Speculations on Origins and Endings: An Essay on The Essential…

Speculations on Origins and Endings: An Essay on The Essential...

When you think about dinosaurs—which you should; dinosaurs are awesome—you always end up with the same two questions: where did they come from and where did they go?

Yes, all life evolves through a process that begins and ends with random change, but dinosaurs are more than one of many possible jackpots in nature’s slot machine. Dinosaurs did a magnificent job of “understanding” their world—not in the sense of explicit cognition, of course, but in the sense of adaptation as a kind of biological understanding of the environment. And as far as their disappearance, how could such soundly designed animals just… vanish? Was it a natural event leading to abrupt environmental change? Or, more hopefully, did the dinosaurs become birds?

Now this may seem like a snarky start to an essay on a book describing economists who no longer…

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