The Evolution of Everything by Matt Ridley

The Evolution of Everything

The New York Times bestselling author of The Rational Optimist and Genome returns with a fascinating, brilliant argument for evolution that definitively dispels a dangerous, widespread myth: that we can command and control our world.The Evolution of Everything is about bottom-up order and its enemy, the top-down twitch—the endless fascination human beings have for design rather than evolution, for direction rather than emergence. Drawing on ane...

Details The Evolution of Everything

TitleThe Evolution of Everything
Release DateOct 27th, 2015
GenreScience, Nonfiction, History, Economics, Philosophy, Biology, Evolution, Psychology

Reviews The Evolution of Everything

  • ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
    Q: ... we may be extraordinarily lucky and vanishingly rare. (c)Overall fascinating. Somewhat simplistic and haphazard, since all kinds of things are demonstrated changing. Still, the author pulls it off with more than a bit of grace. He flutters between different concepts, managing to reveal just enough tantalizing glimpses from varied topics: from morality to universe to population to internet to genome to culture to leadership to personality t...
  • Riku Sayuj
    Dawkins fanboy tries to dress up an ideological book as a scientific one. Tries to show that Darwin's theory of evolution is just a byproduct or a specific version of the general theory of evolution proposed by Adam Smith about the emergent order that will prevail bottom-up in any free society of selfish actors. In the process ends up unwittingly using just another"skyhook" - that of benevolent evolution - throughout, by arguing endlessly that al...
  • Parker F
    I thought The Evolution of Everything was written by Matt Ridley--the one with a doctorate in zoology, the former science journalist from The Economist, the author of the well-researched Red Queen and Genome. Instead, the Matt Ridley who wrote the Evolution of Everything is a British aristocrat, bank chairman, and Conservative member of the House of Lords. Actually, these two Matt Ridleys are the same person, but the journalist Matt Ridley is a m...
  • Holly
    This satisfied my dilettantish wish to know something about everything. That's all. But it's not as if Ridley has done original scholarship, right? He is an acolyte of Richard Dawkins, and author of two books I never got around to but still feel as if I read (The Red Queen and Genome). He's a fan of Greenblatt's The Swerve and uses an epigraph from Lucretius's "De rerum natura" at the start of each chapter. Fine. He throws around Dennett's "skyho...
  • Matt Gough
    Matt Ridley has an interesting theory here, and there are a few parts of the book that really shine. For instance, his chapters on the emergence of life, genes, culture, and technology are well-supported by his research, and with those subjects he makes a compelling argument for bottom-up evolution. However, I thought the theory felt forced with the other subjects he chose to focus on, especially education, population, and the economy. When writi...
  • Alan Cook
    I have given a lot of books 5-star ratings, but this book stands out among them. I won't say it solves all the world's problems, but it certainly points to a lot of things that could be done better, which would improve the freedom and well being of the human race. The premise is that just about everything changes (and improves) by evolution in a bottom-up manner, rather than top-down by the action of somebody on high (such as God, the president, ...
  • Chris Jaffe
    I was on page 10 when I first got the feeling that author Matt Ridley might be completely full of shit. And he never gave me any reason to go back on that impression. I plowed through the book anyway, because I'm into completing things, but can't say I liked it.The part on page 10 that first set off my BS detector: Ridley writes about his discovery of Roman poet/philosopher Lucretius, Ridley fumes at his schoolmasters, "How could they have made m...
  • Steven Walle
    This was a very informative book. It is interesting to find out how new ideas are formed when they are most needed.I recommend this book to all.Enjoy andBe Blessed.
  • Book
    The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley “The Evolution of Everything" is a book on social Darwinism and it’s wide reaching effect from a libertarian perspective. It’s highly readable and provocative but misses the mark on two very important topics: climate change and the 2008 financial crisis. Well known journalist, scientist and educator; Matt Ridley, makes the persuasive case that evolution explains virtually all ...
  • Shaw
    Some sweeping over-generalizations in this book took away from my overall rating but this was still a very interesting book. Recommended with a few grains of salt.
  • Andrew Carr
    Evolution has always been a subversive idea. Order from chaos, progress without direction, design without a designer. But are humans the last word in natural evolution, or do their societies represent the evolution of evolution; from the biological to the ideational, cultural, and technological?This is the argument at the heart of The Evolution of Everything by the science writer Matt Ridley. Not only has life and the universe evolved, so do huma...
  • Jason Lockwood
    Some people love Matt Ridley and some people hate him. Whatever your point of view, there's no mistaking that he gets people thinking and challenging assumptions. In his latest book, he gets us all reconsidering the notion that people and societies progress due to a top-down approach. Whether it's politicians who take (or are given) credit for economic progress or CEOs who are viewed as the only source of a company's success, Ridley provides ampl...
  • David
    Matt Ridley produces another libertarian classic, to match his earlier The Rational Optimist, with The Evolution of Everything. Taking evolution out of the strictly biological and to the cultural, technological, political, and about every other arena of human endeavor. What interests him particularly is exposing the creationism of the Left and government. By creationism is meant top down planning rather than a creator god. Mr. Ridley argues the c...
  • James
    Interesting walk in the park of history and evolution. There were a couple of ideas thrown in throughout the book that I found intriguing in that he proposed a new way to look at how things evolved (ex. history of religion). The other part of this book was the tie in with Titus Lucretius Carus. Most chapters seem to start with a reflection of one segment from Lucretius's De rerum natura. Written almost 2000 years ago, I will agree that many ideas...
  • D.L. Morrese
    The following is a rather lengthy review. I'd apologize for that, but some things just need a bit more explaining than others.People have a natural tendency to seek agency. If something momentous happens, then someone must have caused it. If something complex exists, someone obviously designed and built it. But this natural human way of looking at things leads to unwarranted assumptions. No one, for example, planned the evolution of life.Ridley e...
  • Peter Tillman
    Matt Ridley, The Evolution of EverythingAn important book, if somewhat scattershot. Ridley prefers things to be done from the bottom up, instead of from the top down, and so do I. But. Even though I’m sympathetic to what he’s writing, he does get carried away at times. But he’s likely right, and almost always interesting. And he’s done his homework. From my notes:Thomas Malthus’s evil legacy: A million people dead from the Irish famines...
  • Raghu
    Charles Darwin stated in his theory of biological evolution that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. This happens through a process of trial and error whereby beneficial variations are favored and injurious ones discarded. Author Ridley calls this the 'Special theory of Evolution' and goes on to extend it ...
  • Masoud
    The book is making the point that through the incremental changes or with a lot of trial and error in history, all aspects of modern society such as morality, economy, language, cities, education, government, etc. have been developed. Instead of our obsession with designing changes from above, the theory of evolution should be embraced. EVERYTHING EVOLVES!P.S. If you have some basic studies in evolution and the history of civilization, the book c...
  • Richard
    These 3 quotes really sum this book up quite well:“For far too long we have underestimated the power of spontaneous, organic and constructive change driven from below, in our obsession with designing change from above. Embrace the general theory of evolution. Admit that everything evolves."“But if there is one dominant myth about the world, one huge mistake we all make, one blind spot, it is that we all go around assuming the world is much mo...
  • Steve
    This was interesting for a while, until Ridley took off his scholarly hat and put on the Libertarian one. I don't have the background to make a judgment on his application of Darwin's ideas in realms other than evolution in the natural world, but when he says, for example, that evolution as it manifests itself in the family is largely a matter of biology and parental behavior has little, if any, effect in how the children turn out, my suspicions ...
  • Omar Essawi
    Brilliant. Distinguishing between a special and general theory of evolution. The latter of which applies to everything beyond genetics. Building on Dennett's "crane" and "skyhook" idea to explain how things evolve as bottom up (crane) phenomena as oppose to top down (skyhook) phenomena. Very well written, and although it is actually quite common sensical, it provides a very well rounded explanation putting the idea in to perspective. In addition ...
  • Simon Mcleish
    While there are many interesting ideas, points and quotes in this book, I found it frustrating and unconvincing. While it is apparently about how evolution works in a number of settings, essentially those of complex emergent systems, much of it uses that as the basis for an attack on any form of control or management of these systems - it's a libertarian manifesto in all but name.I have a fair number of issues with the book. First, and fundamenta...
  • Manu
    For a while now, I have believed that Darwin's theory of evolution is the most paradigm-shifting idea to have emerged from a human mind. On a related thought journey, I have also shifted from determinism to free will and back to determinism, all in a few years. This book connects both these thoughts, and is fundamentally an argument for evolution and against creationism. It argues that change is incremental and emergent and has a momentum all of ...
  • Rodrigo Aragão
    Simply amazing. Mind blowing.
  • John
    I struggled with this book. I found myself in total disagreement with the author in some chapters and cheering his points in others. Ridley does not fit into our standard left/right or liberal/conservative viewpoints, and he tackles enough controversial topics just about everyone is bound to find something to disagree with. I think it can generate hours of discussion and recommend it to anyone looking for a good book club read or anyone intereste...
  • Lynn
    Today's post is on The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley. It is 368 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. The cover is red with the title in bold white. The intended reader is someone who is interested in history, evolution and social science. There is no language, no sex, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.From the back of the book- The New York Times bestselling author of The Rational Optimi...
  • Nina
    Written by a smug, British libertarian atheist, I gave the book 4 stars for being very thought provoking, not because I agreed with everything in it. And he started off annoying me by using "inexorable" 6 times in the first six pages and sprinkling it liberally throughout the book. Get a thesaurus! I found the chapters on the evolution of personality, education, money, and the internet most interesting. However, like many ultra-conservatives, he ...
  • Alex MacMillan
    While I enjoyed this book, but it was inevitably a letdown compared to The Rational Optimist, one of my favorites. This partial-sequel to The Rational Optimist has a weaker unifying theme - people have a bias towards neglecting bottom-up phenomena - connecting the topical hodge podge of chapters. This could have been split into two separate books with more descriptive explorations - one on how emergent phenomena impact individuals & the natural s...
  • Leanne
    This book is killing me! The author tackles too many topics too shallowly. Also there are a ton of thinly-veiled promos for libertarianism when this did not appear to be a political book at first glance. Each chapter describes how the author has brilliantly solved a complicated policy or philosophy problem in 20 pages or less. Free will: does not exist. You're welcome! Religion: is for babies! Next topic, please! Even when he says things I agree ...
  • Kweetat Chew
    Do yourself a favor and get this book. Ridley stitches together various topics in this condensed book of evolution by traversing broad swaths of history, a feat that'll ensure an "aha" moment every single paragraph! Evolution is all about ground-up changes, not reliant on a super controller skyhook, man in the sky or elsewhere. Ridley traces Darwin's theory of evolution, which he calls Special Theory of Evolution and makes his case why this same ...