Business Innovation 'Made Us Human' and Moves Us Forward

In his new book, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, Matt Ridley, a British science journalist (and formerly a director of Northern Rock), argues against the imminent downfall of civilization. He also reaches a surprising conclusion: Innovation and free trade made us human. Ridley talked about why he is bullish on entrepreneurship with Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow.

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