Evolution for Everyone

Archives for April, 2010

The term “market fundamentalism” was popularized by George Soros in his 1998 book The Crisis of Global Capitalism and has led a lively existence ever since. It’s a great epithet, but what does it really mean to call a set of beliefs fundamentalist? Can the claim be proven? And what’s wrong with subscribing to fundamentalist…

Everything that evolves requires two explanations. First, why does a given trait exist compared to many other traits that could exist (ultimate causation)? Second, what are the physical mechanisms that cause the trait to be expressed (proximate causation)? The question “Why do apple flowers bloom in spring?” nicely illustrates the distinction between ultimate and proximate…

Consilience, or the unity of knowledge, is the Nirvana of science, where everything interlocks consistently with everything else. Neoclassical economics is not consilient with other branches of knowledge and the strongest argument on its behalf is that it doesn’t need to be (e.g., Milton Friedman’s classic paper discussed in E&E III). In contrast, when I…