Rational Optimist and Evolving Economics



Hat tip to Perfect Health Diet for recently pointing me towards a great blog Evolving Economics by Jason Collins.

I was poking around and noticed this great review of Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist. I started reading it a few months ago and need to pick it up again. Sometimes it’s hard to be full on about a book when you feel like it’s something you are absolutely going to love and agree with (i.e. what’s the point of reading it). Nice to see some criticism of the content from someone with an intelligent opinion, that ultimately enjoyed the book.

Anyway I’m really enjoying the reading from this site. It has a good pace of posts (1 every 3-4 days) IMO. Some comparable blogs like john hawks weblog have such a volume of posts that even though they are all thought provoking sometimes I can’t keep up. Kind of like The Economist subscription that I loved when I was younger but who can (or wants to) read a publication cover to cover? There are so many authors I can read directly now that are the cream of my filtered crop.

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‘What Darwin Said’ is great reading



A post called “What Darwin said – and was he right?” was posted on GNXP.com a while back.  I put it aside but finally got around to reading through it and have to say it is such a great read.  Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in evolutionary ideas.  The author breaks down Darwin’s ideas as judged from all his writings and then on each concept he gives an assessment of how well his ideas have stood up to modern scientific findings.  I really like where he highlights the changes between editions of Darwin’s books, especially Origin of Species.  One interesting example is with regards to the origin of life:

In the first edition of the Origin Darwin referred to a ‘primordial form, into which life was first breathed’. In the second and later editions he added the words ‘by the Creator’. He later regretted ‘truckling to public opinion’ in using such terminology, and said in a letter of 1863 ‘I really meant “appeared” by some wholly unknown process. It is mere rubbish, thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter’ (Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, ed. Francis Darwin, vol.3, p.18)

Lots more good stuff.

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