Lunch Break: The Constructal Law

I’ve been reading a book called Design in Nature, by Adrian Bejan and J. Peder Zane. It’s an extremely thought-provoking book and I haven’t fully decided what I want to say about it, so my review is still coming, but I wanted to give you a heads up that today at noon, Adrian Bejan (who is a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke) will be talking about the book and its central theme: the “constructal law,” which is sort of a unified theory for design in nature*:

Both the natural and human worlds are constantly in flux, from changing weather patterns to buzzing insects to information traveling on the Internet. Duke Professor Adrian Bejan has a theory that he says unites all such things under a single principle. His constructal law of nature explains why particles, animals and people evolve patterns — such as riverbeds, wings and highways — to move about the earth. In a live, online “Office Hours” conversation March 22, he will take viewer questions about the science behind this design in nature.

You can submit questions for Bejan before today’s webcast by email ( or Twitter #dukelive.

More: Nature review of Design in Nature (firewalled, sorry)
Design in Nature at

*Bejan makes very clear in his book that he is talking about design principles and physics, NOT Intelligent Design. It’s kind of alarming that when scientists use the word “design” now they have to include that qualifier.


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