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_iconHarvey Fineberg: Are we ready for neo-evolution?

Harvey Fineberg: Are we ready for neo-evolution?

17:21 Posted: Apr 2011

Views: 889,898 | Comments: 320

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: 525,979 | 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: 1,207,923 | Comments: 223

Play_iconAmber Case: We are all cyborgs now

Amber Case: We are all cyborgs now

07:53 Posted: Jan 2011

Views: 1,150,345 | Comments: 231

Play_iconBart Weetjens: How I taught rats to sniff out land mines

Bart Weetjens: How I taught rats to sniff out land mines

12:11 Posted: Dec 2010

Views: 468,992 | Comments: 229

Play_iconShimon Steinberg: Natural pest control ... using bugs!

Shimon Steinberg: Natural pest control ... using bugs!

15:23 Posted: Oct 2010

Views: 301,089 | Comments: 82

Play_iconHeribert Watzke: The brain in your gut

Heribert Watzke: The brain in your gut

15:14 Posted: Oct 2010

Views: 1,042,341 | Comments: 263

Play_iconStefano Mancuso: The roots of plant intelligence

Stefano Mancuso: The roots of plant intelligence

13:50 Posted: Oct 2010

Views: 798,588 | Comments: 930

Play_botw_iconTim Birkhead: The early birdwatchers

Tim Birkhead: The early birdwatchers

28:10 Posted: Sep 2010

Views: 107,598 | Comments: 37

Play_iconJessa Gamble: Our natural sleep cycle

Jessa Gamble: Our natural sleep cycle

04:01 Posted: Sep 2010

Views: 1,234,157 | Comments: 205

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