Matt Ridley’s book on social evolution gets panned

I have a good attitude about Ridley, who doesn’t go with the windy noise of the warmers.

However I don’t think that social and political evolution are a real thing.

People see evolution in phenomena that are just change.

Are we more socially and morally evolved than Aristotle and his students?

Smarter, more sophisticated, better?

I apologize for using the essay from The Guardian but the ideas promoted by Ridley don’t ring my bell.

I will skip my criticism of this obsession with Darwinism that is so important to the atheistic humanist secular left, except to say that Theodore Dalrymple did a pretty good take down of Neo Darwinism in his recent book Admirable Evasions.


2 responses to “Matt Ridley’s book on social evolution gets panned

  1. Not read the book, but I would disagree with your equating “more evolved” with “better” – the two are by no means the same. In fact, I think the whole concept of “more evolved” doesn’t really work for me. Evolution is about reproducing better under a certain set of circumstances and it goes on all the time. But since the circumstances are not fixed, there is every likelihood that whatever it is that has evolved (be it organism, social structure etc.) will be less successful in a different time/place where different circumstances apply.

    Adding “better”, “more” or any other adjective to “evolved” is applying a human value judgement to something which doesn’t really have any value.

    Are humans more ethical now than in previous times? Is our society better? These are value-laden opinions (that also depend upon circumstances to some extent), but the way we got there might be down to a concious effort on the part of humans or it might be due to an evolutionary “what reproduces better” method. There are arguments both sides, but evolution does not have to make things better in any abstract sense – only better at reproducing itself.

  2. I think you misunderstand the position of the social evolutionists–they do believe that ongoing social evolution is an improvement in the species. That’s because their political attitude is that new is better old is bad and needs to be trashed.

    Your measure of evolution as evidence of survival and reproductive success is not what they are about.

    So every political agenda that they have is laden with the social evolution canard.

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