Jeremy Griffith

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Jeremy Griffith (born 1945) is an Australian biologist and author on the subject of the human condition. He first became known to the general public for his comprehensive search for the Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine conducted from 1967 to 1973.[1] His search is considered the most intensive ever carried out,[2] and included exhaustive surveys along Tasmania's west coast;[1] installation of automatic camera stations; prompt investigations of claimed sightings;[3] and in 1972 the creation of the Thylacine Expeditionary Research Team with Dr Bob Brown, which concluded without finding any evidence of the thylacine's existence.[2]

Griffith was educated at Tudor House School in New South Wales and the Geelong Grammar School in Victoria. Griffith described his schooling at Geelong Grammar, under the headmastership of the renowned Australian educator James Darling, as one of the important formative influences in his life.[4] A biology graduate of the University of Sydney, Griffith began writing on the human condition in 1975, publishing the first of his six books on the subject in 1988.[5] The best known of his publications, A Species In Denial (2003), became a bestseller in Australia and New Zealand.[6] Each of Griffith’s published works is grounded in his grand narrative explanation of human nature. His work is multi-disciplinary, drawing from the physical sciences, biology, anthropology and primatology together with philosophy, psychology and psychiatry. He cites thinkers drawn from varied backgrounds and eras, from Socrates, Plato and Christ, through to more contemporary philosophers and scientists such as Charles Darwin, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Eugene Marais, Louis Leakey, Laurens van der Post and R.D. Laing.[4][7]

His biological works on the origins of human nature have generated interest and debate in both scientific and general communities for more than two decades.[8] The Templeton Prize winner and biologist Charles Birch, the New Zealand zoologist Professor John Edward Morton, the former President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association Professor Harry Prosen and the Australian Everest mountaineer Tim Macartney-Snape have been among the long standing proponents of Griffith’s ideas. Morton publicly defended Griffith when he and his ideas were attacked in the mid-1990s.[9]

The World Transformation Movement[edit]

The World Transformation Movement was founded by Griffith in 1983, as the Centre for Humanity’s Adulthood, an organisation dedicated to developing and promoting understanding of the human condition. It was incorporated in 1990 with Griffith and his colleague Tim Macartney-Snape among its founding directors and became a registered charity in New South Wales in 1991 known as the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood. In 2009, the organisation became the World Transformation Movement.[10]

In 1995, Griffith, Macartney-Snape and the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood (as the World Transformation Movement was then known) were the subject of an Australian Broadcasting Corporation Four Corners program[11] and a Sydney Morning Herald newspaper article. The publications became the subject of long running defamation actions in the NSW Supreme Court and were found to be defamatory.[12][13] In 2007, the ABC was ordered to pay Macartney-Snape almost $500,000 in damages, and with costs the payout was expected to exceed $1 million.[13] The proceedings against the Herald were resolved when it published an apology to the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood (World Transformation Movement) in 2009.[14] Although Griffith was not awarded damages in relation to the Four Corners broadcast, on appeal in 2010 the NSW Court of Appeal found what was said of Griffith was untrue.[15]

Selected bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Griffith, Jeremy (December 1972). "The Search for the Tasmanian Tiger". Natural History (American Museum of Natural History) (81): 70–77. 
  2. ^ a b Park, Andy (July 1986). "Tasmanian Tiger- Extinct or merely elusive?". Australian Geographic 1 (3): 66–83. 
  3. ^ Robert Paddle (2000). The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Cambridge University Press. p. 197. ISBN 0-521-53154-3. 
  4. ^ a b Griffith, Jeremy (2003). A Species in Denial. WTM Publishing & Communications Pty Ltd. p. 528. ISBN 978-1-74129-001-1. 
  5. ^ Griffith, Jeremy (1988). Free: The End of the Human Condition. WTM Publishing & Communications Pty Ltd. p. 228. ISBN 0-7316-0495-4. 
  6. ^ "Amazon.com". 
  7. ^ Griffith, Jeremy (1991). Beyond the Human Condition. WTM Publishing & Communications Pty Ltd. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-646-03994-7. 
  8. ^ See for example:
  9. ^ Fray, Peter. "7 Days: Religion". The Sydney Morning Herald. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Description of the WTM". World Transformation Movement. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Luck, Geoffrey (November 2012). "The Hubris of Four Corners". Quadrant LVI (11). Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Kux, Y.C. (29 September 2005). "Jeremy Griffith & Ors v John Fairfax Publications Pty Ltd and David Millikan". Gazette of Law & Journalism. 
  13. ^ a b Drummond, Andrew (1 August 2008). "Half-million payout for ABC defamation". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Apology". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 June 2009. 
  15. ^ "Court of Appeal overturns finding of truth regarding biologist Jeremy Griffith’s treatise on the human condition". The Australian. 16 December 2010.