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_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: 870,517 | Comments: 470

Play_iconJack Horner: Shape-shifting dinosaurs

Jack Horner: Shape-shifting dinosaurs

18:23 Posted: Feb 2012

Views: 337,415 | Comments: 60

Play_iconDanny Hillis: Back to the future (of 1994)

Danny Hillis: Back to the future (of 1994)

19:10 Posted: Feb 2012

Views: 491,154 | Comments: 67

Play_iconDrew Berry: Animations of unseeable biology

Drew Berry: Animations of unseeable biology

09:08 Posted: Jan 2012

Views: 822,117 | Comments: 145

Play_iconCynthia Kenyon: Experiments that hint of longer lives

Cynthia Kenyon: Experiments that hint of longer lives

16:23 Posted: Nov 2011

Views: 612,215 | 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: 539,935 | Comments: 166

Play_iconDaniel Wolpert: The real reason for brains

Daniel Wolpert: The real reason for brains

19:59 Posted: Nov 2011

Views: 1,137,463 | Comments: 220

Play_iconPaul Zak: Trust, morality -- and oxytocin?

Paul Zak: Trust, morality -- and oxytocin?

16:34 Posted: Nov 2011

Views: 1,237,931 | Comments: 303

Play_iconChristoph Adami: Finding life we can't imagine

Christoph Adami: Finding life we can't imagine

18:51 Posted: Oct 2011

Views: 538,389 | Comments: 164

Play_iconLee Cronin: Making matter come alive

Lee Cronin: Making matter come alive

15:11 Posted: Sep 2011

Views: 608,570 | Comments: 232

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