Friday, February 13, 2009

Evolution of Species, Market-Dawvin, Marx, Abraham Lincoln

It was one HT day where we were having good (hot) tea party among friends with some of our Economics Department PhD students. In the middle our discussion one of them said can you imagine how much of the Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations ideas have been grasped through generation to generation and taught with lucid understanding of the ideas of Adam Smith point of view, and how much of his ideas have been taught in the class room of this world. 

Obviously, the ideas are transformed through the man. And the similar story goes with the Origin of Species. 

12 February (yesterday) was Darwin and Lincoln birthday; there are few comments, review on Darwin giant theory. Some relate with Marx theory, some relate with free market economics and some others. 

We will see one by one, 

Before going for list lets ponder “a quote attributed to biologist Edward Wilson, which I paraphrase—“Most species are individually stupid but collectively smart. Humans are the opposite. They are collectively stupid but individually smart”.

First, free market economist Gary North writesTwo hundred years ago today, the sun rose over the English village of Shrewsbury. Susannah Darwin was about to give birth to her fifth child, Charles. Her husband Robert was a financier. Her father was a Wedgewood, of pottery fame. Times were not tough in the Darwin household.

The sun moved over the Atlantic, heading for Hardin County, Kentucky. Later in the day – the Darwins' day, anyway – it passed over the log cabin of Thomas and Nancy Lincoln, whose son Abraham had just been born. Times were always tough in the Lincoln household. 

All in all, it was a memorable day, if not for the sun, then for the rest of us”.

Second, “evolution in the air”, under the sun, moon, above the earth and middle of the sky….Pramit Pal Chaudhuri says “Those who rage against capitalism argue that market economics hasn’t actually helped people, that it is inimical to progress. They lie. Other than a few nations floating on oil and populated with idle rich, all the wealthy nations of the world have got to the top of the greasy pole by accepting that greasy poles make economic sense. Almost all the poverty reduction of the past 20 years — and it has been unprecedented — has been because China and India began to rediscover the market.” 

Third, Mukul Sharma says “it's like the optical illusion where the profiles of two silhouetted faces on two sides of a drawing form the outline of a white vase in the middle. Sometimes we see one aspect of it and sometimes the other. Darwin's predecessors and contemporaries were generally gazing only at the faces on the edge till Darwin pointed out the vase in the middle which was actually staring them in the eye all the time. Is it any wonder then that when Darwin's friend and colleague T H Huxley first read the Origin of Species in 1859 he was so dazzled by its obviousness that he said to himself: "How stupid not to have thought of it before!" ” 

Forth, Lalit Mohan says that “the Englishman lived in a wealthy home in Shrewsbury, but without any focus in life, leading his father to comment, “You will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family.” He left at 22 on a voyage to the Pacific on board HMS Beagle. Five years later he returned carrying inside his head a theory so revolutionary that he kept it right there for nearly two decades. On his voyage, Darwin meticulously studied the flora and fauna in the Galapagos and came to the conclusion that different species evolve continuously and those that adapt best to the changes in environment survive and dominate. That worried him. If all life evolved biologically then something was fundamentally wrong with what mankind, particularly the Christian world, perceived the origin of the human race to be.” 

On the important of Darwin and Lincoln you have go another Indian economist blog here.

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