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_iconDiane Kelly: What we didn't know about penis anatomy

Diane Kelly: What we didn't know about penis anatomy

11:20 Posted: Jun 2012

Views: 1,897,553 | Comments: 103

Play_iconJuan Enriquez: Will our kids be a different species?

Juan Enriquez: Will our kids be a different species?

16:48 Posted: Jun 2012

Views: 1,483,631 | Comments: 434

Play_iconChristina Warinner: Tracking ancient diseases using ... plaque

Christina Warinner: Tracking ancient diseases using ... plaque

05:31 Posted: Apr 2012

Views: 547,578 | Comments: 51

Play_iconJonathan Haidt: Religion, evolution, and the ecstasy of self-transcendence

Jonathan Haidt: Religion, evolution, and the ecstasy of self-transcendence

18:16 Posted: Mar 2012

Views: 900,221 | Comments: 472

Play_iconJack Horner: Where are the baby dinosaurs?

Jack Horner: Where are the baby dinosaurs?

18:23 Posted: Feb 2012

Views: 359,486 | Comments: 61

Play_iconDanny Hillis: Back to the future (of 1994)

Danny Hillis: Back to the future (of 1994)

19:10 Posted: Feb 2012

Views: 501,704 | Comments: 67

Play_iconDrew Berry: Animations of unseeable biology

Drew Berry: Animations of unseeable biology

09:08 Posted: Jan 2012

Views: 850,818 | Comments: 147

Play_iconCynthia Kenyon: Experiments that hint of longer lives

Cynthia Kenyon: Experiments that hint of longer lives

16:23 Posted: Nov 2011

Views: 636,063 | Comments: 192

Play_iconMartin Hanczyc: The line between life and not-life

Martin Hanczyc: The line between life and not-life

14:37 Posted: Nov 2011

Views: 556,293 | Comments: 167

Play_iconDaniel Wolpert: The real reason for brains

Daniel Wolpert: The real reason for brains

19:59 Posted: Nov 2011

Views: 1,207,456 | Comments: 222

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