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_iconSpencer Wells: A family tree for humanity

Spencer Wells: A family tree for humanity

20:53 Posted: Aug 2008

Views: 400,851 | Comments: 77

Play_iconLouise Leakey: A dig for humanity's origins

Louise Leakey: A dig for humanity's origins

15:36 Posted: Jul 2008

Views: 428,546 | Comments: 58

Play_iconRobert Full: Robots inspired by cockroach ingenuity

Robert Full: Robots inspired by cockroach ingenuity

20:22 Posted: Jun 2008

Views: 661,526 | Comments: 78

Play_iconSusan Blackmore: Memes and "temes"

Susan Blackmore: Memes and "temes"

19:28 Posted: Jun 2008

Views: 598,418 | Comments: 351

Play_iconJoshua Klein: A thought experiment on the intelligence of crows

Joshua Klein: A thought experiment on the intelligence of crows

10:06 Posted: May 2008

Views: 1,912,535 | Comments: 285

Play_iconPaul Ewald: Can we domesticate germs?

Paul Ewald: Can we domesticate germs?

17:51 Posted: May 2008

Views: 264,180 | Comments: 63

Play_iconMichael Pollan: A plant's-eye view

Michael Pollan: A plant's-eye view

17:25 Posted: Feb 2008

Views: 919,063 | Comments: 154

Play_iconDavid Gallo: Underwater astonishments

David Gallo: Underwater astonishments

05:27 Posted: Jan 2008

Views: 10,625,515 | Comments: 472

Play_iconDeborah Gordon: The emergent genius of ant colonies

Deborah Gordon: The emergent genius of ant colonies

20:31 Posted: Jan 2008

Views: 664,232 | Comments: 84

Play_iconPhilippe Starck: Design and destiny

Philippe Starck: Design and destiny

17:06 Posted: Dec 2007

Views: 1,354,710 | Comments: 137

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