Book review: The Evolution Of Everything: How Ideas Emerge

EVOLUTION is not just confined to the species; according to Matt Ridley’s account, it is happening all around us.

Matt Ridley

Fourth Estate, €13.50; ebook, €24.71

Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, likes turning conventional wisdom on its head and in this book argues that top-down control is never as effective as bottoms up, evolving change.

On economic matters, Adam Smith is championed over Marx, population control of China’s one-child policy passionately dismissed in favour of natural population growth, and many cultural norms including marriage, money, religion and technological innovation are portrayed as being evolutionary practices, not delivered by great men or human top-down systems.

The politics is libertarian; reading from European perspective, positing a private alternative to state health services or voicing climate change scepticism certainly offers an alternative voice to some broad consensus views.


Lifestyle

Some readers have been in touch about the movement of frogs, which is timely as these fascinating creatures now emerge from hibernation.Donal Hickey: Time for frog-spotting

A very short drive from Kinsale lies an island that is the international focal point for a tough breed of people.Islands of Ireland: In the swim of things at Sandy Cove Island

'Myrtle, your hair is on fire,' an alarmed guest exclaimed as Myrtle’s fringe went up in flames while she was enthusiastically flambéing crêpes beside their table.Darina Allen: The best recipes to get you ready for Pancake Tuesday

Paul McLauchlan meets Nicholas HoultThe kid from About A Boy is now the face of Armani

More From The Irish Examiner