This round table about “Design in Nature” took place Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 at 2:30pm, at the The Helix Center, NY.
Prof. Adrian Bejan was one the five participants, and exposed his views on this topic, on the basis of the constructal law of evolution in nature.
This review, published inApplied Physics Reviews, covers two aspects of “evolution” in thermodynamics. First, with the constructal law, thermodynamics is becoming the domain of physics that accounts for the phenomenon of evolution in nature, in general.
Second, thermodynamics (and science generally) is the evolving add-on that empowers humans to predict the future and move more easily on earth, farther and longer in time. The part of nature that thermodynamics represents is this: nothing moves by itself unless it is driven by power, which is then destroyed (dissipated) during movement.
Nothing evolves unless it flows and has the freedom to change its architecture such that it provides greater and easier access to the available space. Thermodynamics is the modern science of heat and work and their usefulness, which comes from converting the work (power) into movement (life) in flow architectures that evolve over time to facilitate movement.
I also review the rich history of the science, and I clarify misconceptions regarding the second law, entropy, disorder, and the arrow of time, and the supposed analogy between heat and work.
The physics basis
This article unifies physics with economics by showing that the distribution of wealth is related proportionally to the movement of all the streams of a live society. The ‘unequal’ distribution of wealth on the earth happens naturally. Hierarchy is unavoidable, with staying power, and difficult to efface.
Two architectures illustrate this idea: river basins and the movement of freight.
The nonuniform distribution of wealth becomes more accentuated as the economy becomes more developed, i.e., as its flow architecture becomes more complex for the purpose of covering smaller and smaller interstices of the overall (fixed) territory.
This theory also predicts the Lorenz-type distribution of income inequality, which was adopted empirically for a century.
This article from Adrian Bejan and published by European Review shows that humans and technology are one species, and not two: humans and their artefacts are evolving as one species, the ‘human & machine species’.
The evolution of the human & machine species is well illustrated by the evolution of the commercial aircraft, the cooling of electronics, and modern athletics.
These evolutionary forms of flow organization can be predicted based on the law of physics that governs evolution in nature, bio and non-bio: the constructal law.
In brief, evolution, life and the human & machine species are physics
A. Bejan, Evolution as Physics: The Human & Machine Species, European Review, Volume 25, Issue 1 February 2017, pp. 140-149.
“A lot of care and attention is payed to urban planning, but the evolution of human settlements happens naturally because it is governed by a law of Physics.”
The evolution of the City is discussed by professor Adrian Bejan in the February 2017 issue of the Mechanical Engineering magazine.
On 25 July 2016, in an interview by the GEC MOOC team, Professor Adrian Bejan predicted that Donald Trump would win the US Presidential Election on 8 November 2016, on the basis of the S-curve theory of the Constructal Law in physics, as showed in the Figure 8.1, page 157, in his book The Physics of Life.