The Evolution of Everything: How Selection Shapes Culture, Commerce, and Nature

The Evolution of Everything: How Selection Shapes Culture, Commerce, and Nature

5.0 3
by Mark Sumner
     
 

Over a century ago, the Social Darwinists appropriated Darwin's name but left most of his theory behind. The Evolution of Everything describes the struggles behind Darwin's theory of evolution and the schemes of those who misapplied it.  It also shows why a more nuanced reading of that work—especially the concept of selective pressures—helps

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Overview

Over a century ago, the Social Darwinists appropriated Darwin's name but left most of his theory behind. The Evolution of Everything describes the struggles behind Darwin's theory of evolution and the schemes of those who misapplied it.  It also shows why a more nuanced reading of that work—especially the concept of selective pressures—helps us understand many natural, social, and economic processes.    

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite its impressive title, Sumner's book is merely assorted musings linked to a review of Darwin's theory of evolution. The strange project that science fiction writer (Devil's Tower) and Daily Kos contributing editor Sumner sets for himself is to take evolution “out of the box and see what it can do.” Hasn't plenty been done with it already? Not for Sumner, who says it applies “to everything around us, from our cars and computers to our phones and food.” He surveys Herbert Spencer's economic application in Social Darwinism, Haeckel's Aryanism, and Francis Galton's eugenics, and finds them misbegotten and dangerous. Nothing new there. But Sumner's own applications of the evolutionary concept of selection to economics and culture are amateurish and not well argued. He says that phyletic gradualism can explain how a local Sears evolved to survive against a new Wal-Mart; similarly, he says gadget designers match form to function just like nature does, and genetic diversity in crops like bananas and corn is as important as genetic diversity in humans. But Sumner's main purpose appears to be a defense of Darwin from those who misinterpret him—a project carried out many times by far more qualified writers. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780982417164
Publisher:
PoliPointPress, LLC
Publication date:
05/15/2010
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
1,420,113
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Mark Sumner has written over three-dozen novels, several ghost-written under other names.  He has been a contributing editor for DailyKos.com since 2006. His book, Devil's Tower, was nominated for both the Nebula Award and the World Fantasy Award.  He is the author of a series of mystery novels that focus on a tabloid newsroom. These “News from the Edge” books became the basis of the television series, The Chronicle, which ran on the Sci Fi Channel after initially being piloted on NBC. Sumner has written over 50 short stories and many articles. He was the "Games and Gadgets" columnist for Sovereign Media.  His articles have been published in The Nation, and he has appeared on NPR and the BBC.

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