In this talk, I will present some connections between recent research in dynamical systems and the classical theory of elliptic curves and rational points. The main goal is to explain the role of dynamical stability and bifurcations in deducing arithmetic finiteness statements. I will focus on three examples: (1) the theorem of Mordell and Weil from the 1920s, presented from a dynamical point of view; (2) a recent result of Masser and Zannier about torsion points on elliptic curves, and (3) features of the Mandelbrot set.