Themes Evolution's Genius

Evolution's Genius The red-eyed tree frog, photographed in 1998 in Panama by TED presenter Frans Lanting.

TED adores great design. A growing number of speakers focus their Talks on the most elegant designs that exist: those in the natural world.

Janine Benyus points out that nature has to its advantage around 3.8 billion years of "research and development," and lists wonderful examples of natural designs that solve intractable human engineering problems. Juan Enriquez describes how nature is driven by a remarkable information engine -- DNA -- and what that means for our future.

Richard Dawkins, perhaps the world’s most outspoken and influential evolutionary biologist, describes a "queer" natural world abundant with surprises and peculiarity, and warns us that even our minds are products of evolution. Likewise, Steven Pinker, Helen Fisher and Dan Dennett present insights on how evolution has shaped the human mind, and how its configuration affects love, sex, parenting and the spread of ideas. Kevin Kelly, meanwhile, advances his conception of technology as a new branch of life -- which is evolving accordingly.

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Play_iconSara Lewis: The loves and lies of fireflies

Sara Lewis: The loves and lies of fireflies

13:51 Posted: Jul 2014

Views: 355,205 | Comments: 18

Play_iconRobert Full: The secrets of nature's grossest creatures, channeled into robots

Robert Full: The secrets of nature's grossest creatures, channeled into robots

05:07 Posted: Jun 2014

Views: 771,963 | Comments: 41

Play_iconTristram Wyatt: The smelly mystery of the human pheromone

Tristram Wyatt: The smelly mystery of the human pheromone

14:53 Posted: May 2014

Views: 755,459 | Comments: 33

Play_iconSuzana Herculano-Houzel: What is so special about the human brain?

Suzana Herculano-Houzel: What is so special about the human brain?

13:31 Posted: Nov 2013

Views: 1,373,918 | Comments: 694

Play_iconRussell Foster: Why do we sleep?

Russell Foster: Why do we sleep?

21:46 Posted: Aug 2013

Views: 4,372,135 | Comments: 370

Play_iconJohn Searle: Our shared condition -- consciousness

John Searle: Our shared condition -- consciousness

14:59 Posted: Jul 2013

Views: 1,048,854 | Comments: 588

Play_iconMichael Archer: How we'll resurrect the gastric brooding frog, the Tasmanian tiger

Michael Archer: How we'll resurrect the gastric brooding frog, the Tasmanian tiger

17:36 Posted: Jun 2013

Views: 449,226 | Comments: 109

Play_iconHendrik Poinar: Bring back the woolly mammoth!

Hendrik Poinar: Bring back the woolly mammoth!

10:22 Posted: May 2013

Views: 723,948 | Comments: 135

Play_iconStewart Brand: The dawn of de-extinction. Are you ready?

Stewart Brand: The dawn of de-extinction. Are you ready?

18:24 Posted: Mar 2013

Views: 1,610,411 | Comments: 388

Play_iconMarcus Byrne: The dance of the dung beetle

Marcus Byrne: The dance of the dung beetle

17:08 Posted: Dec 2012

Views: 872,622 | Comments: 69

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