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Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization

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In this groundbreaking book, Adrian Bejan takes the recurring patterns in nature—trees, tributaries, air passages, neural networks, and lightning bolts—and reveals how a single principle of physics, the Constructal Law, accounts for the evolution of these and all other designs in our world.   Everything—from biological life to inanimate systems—generates shape and structur In this groundbreaking book, Adrian Bejan takes the recurring patterns in nature—trees, tributaries, air passages, neural networks, and lightning bolts—and reveals how a single principle of physics, the Constructal Law, accounts for the evolution of these and all other designs in our world.   Everything—from biological life to inanimate systems—generates shape and structure and evolves in a sequence of ever-improving designs in order to facilitate flow. River basins, cardiovascular systems, and bolts of lightning are very efficient flow systems to move a current—of water, blood, or electricity. Likewise, the more complex architecture of animals evolve to cover greater distance per unit of useful energy, or increase their flow across the land. Such designs also appear in human organizations, like the hierarchical "flowcharts" or reporting structures in corporations and political bodies. All are governed by the same principle, known as the Constructal Law, and configure and reconfigure themselves over time to flow more efficiently. Written in an easy style that achieves clarity without sacrificing complexity, Design in Nature is a paradigm-shifting book that will fundamentally transform our understanding of the world around us.


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In this groundbreaking book, Adrian Bejan takes the recurring patterns in nature—trees, tributaries, air passages, neural networks, and lightning bolts—and reveals how a single principle of physics, the Constructal Law, accounts for the evolution of these and all other designs in our world.   Everything—from biological life to inanimate systems—generates shape and structur In this groundbreaking book, Adrian Bejan takes the recurring patterns in nature—trees, tributaries, air passages, neural networks, and lightning bolts—and reveals how a single principle of physics, the Constructal Law, accounts for the evolution of these and all other designs in our world.   Everything—from biological life to inanimate systems—generates shape and structure and evolves in a sequence of ever-improving designs in order to facilitate flow. River basins, cardiovascular systems, and bolts of lightning are very efficient flow systems to move a current—of water, blood, or electricity. Likewise, the more complex architecture of animals evolve to cover greater distance per unit of useful energy, or increase their flow across the land. Such designs also appear in human organizations, like the hierarchical "flowcharts" or reporting structures in corporations and political bodies. All are governed by the same principle, known as the Constructal Law, and configure and reconfigure themselves over time to flow more efficiently. Written in an easy style that achieves clarity without sacrificing complexity, Design in Nature is a paradigm-shifting book that will fundamentally transform our understanding of the world around us.

30 review for Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    In this book, Adrian Bejan hypothesizes a principle that he names the "constructal law". It states that everything in nature configures itself and reconfigures itself to increase flow, or to make flow more efficient. What does Bejan mean by flow? Any concrete object or abstract concept can flow. Water can flow, air can flow, blood, heat and electricity can flow. Also, knowledge, concepts, memes, ideas, and data are things that flow. By "design", Bejan does not mean that somebody designed the flow In this book, Adrian Bejan hypothesizes a principle that he names the "constructal law". It states that everything in nature configures itself and reconfigures itself to increase flow, or to make flow more efficient. What does Bejan mean by flow? Any concrete object or abstract concept can flow. Water can flow, air can flow, blood, heat and electricity can flow. Also, knowledge, concepts, memes, ideas, and data are things that flow. By "design", Bejan does not mean that somebody designed the flows. He means that the flows configure themselves into a design. A prime example of the constructal law is the flow of rainwater. It falls everywhere, and drops of water coagulate into millions of branchlets, which combine into thousands of tiny streams, hundreds of large streams, creaks, and a smaller number of rivers. This hierarchy is "designed" to maximize the flow of water. The circulatory system in animals and humans is similarly configured into capillaries, small and large arteries. The trunk of a tree is divided into a few stout branches, more thin branches, and many very thin branches and then to leaves, a structure that helps to maximize the flow of water through the tree and into the atmosphere. A road system starts out with lots of narrow dirt roads, fewer paved side roads, fewer major roads, and fewer main highways. This system maximizes the flow of traffic. The diffusion of knowledge follows a similar pattern, as does the flow of athleticism through high schools, colleges, and on into professional sports. Bejan uses mathematical formulas to back up his claims that these designs help to maximize the various flows in nature. But I have a few complaints about the book. First, it is very repetitive. This type of book, where a major claim of a new idea is made, seems to fit a pattern where the author self-aggrandizes the importance of his new idea or theory. I always thought that the "purpose" of an organism is to reproduce its own genes. But Bejan claims that the purpose of all organisms is to maximize flow. The purpose of a tree, for example, is to maximize the flow of water from the ground into the atmosphere. The purpose of a fish is to undulate and churn the water in the ocean, to mix it and to make it flow more rapidly. This seems so bizarre to me. Many things in nature organize themselves by some power law. The book is filled with graphics that demonstrate these power laws over a diverse variety of "flows". Bejan claims that this is evidence in favor of the constructal law. He claims that the constructal law is a law of physics, but when he claims that the fact that the frequency of words in language obeys a power law is evidence of a law of physics, I have a hard time agreeing. There is a core of genius in the constructal law. But it is buried in some tedious, repetitive language. Perhaps the author could clean it up. At the same time, he could demonstrate not only what but also how these structures configure themselves to obey the constructal law.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michiel

    Like some people before me, I was was somewhat disappointed in this book. First of all, Bejan is very arrogant. He is not the first, nor will be the last popular science author to be this, but it quite insufferable of him to keep repeating that he has surpassed Darwin and can make every (important) thing in nature clear by performing his subfield of thermodynamics. Of course prof. Bejan keeps reminding us that it is only natural that the ignorant masses can't recognize his genius. (And he doesn't Like some people before me, I was was somewhat disappointed in this book. First of all, Bejan is very arrogant. He is not the first, nor will be the last popular science author to be this, but it quite insufferable of him to keep repeating that he has surpassed Darwin and can make every (important) thing in nature clear by performing his subfield of thermodynamics. Of course prof. Bejan keeps reminding us that it is only natural that the ignorant masses can't recognize his genius. (And he doesn't like Communism). The so-called constructal law is extremely vage. Design in nature arises to maximizes a 'flow'. What kind of flow? Would it prefer a flow of 100 l of water per second or of 100 l of air? Is there some theoretical derivation of this law, based on the laws of thermodynamics? Why don't I know this if I have read the book? No formal discription of the law is given. Every chapter contains a couple of (rather badly structured) examples. Though some of them are quite interesting, I fail to see any need for any constructal low. Trees are tree-shaped because they need to keep a flow of water (to transport nutrients, keep their cells turgid and keep their floem moving). This could be predicted by the principles of evolution, same for the animals' movement. In short, this book could be really interesting but should have been better (and more critically!) edited.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Design in Nature presents some interesting new thoughts on flow systems and the nature of the biosphere. However, I don't think it really achieves its purpose of introducing these thoughts to a lay audience. Note: I was an English major. If you are a scientist or a mathematician, you may well get a lot more out of it than I did. The primary author is Adrian Bejan, who is a well-known physics professor at Duke University. His cowriter is J. Peder Zane, whom I assume was hired to make the book more Design in Nature presents some interesting new thoughts on flow systems and the nature of the biosphere. However, I don't think it really achieves its purpose of introducing these thoughts to a lay audience. Note: I was an English major. If you are a scientist or a mathematician, you may well get a lot more out of it than I did. The primary author is Adrian Bejan, who is a well-known physics professor at Duke University. His cowriter is J. Peder Zane, whom I assume was hired to make the book more accessible. Both authors were at a signing I attended back in February, and I really enjoyed their presentation. However, in retrospect I think that Dr. Bejan is probably better at presenting his ideas in person than in writing them down. From my reading of the book, I took away the following: 1) That every flow system must sustain itself by evolving into the most efficient possible structure; 2) That the vascular structure (veins, lightning bolts, etc.) is the most efficient; 3) That Earth's biosphere is itself a flow system, and that the underlying purpose of evolution is to transfer biomass more efficiently over the Earth's surface. The last chapter expands on these ideas in interesting ways. It is here, for example, that Dr. Bejan explains his idea of the "human and machine species"--that is, that humanity should be considered to include all the machines and transfer systems it uses to move its goods and services from place to place. I got the impression that this last chapter was actually the point of the whole book. The first nine chapters were probably intended to introduce the concepts needed to understand the idea of the "human and machine species." However, I'm pretty sure that a lot of people must have put this book down without getting anywhere near the end of the ninth chapter. I really enjoyed the book at first. It was a little hard to follow--Dr. Bejan is not a native English speaker, and so his sentence structures are uniformly awkward. As I went on, I began to feel that the book was also rather repetitive; short as it is, condensing it would have made it much clearer. The text also includes a number of scientific formulas, which were more or less Greek to me. Since I got the impression that Design in Nature was intended for lay readers, it probably would have been better to put the formulas in an appendix, or in footnotes, as in Brian Greene's books about the cosmos. I would really like to know more about math and physics than I do, and was embarrassed to have so much trouble following these formulas. However, as Design in Nature is not an introductory textbook, the inclusion of formulas will probably just confuse most lay readers. The images were another weakness. The simple line charts were fine, and did add a lot to the text, but the grainy black-and-white photographs were mostly just disappointing. Several of the diagrams were almost nonsensical. Considering how much money must have gone into the slick, engaging cover, you'd think that Doubleday could have splurged on a few good graphics. Oddly, Design in Nature felt like a philosophical treatise as well as a physics book. There were a lot of little comments about how the whole world is an interconnected system, and the whole "human and machine species" thing would have gone well in a science fiction book. Since these are pretty broad, sweeping statements, though, I would have preferred for the author to lay out a neat explanation of his fundamental concepts, then expand into philosophy. The whole idea of nature "designing" itself gave certain passages a New Age-y feel, and though Bejan makes it clear that he's not talking about anything religious or spiritual here, he frequently expressed himself in ways that made him seem a bit less credible. Overall, I thought that this book had a lot of potential, but I don't really feel that it delivered on its intentions. It probably would have done well with a complete rewrite, possibly with a different cowriter (since this one seems to have done nothing to make Bejan's strange phrases more intelligible). However, I got through it, and it gave me a lot to think about.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chip Hunter

    I picked up this new book prepared to be disappointed. A unifying principle of everything that evolves!! A brand new scientific LAW!! With claims like these, surely there would be some acknowledged limitations or boundaries for application of this theory. Not at all. Instead of carefully ushering their supposedly unique idea into the mainstream of scientific and engineering thought, the authors use this book as a bludgeon to sell their "law", making such grand claims and proclamations as to be r I picked up this new book prepared to be disappointed. A unifying principle of everything that evolves!! A brand new scientific LAW!! With claims like these, surely there would be some acknowledged limitations or boundaries for application of this theory. Not at all. Instead of carefully ushering their supposedly unique idea into the mainstream of scientific and engineering thought, the authors use this book as a bludgeon to sell their "law", making such grand claims and proclamations as to be ridiculous. Indeed, the incredulity with which I read this book never ceased. The authors somehow continued to up the ante, their claims becoming more and more grand from chapter to chapter. The Constructal Law basically says that things change to become more efficient. Both living and non-living things evolve in predictable ways over time. Rivers change to move water efficiently, animals evolve to compete and survive and breed more effectively, human designs change over time to work more smoothly and efficiently. Basically, the Constructal Law is nothing more than a reduction of the laws of Thermodynamics along with an outline of what we all intuitively know. Bejan wants to make the case that his Law can help guide scientists and engineers in designing their experiments and machines. In the introduction of the book, he paints a picture of past scientists and engineers helplessly bumbling around without the guiding light of his Constructal Law. I can appreciate a person trying to convince his audience of his views, but these attempts come off as the most extreme sort of arrogance, and really distract from the central point. If the authors could have stayed in bounds, and limited their ideas to the original intentions, this book could have been decent. The Constructal Law can predict shape and size of many natural and man-made objects, from river basins to the architecture of tree branches to highway layouts in busy cities. These parts of the book were interesting and made sense. Unfortunately, the authors couldn't restrain themselves from taking it to the next level. Much of the book was dedicated to convincing the reader that the Constructal Law provides the missing link for "proof of the unification of the oneness of nature." The authors argue that life itself has evolved principally as a mechanism for moving matter around the earth. They view trees as having evolved as machines for moving water from the earth to the atmosphere. Animals as machines for moving matter through the oceans and over the land. These are radically backwards from the more traditional views of evolution, and require a massive stretch of the imagination to arrive at. As another reviewer noted, this book comes off sounding like a deliberate joke at times. From outlandish claims to having the facts wrong, most readers with any background in science will find themselves wondering how the authors can get away with this. The Constructal Law really predicts that "Biological life should evolve to make the whole Earth flow more easily"? Can we really say that "the similarity in density between animals and water helps us see the evolutionary connection between the animate and inanimate world"? I hope you know that plants didn't evolve as tools for the Earth to move water from the ground to the air. And their "pores" don't open to capture sunlight, nor do their branches grow towards areas of the driest air. I'm not sure where the authors got such ideas, but they obviously didn't consult with a biologist before penning this embarrassment. Instead of highlighting a "unifying principle for all evolving phenomenon", this book comes off a laughable. What a ridiculously arrogant book. Not recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Will

    I've been waiting a while to come across a book like this one. Reading this book brought me back to when I first read The Selfish Gene. A simple, clear exposition of a principle that has so much explanatory power. Like Dawkins, Bejan offers a new and powerful perspective. But the scope of this book is far broader than anything Dawkins (or most other authors, for that matter) could aspire to. It is extremely bold in one sense - the authors propose a universal theory of life (and a vast definition I've been waiting a while to come across a book like this one. Reading this book brought me back to when I first read The Selfish Gene. A simple, clear exposition of a principle that has so much explanatory power. Like Dawkins, Bejan offers a new and powerful perspective. But the scope of this book is far broader than anything Dawkins (or most other authors, for that matter) could aspire to. It is extremely bold in one sense - the authors propose a universal theory of life (and a vast definition of life to go along with it). It is also very commonsensical in another - so many of my favourite books mesh nicely with Bejan's arguments. The constructal law, which Bejan claims to have discovered, is (despite its somewhat awkward name) a compelling change in perspective and, more importantly, a generative mechanism for the patterns of the world around us. I wouldn't want to spoil the excellent development of his arguments by summarizing them here. All I can say is that this book and the ideas in it are likely to have an impact well beyond most that I've ever read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    The hypothesis of this book is that an innate goal of nature is to accomplish its flows of energy and matter with the least dissipation of energy in the form of useless heat; and that the evolution of things toward this goal leads to the profusion of complexity found in nature, including to living things. The author proclaims this and illustrates it with numerous examples to provide evidence. He does this in an arrogant and self-promoting way that many others have noted in their reviews. Let me The hypothesis of this book is that an innate goal of nature is to accomplish its flows of energy and matter with the least dissipation of energy in the form of useless heat; and that the evolution of things toward this goal leads to the profusion of complexity found in nature, including to living things. The author proclaims this and illustrates it with numerous examples to provide evidence. He does this in an arrogant and self-promoting way that many others have noted in their reviews. Let me just add that it seems the height of arrogance to appeal to physics as the author does, while failing to ever mention that physics has embraced a "principle of least action" long before the author came on the scene. There is plenty of literature on this subject even though the author writes as if he invented the idea. There is even a chapter on this in the Feynman Lectures, entitled "The Principle of Least Action". [Feynman et al., Lectures on Physics, VII, p.19-1 to 14]. As intriguing as the consequences of this principle as identified in the book may be, it is unconscionable to promote oneself as the originator of an idea that has a long history in physics, without ever pointing this out or showing how one's own contribution is distinguished from prior work. It's a shame that a better job could not have been done of that, because it will cause an interesting book to be discounted by many readers.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    A potentially valuable insight and tool buried in hubris and poor writing. The basic idea is to apply the basic laws of thermodynamics to living organisms (and social structures and human knowledge/science). Instead of looking at static structures we need to look at how energy/mass flows through them. A good seminar could be made by critically detailing Bejan's misconceptions and errors. 1) He really doesn't understand Darwin or Steven Jay Gould. 2) The whole scaling concept was known and used 3 A potentially valuable insight and tool buried in hubris and poor writing. The basic idea is to apply the basic laws of thermodynamics to living organisms (and social structures and human knowledge/science). Instead of looking at static structures we need to look at how energy/mass flows through them. A good seminar could be made by critically detailing Bejan's misconceptions and errors. 1) He really doesn't understand Darwin or Steven Jay Gould. 2) The whole scaling concept was known and used 30 years ago when I was a graduate student studying evolution. However what we were interested in were the deviances from the norm, not the line. Bejan calls this getting lost in the details. 3) I see no convincing proof that knowledge/information follows the laws of thermodynamics. As far as I can tell, knowledge doesn't care who or whether it is known. See Michial's review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Clark Hays

    Everything is channels and flow After reading Design in Nature, by Brian Bejan, everything seemed to change just a little. I imagine this is what it might have felt like after reading Darwin before evolution was an accepted theory. Bejan writes about another natural force he calls the constructal law. New to me, the concept is that anything that flows — and practically everything flows — is governed by an organizing principle that maximizes the efficiency of flow against resistance. The thought t Everything is channels and flow After reading Design in Nature, by Brian Bejan, everything seemed to change just a little. I imagine this is what it might have felt like after reading Darwin before evolution was an accepted theory. Bejan writes about another natural force he calls the constructal law. New to me, the concept is that anything that flows — and practically everything flows — is governed by an organizing principle that maximizes the efficiency of flow against resistance. The thought that there is a force as fundamental as gravity that seeks perfection and shapes everything around is at once liberating and a little disorienting. It feels like an unified theory of everything, only in the very early stages. According to the author, we are governed by constructal law, both a product (our bodies and the way we move are functions of flow) and master of it — we unconsciously and consciously organize our roads and cities by the design elements, our engines and flying machines are an extension of constructal law and even our language and printed words evolve in accordance with maximizing flow. It is unavoidable, inescapable, predictable and continually evolving itself toward greater perfection (in this case, perfection means the most efficient transfer of flow in relation to force expended against resistance; it’s not subjective perfection). Whatever flows moves through channels that necessarily take the form of tree-shaped structures – main arteries branching off into smaller ones until whatever is flowing arrives at its destination effectively and efficiently. The tree-shaped structures can be physical, as in river basins, human capillary systems for moving blood, snowflakes or crystals, or they can be conceptual such as the flow of information, the distribution of top-ranked colleges or the speed of competitive swimmers. This was not an easy read for me — the peppering of arcane equations throughout made my eyes glaze over at times — but it is well worth the time and I recommend it. But be warned, he writes with an irritating sense of authority that, while probably deserved, stifles tangential thinking. A I found the details from his personal life distracting, they weren’t detailed enough to illuminate the science and so seemed to clutter up the hard edges. There is much to this area of thought and I look forward to reading the next generation books that emerge from constructal law theory, and hopefully they will be written by ethicists. As Bejan is quick to point out, constructal law makes no value judgments and I could see, if left untended, constructal law used to justify preserving the status quo in systems that prevent equity. For example, he discusses the effectiveness of hierarchy in corporate settings as the most effective way for responsibility to flow. I would hate to see the distribution of wealth somehow tied to constructal law and those on the far ends of the branches left to fend for themselves, far, far removed from the main channel. Here’s a great line (from page 147): “The constructal law places a physics principle behind Darwin’s idea about evolution. It tells us why certain changes are better than others and shows that those changes do not arise by accident but through the generation of design.”

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    I finished reading Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology and Social Organization by Adrian Bejan and J. Peder Zane. This is a brilliant book, probably one of the most important books on the social and political aspects of thermodynamics written in the past ten years but for two very different reasons. One: the author brilliantly describes an implicit law or potential first principle of nature, the Constructal Law, which describes how the tend I finished reading Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology and Social Organization by Adrian Bejan and J. Peder Zane. This is a brilliant book, probably one of the most important books on the social and political aspects of thermodynamics written in the past ten years but for two very different reasons. One: the author brilliantly describes an implicit law or potential first principle of nature, the Constructal Law, which describes how the tendency for an increasing and more efficient movement of mass and energy through time is ruled by a physical law. This, the book asserts, naturally creates many complex designs that we see in nature. The second reason, which is not quite so flattering, is that his book clearly describes the approach of the modern mind—that despite all his arguing to the contrary, points in the direction that consciousness is either a feature of matter and energy or “the designer” cannot be conceived properly using the imagery of Bejan’s schoolboy God. Bejan absolutely fails to describe what should be obvious to all but not to those who refuse to look: that the universe is, from the point of view of common sense, not unintelligently self-assembling and that the postulated Fifth Law, negentropy, which assumes some sort of teleology in the universe, really needs to be looked at more closely for a more accurate and scientific accounting of the universe. More on negentropy in a moment. Let’s look closely at what Bejan says: “Of course, there is no conscious intelligence behind these patterns, no Divine Architect churning out brilliant blueprints. To pre-empt any confusion, let me make this perfectly clear: The constructal law is not headed toward a creationist argument, and in no way does it support the claims of those who promulgate the fantasy of intelligent design…[How can he possibly know this from a scientific perspective? Better to take a more agnostic and humble position as in: “we don’t know-period”]. Bejan goes on to say: this raises the question: How come? What causes the constructal law? The short answer: we don’t know. The constructal law is what is known in science as a first principle, an idea that cannot be deduced or derived from other laws (if it could, it would be a theorem. It just is—a law of physics that governs the emergence of macroscopic shape and structure in nature. The constructal law tells us why those patterns arise and empowers us to predict how they should change in the future. It reveals that it is not love or money that makes the world go round but flow and design.” This is quite amusing from a metaphysical perspective. He knows that intelligent design is a “fantasy” but he doesn’t know why the constructal law works. Just make up first principles and poof—no need to inquire further. This sort of argument, much like natural selection being pimped as the only motor of evolution, is a partial explanation posing as a final theory. Entropy does create efficient dispersion patterns from an original energy source, and while it very well describes vice, moral virtue and the human tendency to invest enormous energy into belief and other systems might be thought of as being somewhat alien to the constructal law and much more closely related to negentropy or the tendency to wind things up. Note how negative entropy is described in the dictionary: “Negative entropy, or negentropy, roughly refers to the degree of order or organization within a closed system.” That is only part of what negentropy might mean. Here is the alternative scientific description noted in God Has Skin in the Game: “There are, technically speaking, only Four Laws of Thermodynamics but a Fifth Law of Thermodynamics has been proposed by physicist Philip Carr: “The missing link in thermodynamics as taught in schools today seems to be a concise explanation of why order and structures abound in a universe purported to be driven by a Second Law [popularly known as the Law of Entropy] that states that disorder increases, always and everywhere. This short note is provided in order to stimulate discussion around a possible Fifth Law which predicts what we observe, which is that order and structures should actually predominate in the world in which we live.” Based on this model and observations the proposed 5th Law of Thermodynamics criticizes the notion of stochastically generated order. "An open system containing a large mixture of similar automatons, placed in contact with a non-equilibrated environment, has a finite probability of supporting the spontaneous generation and growth of self-constructing machines of unlimited complexity." This proposed Fifth Law of Thermodynamics is also known, in some circles, as negentropy. Negentropy was proposed by the physicist Schrödinger as a kind of free energy that accumulates within systems that store energy but it is facetious to assume that the storage of extra energy might necessarily result in greater order, (and complexity) except by way of increasing the means of storage. The Fifth Law of Thermodynamics supports the notion of creation by an outside force such as the Unmoved Mover or God. “ So, let’s get back to my favorite subject, Existence. Existence does NOT exist—it IS. Something that does not exist generates all that exists. Energy and mass exist, therefore, there are only two possible conclusions regarding origin. One: energy is eternal and concomitantly, consciousness may only be a higher order feature of energy and mass. This is the position of an elevated atheism. Two: all that exists depends on something that does not exist. This is the philosophical and metaphysical explanation of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas that leaves the door open to providence, grace, honor and beauty. The former is a closed universe going nowhere. When you die you return to energy for re-cycling. End of story. The world of negentropy preserves a universe where honor, beauty and goodness are desirable for more than just subjective reasons. Where is the goodness and beauty in the cold atheism of abortion or the moral weirdness of homosexuality? The desire for a stochastic or randomly generated universe is a moral-free universe from the perspective of objective morality. A stochastic universe fits the process morality of pure subjectivity and is the universal choice of moralists on the left. Make no mistake about it. The present political tension in the US is really about atheistic morality versus the flawed but traditional morality of the Founders. Conservatives, for all their faults, tend to support the intent of the Founders. What the left thinks it is supporting in nothing but entropy in the guise of concern. Throw a set of marbles down and watch them roll. They will describe a random pattern of energy dispersion based on various resistances of friction, gravity, direction, etc. What the pattern does not tell you is who threw the marbles.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Gendron

    An essential book for anyone who wants to realize or speculate about the future of their work, society, and the world. I thank Adian Bejan for broadening my realization of multiple concepts, including evolution, life, and systems. A must read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chris Kargel

    I became both enamored and annoyed by this little treatise. The idea of searching for a unifying force behind the driving life of both animate and inanimate objects sounds so appealing, I couldn't help but almost cheer at the celebration of Movement. However, I would have easily wanted to avoid the grandstanding and self-indulgence the author offered. When he started talking about how all the ideas of early thinkers coalesced into the law of gravity, I shuddered at the obvious direction of his t I became both enamored and annoyed by this little treatise. The idea of searching for a unifying force behind the driving life of both animate and inanimate objects sounds so appealing, I couldn't help but almost cheer at the celebration of Movement. However, I would have easily wanted to avoid the grandstanding and self-indulgence the author offered. When he started talking about how all the ideas of early thinkers coalesced into the law of gravity, I shuddered at the obvious direction of his thought: that all the ideas of all of science coalesce into his tidy law. This whole thing could have been done, and done beautifully, without having the author declare himself the heir of all scientific thought. Oh well, it still offers some grand and wonderful ideas, if I can just ignore the ingratiation probably brought about by a life in academia.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tnb

    Why is zero not a possible rating? Goodness gracious, this book just about made me throw up; made me so nervous and uncomfortable. First of all, I am dumbfounded how someone who was mathy enough to escape Romania and finish a leading university's engineering program can write so much substantiated nonsense. Why aren't Duke and MIT burying their heads in the sand in shame! Look, patterns exist, high order patterns do exist, but this wishy-washy pseudo-science is not capturing any of it. Please, tak Why is zero not a possible rating? Goodness gracious, this book just about made me throw up; made me so nervous and uncomfortable. First of all, I am dumbfounded how someone who was mathy enough to escape Romania and finish a leading university's engineering program can write so much substantiated nonsense. Why aren't Duke and MIT burying their heads in the sand in shame! Look, patterns exist, high order patterns do exist, but this wishy-washy pseudo-science is not capturing any of it. Please, take any science class and learn how science works and why the fundamental laws of Newton have made it thus far and why this law is not going anywhere. Please, do humanity a favor by not reading this book and instead taking a real class from an accredited school.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nick Gogerty

    Very well done and simple exposition on constructal theory. the insight of scalar laws leading to change in all systems are important. the basic premise of increased flow leading to phase shifts and bifurcations are very beuatiful discoveries in science and complex systems including social and economic ones. this is a very accessible and fun science book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jorge Cruz

    Its writing is some cyclic (non a treelike flow for reading), nevertheless its hypothesis looks (almost) flawless. There is a lack of objectivity, it seems rather a fairy-tale of the evolution of things.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ashwin

    Interesting premise and well presented. At some point though it seems that they are trying to stretch a simple idea too much to fill the pages.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Abner Rosenweig

    Constructal Law is revolutionary and broadly applicable in the diverse areas of science, technology, and even society. It resolves the question of why trees and arteries and lightning and riverbeds all have similar fractalesque patterns, for example. And after Bejan's introduction of the constructal law, Jeremy England came forth with his dissipation-driven adaptation hypothesis, which startled the physics world with an explanation of how the laws of thermodynamics might predispose life to emerg Constructal Law is revolutionary and broadly applicable in the diverse areas of science, technology, and even society. It resolves the question of why trees and arteries and lightning and riverbeds all have similar fractalesque patterns, for example. And after Bejan's introduction of the constructal law, Jeremy England came forth with his dissipation-driven adaptation hypothesis, which startled the physics world with an explanation of how the laws of thermodynamics might predispose life to emerge in the universe. While England got a great deal of academia limelight and Bejan has remained in the shadows, few recognize England's hypothesis is just another application of constructal law. While the notion of constructal law is groundbreaking, the book itself feels long-winded and repetitive, and Bejan and his writing sidekick Zane occasionally push too far, making some of their claims laughably grandiose. The book does a serviceable job identifying the "flow system" and demonstrating how many operations in nature and culture adhere to the constructal dynamic: "For a finite-size flow system to persist in time, its configuration must evolve in such a way that provides easier access to the currents that flow through it," Bejan observes. It is also inspiring to realize that earth's complex features often don't exist as isolated phenomena but as part of a larger system in the global flow. For example, trees are cited as a pumping station for ground-to-air water flow. This makes me wonder how other common structures serve in the flow system at different levels: human body, society, the earth, and beyond. Does the constructal law imply that the universe itself maximizes flow? If so, how? The implications of constructal law for science, tech, and social institutions, economics, politics, urban planning, and ethics are immense. The idea could stimulate thousands of master's theses and our entire global civilization could, probably should, be designed with principles derived from the law. But the book goes too far. Bejan wants to redefine life as everything that moves and morphs in order to flow. I'm not sure why this redefinition is necessary. Isn't it enough to observe that nature operates in a nested, interconnected series of flow systems? Things really go into the woods when Bejan attempts to apply his natural law to society and culture. Bejan claims social systems naturally, inexorably follow the constructal law, moving toward the highest good. It's absurd to believe human society unconsciously obeys this law when those in power deliberately undermine the common good to satisfy their greed. In the past, this greed has led to the collapse of empires and history will undoubtedly repeat itself. Society doesn't naturally conform to any grand evolutionary purpose that will lead us to a promised land, and it's deeply out of touch and insulting to the fallen societies and spoiled habitats on the planet to suggest that everything always works out for the best. In his assessment of society, Bejan oversimplifies. Perhaps our economy has maximized the flow of goods over time, but Bejan neglects to factor in the flow of money--the distribution of income in our hypercapitalist economy is wildly out of control and far beyond the constraints of any regulatory law of nature. "On the world stage, you can place solid bets that the entire globe will continue spreading the rule of law, free trade, human rights, globalization, and all the other design features that guarantee more movement for us and our stuff... because of physics" (258). What a relief! I was concerned our global economy and social institutions were off track, but we have nothing to worry about because physics. Thank you, Professor Bejan! Haha. Constructal law is an incredible idea. Properly understood, it would revolutionize civilization. That said, I'd also encourage the author to know the law's limits and to be cautious of excessive claims.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    This was a hard one to rate, since I couldn't give it a 2.5. I decided to round up because I thought it offered some useful examples and the general gist of it was worth engaging with. To explain why I will split up the positives and negatives below: Positives: -We need more people undermining the absolute distinction between biological life and non-life chemistry. Speculative realist philosophy often does this on the humanities side, so its great to see people with engineering/science background This was a hard one to rate, since I couldn't give it a 2.5. I decided to round up because I thought it offered some useful examples and the general gist of it was worth engaging with. To explain why I will split up the positives and negatives below: Positives: -We need more people undermining the absolute distinction between biological life and non-life chemistry. Speculative realist philosophy often does this on the humanities side, so its great to see people with engineering/science backgrounds doing it on the other side. -Constructive flow theory is incredibly useful. Its not as well put as a theory of everything being the moving of stuff around as the physics book 'Shell Beach' by Jesper Moller Grimstrup does, but its intriguing and offers some great examples of how flow maximizes efficiency. -Constructal Law clearly could be explored more to help flesh out more philosophical ideas, and so, even if you hate this book, its probably worth engaging with on some level. Negatives: -He may not have had the science to back up his claims, but Lao Tzu beat Adrian Bejan to the punch by a few thousand years here, and yet nowhere is even a mention of him in this text. -Some of the examples are not as definitive as the author thinks they are. His favorite flow systems to reference are river beds and forests. When he goes into the flow system being 'progressive' (i.e. always getting more efficient with time) he forgets that he is isolating his examples rather than leaving them as part of a dynamic world where other flow systems clash with them. Forests and river beds may behave a certain way constantly *if left alone*, but climate changes, plate tectonics grind on, forest fires arise. The system may have tendencies to constant flow improvement, but it also dramatically resets due to unexpected events. Sometimes, this allows another process to take over space from the old one. Points in camp Taleb and Darwin and not for Bejan here. -See point above, now imagine what the author's politics are. Yeah. This is the worst part. Some very Stephen Pinker-y leaks seep in, undermining the text. Lukewarm NYT op-ed page tier takes on politics and a neo-Victorian/Whiggish view of history come across as a desperate attempt to salvage faith in the traditional liberal project. But much like riverbeds or life on earth, all things live in borrowed time. 'Civilization', after all, actually decreased the quality of life for most people adopting the agrarian lifestyle of a very long time before it started to deliver truly positive benefits across the board. It is also currently cooking up the biggest environmental crisis in recorded history. Plenty of ideological doctrines, which the author also awkwardly tries to put into his framework, have also had debatable and even net negative impacts on human culture. Periods of divergence can be a boon for human innovation, and unity and merging can sow the seeds of decline through the complacency they engender. This is why there is no 'arc of history bending towards freedom' or 'right side of history.' The author blithely stating we live in greater freedom now, in a time when anyone can be fired for saying the wrong thing on their own time and state surveillance capacities are beyond anything ever seen before is simply laughable. Bejan should stick to hard science. It would serve his core arguments about the physical world much better.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Peter Aronson

    Sometimes, someone has or learns an idea that explains a bunch of what previously have been thought to be unrelated phenomena. This is very exciting, and if they are not careful they will start to claim to see applications of their idea everywhere. If they are intellectually honest, they will at some point pull back and reduce their claims (Benoît Mandelbrot might have claimed to have invented "the science of earth forms" in Fractals: Form, chance, and dimension, despite the field of geomorpholo Sometimes, someone has or learns an idea that explains a bunch of what previously have been thought to be unrelated phenomena. This is very exciting, and if they are not careful they will start to claim to see applications of their idea everywhere. If they are intellectually honest, they will at some point pull back and reduce their claims (Benoît Mandelbrot might have claimed to have invented "the science of earth forms" in Fractals: Form, chance, and dimension, despite the field of geomorphology being over 100 years old at the time, but by The Fractal Geometry of Nature he had dropped that claim). If not, they then see proof of their idea everywhere, and disproof of it nowhere. That's where Bejan and the "constructal law" seems to have ended up. Which is unfortunate, as there are some interesting observations here, even if marred by overreaching, teleological thinking, "just so" stories and imprecision. (There seems to be a phenomenon where at some point in the career of successful, intelligent man (it may happen to women too, but I've only observed it so far in men) where their ego metastasizes and they think they understand all fields of study: see Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe and A New Kind of Science.) Do I recommend you read this book? Maybe? He talks about flows getting "better" over time, but doesn't define better until page 41, and then it's a rather vague definition to cover so many different things. There is a lot of interesting stuff in here, but Bejan almost never shows his work – it's almost always how he (and usually someone else) go off, and using simple geometry and arithmetic discover this amazing correspondence (except these are, at least in this book, always ex post facto "discoveries" that merely confirm what was already known). Not to mention all the insights he vouchsafes us that other have had long before (or the simplistic views he attributes to scientists who commit the sin of disagreeing with him). And then there are the last two chapters where he really lets his enthusiasm run away from him, where he wields his beloved hammer of his constructal law against every nail in sight, and everything looks like a nail to him...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Another science book I decided to read! Good brain exercise but not an exciting one in my opinion as it took a lot of concentration to get to the end (my issue, not the author's). Certainly would have been better if I was also sitting in the author's classes to get a better understanding of his concepts and thus had the opportunity to ask a few questions. I struggle with his idea of a constructal law vs gravity defining much of these "flows" but he's more knowledgeable than I on these issues and Another science book I decided to read! Good brain exercise but not an exciting one in my opinion as it took a lot of concentration to get to the end (my issue, not the author's). Certainly would have been better if I was also sitting in the author's classes to get a better understanding of his concepts and thus had the opportunity to ask a few questions. I struggle with his idea of a constructal law vs gravity defining much of these "flows" but he's more knowledgeable than I on these issues and how they connect. Did find some interesting excerpts below worth additional thought on my part.... - Everything that moves, whether animate or inanimate, is a flow system. All flow systems generate shape and structure in time in order to facilitate this movement across a landscape filled with resistance (for example, friction). - This treelike pattern emerges throughout nature because it is an effective design for facilitating point-to-area and area-to-point flows. Indeed, wherever you find such flows, you find a treelike structure. - ... the physics concept of the dead state, which means "equilibrium with the environment" in thermodynamics: a system that is at the same pressure, the same temperature, and so forth as its surroundings, and hence, in which nothing moves. - The design of our bodies... has evolved to enable us to cover greater distances per unit of useful energy (food, fuel). - When lava pours out of the volcano, another remarkable phenomenon occurs: the lava seems to select between two flow options, choosing the better way to move at any given time. - If it is moving quickly, it generates a different flow configuration - a treelike structure with channels and branches - because this is the better way to move quickly.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Al Parker

    I don't usually write bad reviews for books. If it is a three or less I don't rate or review it. I leave that task to others as I don't enjoy pummeling fellow authors. I make an exception with this book. The silly ideas on entropy combined with the sense of self-importance this author regards himself demand being called out. As other reviewers have noted, the author feels he has discovered a law of nature. That is quite a claim and is best left for your peers to determine (which they don't seem to I don't usually write bad reviews for books. If it is a three or less I don't rate or review it. I leave that task to others as I don't enjoy pummeling fellow authors. I make an exception with this book. The silly ideas on entropy combined with the sense of self-importance this author regards himself demand being called out. As other reviewers have noted, the author feels he has discovered a law of nature. That is quite a claim and is best left for your peers to determine (which they don't seem to be lining up to do). Too bad because there are a few concepts that are interesting and might be worth investigating., but the author has shot his credibility. Don't bother with this one.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Fascinating concept and interesting broad examples, the writing was a bit repetitive though.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Max

    although I appreciate the overall message of the "constructal law," this was very underwhelming. . . although I appreciate the overall message of the "constructal law," this was very underwhelming. . .

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra S

    It is so illuminating that I want to keep it a secret

  24. 4 out of 5

    TJ Ryu

    Bridge The writer can make a bridge between the animated and inanimated. The constructal law made me think about many things about evolution.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pete Welter

    I came to this book because John Hagel, an author and thinker I admire, was very high on the concept, and because I'm often wondering why things in the world look and work as they do. Author Adrian Bejan, an expert in thermodynamic engineering, came to Constructal Law though the portal of his field. He noticed that his geometry of the designs required to most efficiently move heat in electrical circuits closely resembled other structures he saw in both natural and man-made environments: trees, ci I came to this book because John Hagel, an author and thinker I admire, was very high on the concept, and because I'm often wondering why things in the world look and work as they do. Author Adrian Bejan, an expert in thermodynamic engineering, came to Constructal Law though the portal of his field. He noticed that his geometry of the designs required to most efficiently move heat in electrical circuits closely resembled other structures he saw in both natural and man-made environments: trees, circulatory systems, and road networks. The essence of Constructal Law as I understood it: the geometry and function of the dynamic elements of the world, whether biological living systems, human cultural systems, or systems in nature (such as a river system) are all governed by the flow of greater to lesser (whatever those mean for a given system). These flows are constantly improving themselves to move more mass (or energy or knowledge) faster and with less effort. Through a few relatively simple rules and concepts, it's possible to use the Construcal Law to understand and predict the range of options available for a system to function and to improve - and it turns out that range of options is much narrower than we might suppose for reasons that are based in the physics of the world. Bejan finds the Constructal Law so universally applicable that the whole idea of biology and life becomes nothing more than the next improvement on the earth systems that came before. That is, biology happens to do a superior job of moving mass faster and with less effort, but there's nothing else inherently magic about life. He goes from there to apply the Law to sports, to academic institutions, to traffic flow and eventually to the shape of culture. His arguments and examples have an appeal in that regard. Why should there be magic dividing line between "living" and non-living systems, when as Bejan shows, they share many common elements in their dynamics? The depth of his questioning reminded me of Sam Harris in "The Moral Landscape" who pondered why we believe that moral thinking is somehow magically different than our other thinking. Personally, it still feels to me like the world is more complicated that Constructal Law predicts. However, Bejan's examples are compelling enough that I can't rule out his approach either. However merited you believe his arguments are, he brings a perspective so different, but that matches we we see in nature in so many ways, that you can't help but look at the world just a little differently by the time you're done. So, if you are somebody who likes to have their perspective on the world jolted, this book is for you. All that said, this is far from a perfect book. There is a fair amount of repetition between chapters. In some ways, it seems almost like a set of individual papers or lectures that were collected, but it leads to a book that could have easily been about half as long and not lost anything. Bejan does not lack confidence, and his claims are sometimes spectacular. Part of that comes with the territory, with a Law that he feels explains the origins of how everything on earth is shaped and moves. However, I think another part of it comes from Bejan coming from a relatively narrow focus and applying his work to areas he isn't as familiar with. I can't say Constructal Law doesn't apply broadly, but I think I find a more humble approach a bit more appealing. However, it must be said that being an outsider to many fields lets him question things that people in those specific fields are too close to see. I often found myself wishing that the examples were explained in more depth, as I don't know that the math would have gotten that much more hairy had they done so, and I think I might gotten a better grasp on the connections between his examples. So, I highly recommend reading it for the core idea of Constructal Law, but with the caveat that you may find the journey a bit tiresome.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Praveen Sinha

    The book started on an interesting premises of 'constructal law'. After that it went on connecting the shape/ form of the naturally occurring patterns and man made created efficient machines. And how they all are similar in their design(form) because everything is a flow. This goes on till the end where the author shifts his comparison of forms from one natural pattern to other till he reaches the earth as one system. I was surprised he didn't went further to encompass the whole universe & also The book started on an interesting premises of 'constructal law'. After that it went on connecting the shape/ form of the naturally occurring patterns and man made created efficient machines. And how they all are similar in their design(form) because everything is a flow. This goes on till the end where the author shifts his comparison of forms from one natural pattern to other till he reaches the earth as one system. I was surprised he didn't went further to encompass the whole universe & also sub-atomic world. However, his ideas and examples kept repeating - after a premise or hypothesis same examples were stated to the point of irritation at the end - made it easier to go through the passages as they were same everywhere. Other than that - i sort of believe in the flow systems but i felt there was a line which was not being crossed or being delicately laid to not let mind wander into the anti-flow systems. Most of the patterns are generated by free material movements & law of physics & even the inanimate constructs. Nevertheless, there are anti-flow systems which keeps affecting the designs or may be even lead to destruction of it. The author went too far ahead with a lot of confusing premises without any solid justification. Finally, I would say I liked it because it gives a perspective - a fresh & new perspective to the designers & thinkers. I am also reading another book- "Thinking in Systems: A Primer" side by side on system designs which also says similar things about 'flow' however, that one is more realistic in its approach. I am really excited to check the hypothesis to create few artworks & design forms. And to me the most important thing which i felt was missing was -- may be all the flow systems are moving forward making efficient movement of mass & energy across the globe.- So how are they interacting with each other - how one slow flow hinders a fast flow. I would be more interested to know that part of his theory.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I really don't know what to rate this book so I'm giving it three stars. Because he MIGHT be right. I read the whole thing. And I kept thinking, "This might be right. Or it might be baloney." And I don't have the science chops to know which. I started reading in hopes of getting insight into the patterns of tree branches and lightning for the purpose of drawing them better. (And I think I DID get that.) But found myself quickly in the middle of a very developed tome by someone who thought he had I really don't know what to rate this book so I'm giving it three stars. Because he MIGHT be right. I read the whole thing. And I kept thinking, "This might be right. Or it might be baloney." And I don't have the science chops to know which. I started reading in hopes of getting insight into the patterns of tree branches and lightning for the purpose of drawing them better. (And I think I DID get that.) But found myself quickly in the middle of a very developed tome by someone who thought he had discovered the secret to the whole universe and who was too delighted about it. He may have something. But he doesn't have everything. And my guess is he takes it too far. I picture him in bed late at night thinking of one more thing he could add and one more thing, etc. etc. till the whole universe in his mind became an unadulterated expression of his own brilliant idea. (Which is that EVERYTHING serves to increase flow.) But he never says why that would be--what purpose that would serve or why flow would be good--which seems to me a big piece missing. I guess that's for later discovery. But I could write a book about how everything is about plaid. If I thought about it long enough, I could explain that everything in the universe was plaid. And that it was all about color mixing so as to make more and more extraordinary plaid. I could back it up sufficiently to get really excited about it I bet. But that wouldn't make it true. So there's the cliff hanger. Also in the beginning he does seem to think that his theory is antithetical to religion. It certainly is soul-less. But the fact is, he might be right. Perhaps, as he clearly thinks, this idea is the most important scientific breakthrough since evolution. It might be. It's interesting.Or...as so frequently occurred to me while reading, this might be baloney. Main thing, I wouldn't worry about it enough to think that the book is worth reading. I don't think it is. Even if it's true. If it is, I'm sure we'll find out more about it later.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jack Getz

    Strange Bedfellows This book is the child of an egg headed engineer/mathematician/scientist/philosopher and a charming storyteller. It’s so docile and informative then suddenly it’s too scholarly and distant. I actually thought tthe writer was an intellectual abuser because he has such a delightful way of describing things but at the drop of a hat produces pages of mathematical justifications and formulates to underpin his prose. I need more time to digest it all but Imam a believer that all dev Strange Bedfellows This book is the child of an egg headed engineer/mathematician/scientist/philosopher and a charming storyteller. It’s so docile and informative then suddenly it’s too scholarly and distant. I actually thought tthe writer was an intellectual abuser because he has such a delightful way of describing things but at the drop of a hat produces pages of mathematical justifications and formulates to underpin his prose. I need more time to digest it all but Imam a believer that all development in the natural and human world is subject to his ingenious constructural law which works perfectly to explain why everything on this planet makes sense because it augments the laws of thermodynamics and physics. This book is the child of an egg headed engineer/mathematician/scientist/philosopher and a charming storyteller. It’s so docile and informative then suddenly it’s too scholarly and distant. I actually thought tthe writer was an intellectual abuser because he has such a delightful way of describing things but at the drop of a hat produces pages of mathematical justifications and formulates to underpin his prose. I need more time to digest it all but Imam a believer that all development in the natural and human world is subject to his ingenious constructural law which works perfectly to explain why ALL THINGS on this planet make sense and play a part in the whole, because it augments the laws of thermodynamics and physics. (And mathematics😱) It’s both an easy and impossible read so I suggest you prepare yourself to be enlightened with repeated Aha moments, and then buried beneath the mathematics that made me want to throw my iPad against the wall. This book explains just about everything. Go figure!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    The premise of the book is that nature (which include all of us) follows a basic law of construction and how energy is dispersed over a system. If you look at a tree and the way the branches grow out from the trunk, this is the same structure as a river system, the human lung, lightning and social organizations (larger branches dispersing energy and work into smaller and smaller branches to effectively move energy and produce work efficiently). Following the laws of thermodynamics, energy gets d The premise of the book is that nature (which include all of us) follows a basic law of construction and how energy is dispersed over a system. If you look at a tree and the way the branches grow out from the trunk, this is the same structure as a river system, the human lung, lightning and social organizations (larger branches dispersing energy and work into smaller and smaller branches to effectively move energy and produce work efficiently). Following the laws of thermodynamics, energy gets dispersed and nature constructs the same system and path for all organisms. Based on construction law, scientists can predict systems and structure. This applied to athletics where they were able to predict and map out the paths of runners and swimmers knowing how energy is dispersed over a system. I enjoyed reading this book. A little too technical at times. The book outlines that basic premise that nature follows basic laws to move energy efficiently over a period of time and given system to more effectively produce work. Or, to state the opposite. Nature is not random but there is a logical, unified system that governs growth and work.

  30. 5 out of 5

    MikeFromQueens

    Not very well written. It almost felt like the chapters were a transcribed lecture series. I found that there were too many references throughout the book to the same examples such that I often skipped paragraphs. Interesting concepts, yes, and several thought-provoking ideas that resolved such things (in my mind) as to why Humans are #1 on this planet: bi-pedal is a distinct advantage! I did enjoy the reference to Steven Jay Gould and "re-playing the tape" thought-experiments. Constructal law i Not very well written. It almost felt like the chapters were a transcribed lecture series. I found that there were too many references throughout the book to the same examples such that I often skipped paragraphs. Interesting concepts, yes, and several thought-provoking ideas that resolved such things (in my mind) as to why Humans are #1 on this planet: bi-pedal is a distinct advantage! I did enjoy the reference to Steven Jay Gould and "re-playing the tape" thought-experiments. Constructal law identifies where SJG's conjecture is seriously challenged (in my mind). I thoroughly enjoyed the underlying theme at how the contructal law brings physics into biology - which is now resolved for me, thank you Dr. Bejan! Yet, there are unanswered questions that may invoke a future book or research area: what about light? This topic was avoided, and my guess is that light cannot be eaily defined as flowing. Can't we have a chapter, or a few paragraphs to address it?

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