The Evolution of Everything

How New Ideas Emerge (2015.10)


关于本书 About the book

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 anecdotes from science, economics, history, politics and philosophy, Matt Ridley’s wide-ranging, highly opinionated opus demolishes conventional assumptions that major scientific and social imperatives are dictated by those on high, whether in government, business, academia, or morality.

On the contrary, our most important achievements develop from the bottom up. Patterns emerge, trends evolve. Just as skeins of geese form Vs in the sky without meaning to, and termites build mud cathedrals without architects, so brains take shape without brain-makers, learning can happen without teaching and morality changes without a plan.

本书金句 Key insights

● The history of Western thought has been dominated by a creationist mode of thinking. That is, explaining the world through design and planning.

● However, it was Charles Darwin who eliminated creationism from biology and replaced it with a theory of evolution through natural selection.

● Evolution is inevitable in any system where information is transmitted with a degree of randomness, such as the genetic information in our DNA that we pass on to our children or the cultural information we impart to them when we raise them.

● Innovation evolves on its own, rather than being created by a handful of powerful people.

● In fact, money was once free to develop much in the way the internet does today.