The Evolution of Everything

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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 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.

Although we neglect, defy and ignore them, bottom-up trends shape the world. The growth of technology, the sanitation-driven health revolution, the quadrupling of farm yields so that more land can be released for nature—these were largely emergent phenomena, as were the Internet, the mobile phone revolution, and the rise of Asia. Ridley demolishes the arguments for design and effectively makes the case for evolution in the universe, morality, genes, the economy, culture, technology, the mind, personality, population, education, history, government, God, money, and the future.

As compelling as it is controversial, authoritative as it is ambitious, Ridley’s stunning perspective will revolutionize the way we think about our world and how it works.


  • 001_The Evolution Of Everything_introharper

    Duration: 08s
  • 002_The Evolution Of Everything_Prologue

    Duration: 13min
  • 003_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_01

    Duration: 34min
  • 004_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_02

    Duration: 38min
  • 005_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_03

    Duration: 53min
  • 006_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_04

    Duration: 42min
  • 007_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_05

    Duration: 50min
  • 008_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_06

    Duration: 54min
  • 009_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_07

    Duration: 55min
  • 010_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_08

    Duration: 35min
  • 011_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_09

    Duration: 46min
  • 012_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_10

    Duration: 47min
  • 013_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_11

    Duration: 55min
  • 014_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_12

    Duration: 46min
  • 015_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_13

    Duration: 53min
  • 016_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_14

    Duration: 53min
  • 017_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_15

    Duration: 53min
  • 018_The Evolution Of Everything_Chapter_16

    Duration: 45min
  • 019_The Evolution Of Everything_Epilogue

    Duration: 08min
  • 020_The Evolution Of Everything_outroharper

    Duration: 31s
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