. 1988, review by Dr John Champness of Deakin University.

‘The content is a rare combination of philosophy, comparative religion, biology and very genuine reflection on the state of mankind and womankind...It examines, too, the conflict between conscience and intellect—the biological reasons and effects, and the guilt this brought on us as we developed the concepts of “good” and “evil”...Importantly, the author examines why the “war” between the sexes developed during humanity’s “adolescence” and how this understanding of the necessary “growing up” can free us.’

Executive Woman’s Report magazine

12 May 1988, review by Macushla O’Loan.

‘Was Jeremy Griffith struck by lightning on the road to Damascus...Such was my cynicism reading the summary..Then whack! Wham! Reading on [in Free: The End of The Human Condition] I was increasingly impressed and then converted by his erudite explanation for society’s competitive and self-destructive behaviour. His is not a band-aid cure for mankind’s sickness but a profound thinking through to the biological cause of the illness.’