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_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: 1,363,977 | Comments: 215

Play_botw_iconJeremy Rifkin: The empathic civilization

Jeremy Rifkin: The empathic civilization

10:39 Posted: Aug 2010

Views: 491,565 | Comments: 401

Play_iconStephen Palumbi: The hidden toxins in the fish we eat -- and how to stop them

Stephen Palumbi: The hidden toxins in the fish we eat -- and how to stop them

15:42 Posted: Jun 2010

Views: 289,262 | Comments: 67

Play_iconMichael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception

Michael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception

19:01 Posted: Jun 2010

Views: 1,919,942 | Comments: 824

Play_iconCraig Venter: Watch me unveil "synthetic life"

Craig Venter: Watch me unveil "synthetic life"

18:17 Posted: May 2010

Views: 931,469 | Comments: 571

Play_iconNicholas Christakis: The hidden influence of social networks

Nicholas Christakis: The hidden influence of social networks

20:59 Posted: May 2010

Views: 991,231 | Comments: 282

Play_iconStephen Wolfram: Computing a theory of all knowledge

Stephen Wolfram: Computing a theory of all knowledge

19:58 Posted: Apr 2010

Views: 1,355,173 | Comments: 269

Play_iconJonathan Drori: Every pollen grain has a story

Jonathan Drori: Every pollen grain has a story

07:12 Posted: Apr 2010

Views: 352,009 | Comments: 59

Play_botw_iconDouglas Adams: Parrots, the universe and everything

Douglas Adams: Parrots, the universe and everything

87:36 Posted: Mar 2010

Views: 453,661 | Comments: 95

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