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_iconSvante Pääbo: DNA clues to our inner neanderthal

Svante Pääbo: DNA clues to our inner neanderthal

17:01 Posted: Aug 2011

Views: 1,200,531 | Comments: 130

Play_iconMark Pagel: How language transformed humanity

Mark Pagel: How language transformed humanity

20:10 Posted: Aug 2011

Views: 1,044,736 | Comments: 379

Play_iconPaul Bloom: The origins of pleasure

Paul Bloom: The origins of pleasure

16:17 Posted: Jul 2011

Views: 1,508,140 | Comments: 196

Play_iconJonathan Drori: The beautiful tricks of flowers

Jonathan Drori: The beautiful tricks of flowers

13:48 Posted: Jul 2011

Views: 706,700 | Comments: 183

Play_iconJack Horner: Building a dinosaur from a chicken

Jack Horner: Building a dinosaur from a chicken

16:36 Posted: Jun 2011

Views: 1,957,898 | Comments: 154

Play_iconLouie Schwartzberg: The hidden beauty of pollination

Louie Schwartzberg: The hidden beauty of pollination

07:48 Posted: May 2011

Views: 1,318,338 | Comments: 150

Play_iconAngela Belcher: Using nature to grow batteries

Angela Belcher: Using nature to grow batteries

10:25 Posted: Apr 2011

Views: 672,266 | Comments: 128

Play_iconHarvey Fineberg: Are we ready for neo-evolution?

Harvey Fineberg: Are we ready for neo-evolution?

17:21 Posted: Apr 2011

Views: 879,303 | Comments: 319

Play_iconIsabel Behncke: Evolution's gift of play, from bonobo apes to humans

Isabel Behncke: Evolution's gift of play, from bonobo apes to humans

07:01 Posted: Mar 2011

Views: 512,173 | Comments: 225

Play_iconMichael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius in architecture

Michael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius in architecture

13:46 Posted: Feb 2011

Views: 1,176,303 | Comments: 221

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