The Nile River, the well- known, biblically significant, Egyptian waterway is said to flow geographically in two directions; its boundaries, however, are confined to that Middle Eastern Country. The river’s unrelated homonym, “denial” (my apologies) is by significant contrast, ubiquitous and possibly universal.

The noun “denial,” for example, is understandably employed to describe a common reaction to the sudden receipt of tragic news, prior to the gradual, sad process of acceptance of the loss, which slowly evolves later in time.

Denial also encompasses a refusal to overindulge, accept a foolhardy challenge, the rejection of an offer, the opting of a Spartan life for religious or philosophical reasons, and is always of elective service.

However, the focus of this note is a search for some insight into the basis for the adamant denial of empirically proven phenomena, most particularly, by literate and intelligent people, many of whom, by contrast, appear readily open to acceptance and retention of matters of irrational preconception.

Such adamant denial of empirically demonstrated phenomena, most especially, by literate and intelligent people, can indeed be puzzling. Our working hypothesis is that the acknowledgement of certain objective and demonstrative advances in knowledge might present a challenge to one’s socially inherited and long- held fundamental belief system; the latter being a defining ingredient in one’s the temporal identity.

A review of ancient history reveals that until the middle of the 17th Century, the universally accepted understanding was, consistent with the religious dogma of the time, that man was the center of the universe and that, accordingly, the Sun travelled around his Earth; those who chose to dissent from this belief, suffered the severe sanctions of heresy. The ultimate acceptance of the heliocentric functioning of the solar system put an end to such traditionally borne ignorance and to its denial of reality.

Even today, many self-described, “informed” people, when presented with newly discovered reality, will reflexively militate against its acceptance in favor of adherence to some earlier, often disproven, traditional belief. The ancient French expression, “Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose,” despite its contextual reference to royal governance, has meaningful application here as well.

Literate people who choose to deny the evolutionary history of our planet and its inhabitants {contrary to ultimate geological, biological, anthropological and biological validation} seem to persist in lichen- like adhesion to their life-long, social and religious belief in a narrative called “creationism.” According to such story, the Deity fashioned the world and all its inhabitants in the space of less than one week, and just in good time for a week-end rest. We are able, once more, to observe that even in the present era, adherence to traditional, supernatural belief, in many quarters, overrides reason. It is known that for many centuries man believed in a flat earth and in the actual existence of witches, demons and hobgoblins. There is much disappointment and frustration in the realization that the phenomenon of antediluvian transmission of dark- age dogma appears to subsist in the human psyche.

However, we would charge that the denial of man’s participation in climate damage is materially distinguishable from all other instances of the denial of evident facts; it presents a “hybrid” varietal of that ageless poison ivy bush of denial. One predictable parent of this hybrid denial is the human weakness discussed above, the fearful adhesion to older and familiar (disproven) assumptions. Added to this exemplar of tragically stunted growth, are the many sociopaths, cognizant of the truth, who shamelessly and despicably, value short-term profits as having a higher priority than the proper condition of our planet and the life and health of its inhabitants.




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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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