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_iconRichard Dawkins: Growing up in the universe

Richard Dawkins: Growing up in the universe

57:55 Posted: Jan 2010

Views: 309,361 | Comments: 122

Play_botw_iconRobert Sapolsky: The uniqueness of humans

Robert Sapolsky: The uniqueness of humans

37:26 Posted: Jan 2010

Views: 509,612 | Comments: 203

Play_iconVilayanur Ramachandran: The neurons that shaped civilization

Vilayanur Ramachandran: The neurons that shaped civilization

07:43 Posted: Jan 2010

Views: 1,652,348 | Comments: 372

Play_iconCharles Anderson: Dragonflies that fly across oceans

Charles Anderson: Dragonflies that fly across oceans

16:38 Posted: Dec 2009

Views: 495,090 | Comments: 54

Play_iconBeau Lotto: Optical illusions show how we see

Beau Lotto: Optical illusions show how we see

16:30 Posted: Oct 2009

Views: 3,660,522 | Comments: 212

Play_iconCary Fowler: One seed at a time, protecting the future of food

Cary Fowler: One seed at a time, protecting the future of food

17:08 Posted: Aug 2009

Views: 452,422 | Comments: 95

Play_iconJanine Benyus: Biomimicry in action

Janine Benyus: Biomimicry in action

17:42 Posted: Aug 2009

Views: 875,751 | Comments: 138

Play_iconElaine Morgan: I believe we evolved from aquatic apes

Elaine Morgan: I believe we evolved from aquatic apes

17:13 Posted: Jul 2009

Views: 944,746 | Comments: 615

Play_iconNina Jablonski: Skin color is an illusion

Nina Jablonski: Skin color is an illusion

14:48 Posted: Jul 2009

Views: 690,254 | Comments: 265

Play_iconRobert Full: Learning from the gecko's tail

Robert Full: Learning from the gecko's tail

11:54 Posted: Jun 2009

Views: 585,723 | Comments: 68

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