An evolutionary biologist's profound TED talk explains why you should think of life as an 'unfinished book'

TEDProsanta Chakrabarty, a professor of evolutionary biology and ichthyology at Louisiana State University.
  • Evolution isn’t a linear progression from bacteria to humans, Prosanta Chakrabarty, a professor of evolutionary biology, said in a new TED Talk.
  • Rather, it’s an “unfinished book” and most species only manage to hang around for a few million years.
  • The talk is worth watching in full below.

Prosanta Chakrabarty, a professor of evolutionary biology and ichthyology (the study of fish) at Louisiana State University, wants you to rethink everything you think you know about evolution.

In a TED talk delivered in April but released on Friday, Chakrabarty dispels the notion that humans are the end goal of evolution – and that evolution is linear at all.

“It’s hubris, it’s self-centered to think plants and bacteria are primitive,” Chakrabarty said in a new TED talk. “Think of life as being this book, an unfinished book for sure.”

“We’re just seeing the last few pages of each chapter,” he added.

Chakrabarty also discusses how, while we are the product of four billion years of evolution, we’re also just fish. The six-minute talk is worth watching in full:

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