By Alex Smith: Radio Ecoshock interview with Ajit Varki


I am a fan of Ajit Varki and his revolutionary theory that explains the singular emergence of a species with an extended theory of mind, the uniqueness of humans, as well as human optimism bias and denial of reality.

I consider Varki’s theory to be of similar importance to Darwin’s theory.

Radio Ecoshock is the best (and maybe only) weekly podcast that interviews experts on climate change and related issues. I suggested to the host, Alex Smith, that he interview Ajit Varki because I think it is important that we try to awaken our society from its deep state of denial on many important issues.

I am very pleased to report that Alex Smith interviewed Ajit Varki this week.

Congratulations and thanks to both Alex Smith and Ajit Varki for a fabulous interview that is even better than I had hoped for.

Alex Smith said to me:

“The man’s a genius. In addition to being one of America’s top medical researchers, he’s totally aware of the climate threat.”

As of this writing, I am the only amateur enthusiast of Varki’s theory on the planet that I am aware of. I’m hoping this interview might locate a few companions.

Here is the interview with Ajit Varki and an excellent essay by Alex Smith introducing it:

3 thoughts on “By Alex Smith: Radio Ecoshock interview with Ajit Varki”

  1. Dear Rob: thanks so much for the kind comments about/interest in the book and the Mind over Reality theory. As you can tell from reading the introductory chapter, this difficult project was not one I intended to take on at this stage in my life. For this reason, the book is not as well written as it could have been, and can be heavy going in some chapters. As you can see from my titles below, I also wear many hats and I’ve had difficulty finding the extra time and energy to actively propagate the novel concepts in the book. But I am glad you understand that this is of high potential relevance to the future of humankind. Therefore I’m relying on enthusiasts like you to spread the word. If someone wants to cut to the chase and get to the meat of the underlying theory, they can read in order, the Intro, the Coda and then Chapters 12 and 13. I am of course interested to know if anyone comes across any fatal flaw in the theory, or can think of any ways to rigorously confirm or formally falsify it. Since I wrote the book I have also come to believe that this cognitive transition is the most likely answer to the question posed in the title below.

    Varki, A.: Why are there no persisting hybrids of humans with Denisovans, Neanderthals, or anyone else? Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 10.1073/pnas.1602270113. 2016.

    FYI, I will be giving a public talk about the theory in March, which would be live streamed and later archived

    Thanks again, Ajit

    Ajit Varki
    Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Cellular & Molecular Medicine
    Co-Director, UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA)
    Co-Director, Glycobiology Research and Training Center (GRTC)
    University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0687.
    Adjunct Professor, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
    Executive Editor,”Essentials of Glycobiology”


  2. I am absolutely gob-smacked at the lack of responses – I only discovered this material this morning – for me – you are talking to the converted .. but denial of denial is definitely an ide-fix in this culture .. and not just climate!


    1. I think it’s because those who visit this and similar sites are not surprised at all by what he has to say – just like you. It’s so inherent in so many human beings that it’s probably unchangeable.


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