The General Theory of Evolution

The word ‘evolution’ originally means ‘unfolding’. Evolution is a story, a narrative of how things change. It is a word freighted with many other meanings, of particular kinds of change. It implies the emergence of something from something else. It has come to carry a connotation of incremental and gradual change, the opposite of sudden revolution. It is both spontaneous and inexorable. It suggests cumulative change from simple beginnings. It brings the implication of change that comes from within, rather than being directed from without. It also usually implies change that has no goal, but is open-minded about where it ends up. And it has of course acquired the very specific meaning of genetic descent with modification over the generations in biological creatures through the mechanism of natural selection.

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Unearthing the three roots of political orientation

The RWA scale is the best cross-cultural predictor of left-right voting and party affiliation. The test can calculate the relative positions of political parties along the spectrums of truly diverse populations. So what specific topics does the test cover? Let’s give the RWA scale a new analysis with fresh eyes.

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Me, myself and the Iceberg

At the same time that Charles Darwin was publishing his revolutionary book The Origin of Species, a three-year-old boy from Moravia was moving with his family to Vienna. This boy, Sigmund Freud, would grow up with a brand-new Darwinian worldview in which man was no different from any other life-form, and the scientific spotlight could be cast on the complex fabric of human behavior.

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Macroeconomics: Back to Square One

I agree with the harsh judgment that Lucas and Sargent (1979) made about the macromodels of their day– that they relied on identifying assumptions that were not credible. The situation now is worse. Models make assumptions that are no more credible and far more opaque.

I also agree with the harsh judgment that Lucas and Sargent made about the predictions of those Keynesian models, the prediction that an increase in the inflation rate would cause a reduction in the unemployment rate.

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