Summary of The Evolution of Everything

Looking for the video?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

The Evolution of Everything summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans


8 Overall

7 Importance

9 Innovation

9 Style


Throughout history, society has extolled the inventors and innovators who make new discoveries. But science journalist Matt Ridley believes adulation for revered creators such as Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein is overblown. He discusses how all ideas and technologies, much like languages, evolve organically from the bottom up in an unplanned, incremental way, and he minimizes individuals’ role in progress. getAbstract recommends Ridley’s lively contrarian presentation to anyone interested in the processes of idea creation, discovery and evolution.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How evolutionary change works,
  • Why the principle of evolution applies to much more than nature and biology, and
  • How technology moves at its own pace.

About the Speaker

Science journalist Matt Ridley, a peer in the British House of Lords, wrote Genome and The Rational Optimist.



Some 200 years ago, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace hypothesized about a bottom-up process of natural selection. Their theory of evolution is now established thinking, and though it applies to a broad spectrum of fields beyond biology, society still makes the “creationist mistake” of crediting humans for evolutionary progress. For instance, humans created language, yet no single person is responsible. Rather, language emerges organically and incrementally through trial and error. Similarly, the Internet emerged spontaneously once computer-enabled “peer-to-peer interaction” became possible...

More on this topic

By the same author

The Evolution of Everything
The Rational Optimist
When Ideas Have Sex

Customers who read this summary also read

How LIGO Discovered Gravitational Waves — and What Might Be Next
To Design Better Tech, Understand Context
The Rapid Growth of the Chinese Internet – and Where It’s Headed
A Pro-Wrestler’s Guide to Confidence
Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule
Innovating Better and Faster

Related Channels

Comment on this summary