Matt Ridley Quotes

Who is Matt Ridley?

Matthew White Ridley, 5th Viscount Ridley, is a British journalist and businessman.

He is known for his scientific books 'The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature', 'Genome: the Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters' and 'The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves'.

Born February 07, 1958

Books by Matt Ridley


Best 51 Quotes by Matt Ridley | Page 1 of 2

Genome Quotes

“A true scientist is bored by knowledge; it is the assault on ignorance that motivates him – the mysteries that previous discoveries have revealed.”

Genome

“Ecology, like genetics, is not about equilibrium states. It is about change, change and change. Nothing stays the same forever.”

Genome

“Few debates in the history of science have been conducted with such stupidity as the one about intelligence.”

Genome

“In a massive, long-term study of 17,000 civil servants, an almost unbelievable conclusion emerged: the status of a person's job was more likely to predict their likelihood of a heart attack than obesity, smoking or high blood pressure.”

Genome

“Simple determinism, whether of the genetic or environmental kind, is a depressing prospect for those with a fondness for free will.”

Genome

“Simplicity piled upon simplicity creates complexity.”

Genome

“Stress can alter the expression of genes, which can affect the response to stress and so on. Human behavior is therefore unpredictable in the short term, but broadly predictable in the long term.”

Genome

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“The evidence, from twin studies, from the children of immigrants and from adoption studies, is now staring us in the face: people get their personalities from their genes and from their peers, not from their parents.”

Genome

“The fuel on which science runs is ignorance. Science is like a hungry furnace that must be fed logs from the forests of ignorance that surround us. In the process, the clearing we call knowledge expands, but the more it expands, the longer its perimeter and the more ignorance comes into view.”

Genome

“The genome is a book that wrote itself, continually adding, deleting and amending over four billion years.”

Genome

“The genome that we decipher in this generation is but a snapshot of an ever-changing document. There is no definitive edition.”

Genome

“Uniqueness is the commodity of glut.”

Genome

The Evolution of Everything Quotes

“American presidential politics is entirely based on the myth that a perfect, omniscient, virtuous and incorruptible saviour will emerge from the New Hampshire primary every four years, and proceed to lead his people to the promised land.”

The Evolution of Everything

“Fascism and communism were and are religions of the state.”

The Evolution of Everything

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“Life adapted to the laws of physics, not vice versa.”

The Evolution of Everything

“Most of the so-called robber barons got rich by cutting the price of goods, not raising them.”

The Evolution of Everything

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“AI outperforms docs in diagnosing ear infections: No surprise, since one of the most robust findings in psychology ("clinical vs actuarial prediction") is that even simple statistical formulas usually outperform experts when compared head to head.”

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More quotes by Steven Pinker

“The market is a system of mass cooperation.”

The Evolution of Everything

“The police have come to resemble an occupying army who see the citizenry as the enemy.”

The Evolution of Everything

“The real tragedy of nationalised education is how little innovation it has seen.”

The Evolution of Everything

“There was never a better illustration of the validity of the Enlightenment dream – that order can emerge where nobody is in charge. The genome, now sequenced, stands as emphatic evidence that there can be order and complexity without any management.”

The Evolution of Everything

“Though politicians are regarded as scum, government as a machine is held to be almost infallible.”

The Evolution of Everything

“Throughout history, the characteristic feature of the nation state is its monopoly of violence.”

The Evolution of Everything

The Rational Optimist Quotes

“At some point, human intelligence became collective and cumulative in a way that happened to no other animal.”

The Rational Optimist

“Because it is a monopoly, government brings inefficiency and stagnation to most things it runs; government agencies pursue the inflation of their budgets rather than the service of their customers; pressure groups form an unholy alliance with agencies to extract more money from taxpayers for their members. Yet despite all this, most clever people still call for government to run more things and assume that if it did so, it would somehow be more perfect, more selfless, next time.”

The Rational Optimist

“For barter to work, two individuals do not need to offer things of equal value. Trade is often unequal, but still benefits both sides.”

The Rational Optimist

“Futurology always ends up telling you more about your own time than about the future.”

The Rational Optimist

“Humanity is experiencing an extraordinary burst of evolutionary change, driven by good old-fashioned Darwinian natural selection. But it is selection among ideas, not among genes.”

The Rational Optimist

“It is common to find that two traders both think their counterparts are idiotically overpaying.”

The Rational Optimist

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“It is my proposition that the human race has become a collective problem-solving machine and it solves problems by changing its ways.”

The Rational Optimist

“It is strange to me that most people assume companies will be imperfect (as they are), but they assume that government agencies will be perfect, which they are not.”

The Rational Optimist

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“Much of what is today called "social criticism" consists of members of the upper classes denouncing the tastes of the lower classes (bawdy entertainment, fast food, plentiful consumer goods) while considering themselves egalitarians.”

The Blank Slate


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