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Good Enough

The Tolerance for Mediocrity in Nature and Society
Narrated by: Qarie Marshall
Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Why is the genome of a salamander 40 times larger than that of a human? Why does the avocado tree produce a million flowers and only a hundred fruits? Why, in short, is there so much waste in nature? 

In this lively and wide-ranging meditation on the curious accidents and unexpected detours on the path of life, Daniel Milo argues that we ask these questions because we’ve embraced a faulty conception of how evolution - and human society - really works. Good Enough offers a vigorous critique of the quasi-monopoly that Darwin’s concept of natural selection has on our idea of the natural world. Darwinism excels in accounting for the evolution of traits, but it does not explain their excess in size and number. Many traits far exceed the optimal configuration to do the job, and yet the maintenance of this extra baggage does not prevent species from thriving for millions of years. 

Philosopher Daniel Milo aims to give the messy side of nature its due - to stand up for the wasteful and inefficient organisms that nevertheless survive and multiply. But he does not stop at the border between evolutionary theory and its social consequences. He argues provocatively that the theory of evolution through natural selection has acquired the trappings of an ethical system. Optimization, competitiveness, and innovation have become the watchwords of Western societies, yet their role in human lives - as in the rest of nature - is dangerously overrated. Imperfection is not just good enough: it may at times be essential to survival.

©2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC (P)2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC

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Good thesis, then straight to baloney

There might be a raging good book here. The concept sure was (and is) attractive. However, after an interesting start, the author digresses into an endless musing about various past wrong-headed wild guesses about the nature of the giraffe. And it is just interminable. As in, sheer padding and insulting to the intelligence. This quick dive into tripe is not auspicious. And it has already exhausted my patience. Too much storytelling drivel (and flat, dull, not even good stories) and not enough scientific rigor marks this author in my mind as either (1) a bad writer, too self-amused, or (2) too steeped in humanities, with (therefore ringing with) an arrogance about carelessly, fumblingly, treading the distinction between philosophy and hard science. At 1:15 in, I have no more of my precious time to waste.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful