The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

Matt Ridley. Harper, $28.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-229600-9
Working from the idea that evolution is “happening all around us” and is “the best way of understanding how the human world changes, as well as the natural world,” Ridley (The Rational Optimist) looks at how numerous facets of society and nature develop and change over time. “Evolution is far more common, and far more influential, than most people recognize,” he says. The book’s primary argument is that, more often than not, there is no rational mind or organized decision-making behind the development of common concepts or widespread phenomena, but an unconscious reaction to an immense variety of factors. “The genome has no master gene, the brain has no command center, the English language has no director, the economy has no chief executive,” he states. Ridley observes this principle in culture, government, and technology. There’s a lot of information to work through, but the reasoning is sound and arguments are well-supported with historical precedent and general observation. While the premise may not sit well with everyone, Ridley provides enough evidence to support his claims and generate no shortage of debate. Agent: Peter Ginsberg, Curtis Brown. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 07/06/2015
Release date: 10/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-242128-9
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-229602-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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