Matt Ridley Quotes

Why should I know 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

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.”

Matt Ridley
Genome

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

Matt Ridley
Genome

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

Matt Ridley
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.”

Matt Ridley
Genome

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

Matt Ridley
Genome

“Simplicity piled upon simplicity creates complexity.”

Matt Ridley
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.”

Matt Ridley
Genome

“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.”

Matt Ridley
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.”

Matt Ridley
Genome

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

Matt Ridley
Genome

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

Matt Ridley
Genome

“Uniqueness is the commodity of glut.”

Matt Ridley
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.”

Matt Ridley
The Evolution of Everything

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

Matt Ridley
The Evolution of Everything

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

Matt Ridley
The Evolution of Everything

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

Matt Ridley
The Evolution of Everything

“The market is a system of mass cooperation.”

Matt Ridley
The Evolution of Everything

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

Matt Ridley
The Evolution of Everything

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

Matt Ridley
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.”

Matt Ridley
The Evolution of Everything

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

Matt Ridley
The Evolution of Everything

Products by Matt Ridley

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

Matt Ridley
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.”

Matt Ridley
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.”

Matt Ridley
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.”

Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist

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

Matt Ridley
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.”

Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist

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

Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist

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

Matt Ridley
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.”

Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist

“Random violence makes the news precisely because it is so rare, routine kindness does not make the news precisely because it is so commonplace.”

Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist

“The cornucopia that greets you as you enter the supermarket dwarfs anything that Louis XIV ever experienced (and it is probably less likely to contain salmonella).”

Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist

“The evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in 1976 coined the term ‘meme’ for a unit of cultural imitation.”

Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist

“The Stone Age did not come to an end for lack of stone.”

Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist

“The success of human beings depends crucially, but precariously, on numbers and connections. A few hundred people cannot sustain a sophisticated technology: trade is a vital part of the story.”

Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist

“Think of this: never before this generation has the average person been able to afford to have somebody else prepare his meals.”

Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist

“Those of libertarian bent often prove more generous than those of a socialist persuasion: where the socialist feels that it is government’s job to look after the poor using taxes, libertarians think it is their duty.”

Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist

The Red Queen Quotes

“Anaxagoras’ belief that lying on the right side during sex would produce a boy was so influential that centuries later some French aristocrats had their left testicles amputated.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

“Far from being laws to protect women, anti-polygamy statutes may really do more to protect men.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

“Genes are biochemical recipes written in a four-letter alphabet called DNA.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

“How much more generous it would be if, instead of writing parables about childhood wounds, psychologists were to accept that some differences between the sexes just are, that they are in the nature of the beasts, because each sex has an evolved tendency to develop that way in response to experience.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

“Life is a Sisyphean race, run ever faster toward a finish line that is merely the start of the next race.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

Products by Matt Ridley

“Life is a slippery thing to define, but it consists of two very different skills: the ability to replicate, and the ability to create order.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

“Nature is the length of the rectangle, nurture the width. There can be no rectangle without both.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

“People are attracted to people of high reproductive and genetic potential — the healthy, the fit, and the powerful.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

“Sex is merely a genetic joint venture. the process of choosing somebody to have sex with, which used to be known as falling in love, is mysterious, cerebral, and highly selective.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

“Sex is not about reproduction, gender is not about males and females, courtship is not about persuasion, fashion is not about beauty, and love is not about affection. Below the surface of every banality and cliche there lies irony, cynicism, and profundity.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

“The body is merely an evolutionary vehicle for the gene.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

“Time always erodes advantage.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

“Why do human beings have two sexes? Because in mobile animals hermaphrodites are less good at doing two things at once than males and females are at each doing his or her own thing. Therefore, ancestral hermaphroditic animals were outcompeted by ancestral sexed animals.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen

“Why has that man fallen in love with that woman? Because she’s pretty.
Why does pretty matter? Because human beings are a mainly monogamous species and so males are choosy about their mates (as male chimpanzees are not); prettiness is an indication of youth and health, which are indications of fertility.
Why does that man care about fertility in his mate? Because if he did not, his genes would be eclipsed by those of men who did.
Why does he care about that? He does not, but his genes act as if they do. Those who choose infertile mates leave no descendants. Therefore, everybody is descended from men who preferred fertile women, and every person inherits from those ancestors the same preference.
Why is that man a slave to his genes? He is not. He has free will.
But you just said he’s in love because it is good for his genes.
He’s free to ignore the dictates of his genes.
Why do his genes want to get together with her genes anyway? Because that’s the only way they can get into the next generation; human beings have two sexes that must breed by mixing their genes.”

Matt Ridley
The Red Queen