Download The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge Audiobook

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge Audiobook, by Matt Ridley Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Matt Ridley Narrator: Steven Crossley Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2015 ISBN: 9780062421289
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mr. Ridley’s best and most important work to date…There is something profoundly democratic and egalitarian—even anti-elitist—in this bottom-up approach: Everyone can have a role in bringing about change.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A fascinating work…The way the book frames the argument is delightfully novel…Ridley has amassed such a weight of fascinating evidence and anecdote that the pages fly by.”

    Times (London)

  • “A highly intelligent and bracingly iconoclastic view of the world. It forces us to see life through new eyes.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Exceptionally easy to read, easy to understand, easy to appreciate.”

    Washington Times

  • “Highly readable, invariably interesting…Ridley’s laudable aim is to disenthrall us of our intuitive creationism and make us see evolution at work everywhere.”

    New Scientist

  • “Fascinating essays backed by a mixture of good evidence and personal philosophy…Provides a wild ride, almost too thought-provoking to read for long stretches but difficult to put down.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “The reasoning is sound and arguments are well-supported with historical precedent and general observation…Ridley provides enough evidence to support his claims and generate no shortage of debate.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Readers of evolutionary theory, sociology, history, anthropology, and philosophy shall be highly entertained by this thought-provoking read.”

    Library Journal

  • “Narrator Steven Crossley reads in a precise, cultured tone that conveys the scholarship behind Ridley’s expansive work…Crossley is called upon to provide accurate pronunciations of names and technical terms from a variety of fields as well as quotations in a variety of languages. He delivers on those challenges, and his calm, even voice provides a perfect medium for Ridley’s explanations of how new ideas evolve.”


  • “Building on the timeless insights of Lucretius, Ridley examines how civilization inexorably organizes itself. Wrong-headed social theories, he and Lucretius agree, just get in the way.”

    Stewart Brand, author, Whole Earth Discipline

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A New York Times Bestseller

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About the Author

Matt Ridley’s books have been short-listed for six literary awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His book The Agile Gene: How Nature Turns on Nurture won the award for the best science book published in 2003 from the National Academies of Science. He has been a scientist, a journalist, and a national newspaper columnist, and he is the chairman of the International Centre for Life in Newcastle, England. He is also a visiting professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.

About the Narrator

Steven Crossley, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, has built a career on both sides of the Atlantic as an actor and audiobook narrator, for which he has won more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a nominee for the prestigious Audie Award. He is a member of the internationally renowned theater company Complicite and has appeared in numerous theater, television, film, and radio dramas.