Climate Crisis, the Happiness Conundrum & the Evolution of Religions: TED Talks on YouTube

Once upon a time we told you about TED Talks, the annual conference that brings together the world’s “thought-leaders, movers and shakers.” These talks have been available on iTunes in both audio (iTunesFeed) and video (iTunesFeed). And now you can apparently find some on YouTube. Below we highlight a few.

First up, Dan Gilbert, a Harvard psychology professor who recently wrote Stumbling On Happiness, a book that uses psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy and behavioral economics to show how our imagination — our unique ability to predict the future — usually interferes with our basic ability to be happy. Here you get some kernels of thought from the bestselling book, and some insights into why a paraplegic is often as happy as a lottery winner. Good stuff here.

Next, we give you Al Gore doing a little stand-up comedy (no kidding) and speaking on global warming, much as he does in An Inconvenient Truth. No other introduction is needed.

Lastly, we give you Dan Dennett, Director
of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University
and the author
of Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. With this clip, Dennett takes on Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, and makes the clever argument that while the theory of intelligent design may hold no water, religions have themselves been intelligently designed. More on that here:

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