Constructal Law of Design in Nature
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Deconstructing Trees

Deconstructing Trees | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it

Deconstructing Trees. Monochrome photographs exploring the patterns of constructal law in trees.


Via Nicholas Ripley
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Trees emerged everywhere. They continue to amaze us by its design. 

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Citations of 'constructal' publications,
rising on their constructal S-curve

Citations of 'constructal' publications, <br/>   rising on their constructal S-curve | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it

The updated indices of constructal related works in

qualified peer-review publications. The chart shows the number of citations per year.

 

h-index: 53

(excerpt from Thomson-Reuters® web of science with "constructal" as topic)

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The accumulated qualified citations since 1996 surpassed the 13,000 barrier. The annual number of publications also increased in 20% in 2016. 

 The number of citing Articles without self-citations is approaching the total number of citing articles. Newer researchers in newer fronts as the field takes its natural course of spreading. (updated in January 7, 2017)


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¿Por qué ese diseño en la naturaleza?

¿Por qué abundan los diseños ramificados en la naturaleza? ¿Estamos los humanos evolucionando a la par con las máquinas? ¿Qué es la ley constructal
Marcelo Errera's insight:
A 10-min video on some open questions and some answers on form, structure, design in nature. Fractals, constructal, what else ?

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Economies of scale: The physics basis

Economies of scale: The physics basis | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
Why is size so important? Why are “economies of scale” a universal feature of all flow systems, animate, inanimate, and human made? The empirical evidence is clear: the bigger are more efficient carriers (per unit) than the smaller. This natural tendency is observed across the board, from animal design to technology, logistics, and economics. In this paper, we rely on physics (thermodynamics) to determine the relation between the efficiency and size.
Journal of Applied Physics: Vol 121, No 4
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Observations showed us that size of energy conversion systems matters in the efficiency as far as design (configuration) goes. Now we have a theory to match our empirical observations.  Whether these findings can be extended to other flow (or conversion) system remains to be seen. I think it does.
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Wind Turbines Inspired by Insect Wings are 35% More Efficient

Wind Turbines Inspired by Insect Wings are 35% More Efficient | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it

"Wind turbines produce 4% of the planet’s energy, but they only work well when the wind is blowing just right. Now, by drawing inspiration from the flexible wings of insects, scientists have found a way to make wind turbine blades 35% more efficient at producing energy. If commercialized, the advance could make this green technology a more viable alternative to fossil fuels in the coming years."


Via Miguel Prazeres
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Another interesting example of design evolution. Those blades provide a good compromise between drag and net torque. It is a finite-size system which design is evolving to facilitate the flow of energy from the wind to a rotating axis.
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Ecosystem restoration strengthens pollination network resilience and functions.

Ecosystem restoration strengthens pollination network resilience and functions. | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
Land degradation results in declining biodiversity and the disruption of ecosystem functioning worldwide, particularly in the tropics1. Vegetation restoration is a common tool used to mitigate these impacts and increasingly aims to restore ecosystem functions rather than species diversity2. However, evidence from community experiments on the effect of restoration practices on ecosystem functions is scarce3. Pollination is an important ecosystem function and the global decline in pollinators attenuates the resistance of natural areas and agro-environments to disturbances4. Thus, the ability of pollination functions to resist or recover from disturbance (that is, the functional resilience)5, 6 may be critical for ensuring a successful restoration process7. Here we report the use of a community field experiment to investigate the effects of vegetation restoration, specifically the removal of exotic shrubs, on pollination. We analyse 64 plant–pollinator networks and the reproductive performance of the ten most abundant plant species across four restored and four unrestored, disturbed mountaintop communities. Ecosystem restoration resulted in a marked increase in pollinator species, visits to flowers and interaction diversity. Interactions in restored networks were more generalized than in unrestored networks, indicating a higher functional redundancy in restored communities. Shifts in interaction patterns had direct and positive effects on pollination, especially on the relative and total fruit production of native plants. Pollinator limitation was prevalent at unrestored sites only, where the proportion of flowers producing fruit increased with pollinator visitation, approaching the higher levels seen in restored plant communities. Our results show that vegetation restoration can improve pollination, suggesting that the degradation of ecosystem functions is at least partially reversible. The degree of recovery may depend on the state of degradation before restoration intervention and the proximity to pollinator source populations in the surrounding landscape5, 8. We demonstrate that network structure is a suitable indicator for pollination quality, highlighting the usefulness of interaction networks in environmental management6, 9.

Via Samir, Complexity Digest
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Restoration goes beyond species and population. The ecological interactions, although invisible, are the ones which make the whole system function.
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Channel vs flow dominance – the physical basis for a constructal theory of information – Constructal Infonomics

Channel vs flow dominance – the physical basis for a constructal theory of information – Constructal Infonomics | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
We need to distinguish between Universal Evolution as Bejan defines it, and what I will call Classical Life, the commonly understood subset of the universal, including biology, humans and technical life forms. II will argue that the collection, harvesting and storing of energetic flows as information in order to create and express knowledge is the hallmark of life. This definition is entirely consistent with both the Constructal Law and with existing theories of life. It is demonstrably true for all life forms, from basic biology to human neural networks to the Internet and to technical life forms at all scales and mechanisms of operation
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Science historians and philosophers predict changes of paradigms whenever the scientific community no longer progress in explaining the phenomena we still see and do not understand.
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Constructal Blog

Constructal Blog | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
“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. Constructal.org, the Blog.
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Trial and error in urban design has taught many lessons to us. But now we have theory based on physics. Add the power of simulation tools and we have greater chances to devise lasting urban designs. By the way, urban design considers a lot more issues and yet all cities have similar metrics. The original publication is available there: https://www.asme.org/about-asme/mechanical-engineering-magazine The full article is available by this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_eof9X53lcOVkFRS3EyeXV5T21BeEl5cS1Ob2xTRXpBOXZR/view?usp=drivesdk
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How Awe Shapes Views of Science

How Awe Shapes Views of Science | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
That feeling when we experience something bigger than us — and how it changes our thinking
Marcelo Errera's insight:
As many of us and many before us, Adrian Bejan was astonished by the "design" found everywhere in nature. He then took the leap to make sense of it based on Physics. That bigger thing is Nature itself - and thus natural. That changed the way he and many of us think and look at nature's beauty. He expanded the window Darwin and Wallace first opened to us. It's the Physics of Life.
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Infonomics, Thermodynamics and Trump – Constructal Infonomics

Infonomics, Thermodynamics and Trump – Constructal Infonomics | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Information flows because has value. Three concepts to be analyzed under Constructal Law: information, flow and information value. The empirical understand and employment of information flows have become a powerful in today's world.
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Visual Analysis of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems: Chaos, Fractals, Self-Similarity and the Limits of Prediction

Visual Analysis of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems: Chaos, Fractals, Self-Similarity and the Limits of Prediction | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it

Nearly all nontrivial real-world systems are nonlinear dynamical systems. Chaos describes certain nonlinear dynamical systems that have a very sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Chaotic systems are always deterministic and may be very simple, yet they produce completely unpredictable and divergent behavior. Systems of nonlinear equations are difficult to solve analytically, and scientists have relied heavily on visual and qualitative approaches to discover and analyze the dynamics of nonlinearity. Indeed, few fields have drawn as heavily from visualization methods for their seminal innovations: from strange attractors, to bifurcation diagrams, to cobweb plots, to phase diagrams and embedding. Although the social sciences are increasingly studying these types of systems, seminal concepts remain murky or loosely adopted. This article has three aims. First, it argues for several visualization methods to critically analyze and understand the behavior of nonlinear dynamical systems. Second, it uses these visualizations to introduce the foundations of nonlinear dynamics, chaos, fractals, self-similarity and the limits of prediction. Finally, it presents Pynamical, an open-source Python package to easily visualize and explore nonlinear dynamical systems’ behavior.

 

Visual Analysis of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems: Chaos, Fractals, Self-Similarity and the Limits of Prediction
Geoff Boeing

Systems 2016, 4(4), 37; doi:10.3390/systems4040037


Via Complexity Digest
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Though not directly related to Constructal Law, it s a very interesting tool to communicate studies in complexity.
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Biomimicry Helps Reduce Wind Turbine Noise

Biomimicry Helps Reduce Wind Turbine Noise | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it

"Many species of owl are able to hunt in effective silence by suppressing their noise at sound frequencies above 1.6 kilohertz (kHz) - over the range that can be heard by humans.
A team of researchers studying the acoustics of owl flight—including Justin W. Jaworski, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Lehigh University—is working to pinpoint the mechanisms that accomplish this virtual silence in order to improve the aerodynamic design of wind turbines, aircraft, naval ships and even automobiles. Now, the team has succeeded—through physical experiments and theoretical modeling—in using the downy canopy of owl feathers as a model to inspire the design of a 3D-printed, wing attachment that reduces wind turbine noise by 10 decibels without impacting aerodynamics."


Via Miguel Prazeres
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Very interesting feature. Indeed Nature has undergone a long process of design evolution. 
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Art Jones's curator insight, November 21, 2016 5:02 PM

It seems that we we feel when we feel we are being the most creative and innovating, we are arriving at a level of technical development that allows us to simply mimic those wondrous innovations that mother nature figured out long long ago.

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A Universal Rank-Size Law

A Universal Rank-Size Law | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it

A mere hyperbolic law, like the Zipf’s law power function, is often inadequate to describe rank-size relationships. An alternative theoretical distribution is proposed based on theoretical physics arguments starting from the Yule-Simon distribution. A modeling is proposed leading to a universal form. A theoretical suggestion for the “best (or optimal) distribution”, is provided through an entropy argument. The ranking of areas through the number of cities in various countries and some sport competition ranking serves for the present illustrations.

 

Ausloos M, Cerqueti R (2016) A Universal Rank-Size Law. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0166011. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166011


Via Complexity Digest
Marcelo Errera's insight:
The quest for universal natural laws belongs to the discipline of Physics. Zipf's Law and the new findings of this interesting paper goes in that direction. This paper is based on an optimality criterion of entropy production.  Prof. Antonio Heitor Reis has shown that such "ad-hoc" uses of "optimality" of entropy production are not first principles. They are corollaries of the Constructal Law. (ref: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003491614000682 )
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How complexity originates: Examples from history reveal additional roots to complexity

Most scientists will characterize complexity as the result of one or more factors out of three: (i) high dimensionality, (ii) interaction networks, and (iii) nonlinearity. High dimensionality alone need not give rise to complexity. The best known cases come from linear algebra: To determine the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a large quadratic matrix, for example, is complicated but not complex. Every mathematician, physicist or economist, and most scholars from other disciplines can write down an algorithm that would work provided infinite resources in computer time and storage space are given. (...) 

 

How complexity originates: Examples from history reveal additional roots to complexity
Peter Schuster
Complexity
DOI: 10.1002/cplx.21841


Via Complexity Digest
Marcelo Errera's insight:
It's reasonable to assume there is an underlying physics principle that drives systems to complexity.  Once the principle is identified, one will be able to discover when complexity emerges or not.
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Why Complexity is Different | Yaneer Bar-Yam

Why Complexity is Different | Yaneer Bar-Yam | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
One of the hardest things to explain is why complex systems are actually different from simple systems. The problem is rooted in a set of ideas that work together and reinforce each other so that…
Via Jürgen Kanz, june holley
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Constructal Theory is different. Complexity is a tool. One of the things I found most interesting in Constructal theory is that it tries to make sense of most of phenomena we usually accept empirical rules or take for granted. As we set forth theories for the major trends and recognize what flows and imposes resistances, complexity emerges as an outcome.
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Understanding Populism: Inequality by the Numbers

Understanding Populism: Inequality by the Numbers | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
The populist surge of 2016 was a long time coming, as data on income inequality demonstrates.
Marcelo Errera's insight:
What are the roots of income and wealth inequality? What if it's an innevitable outcome of the way economy self-organizes?
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Creative People Have Better-Connected Brains

Creative People Have Better-Connected Brains | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
DURHAM, N.C. –- Seemingly countless self-help books and seminars tell you to tap into the right side of your brain to stimulate creativity. But forget the “right-brain” myth -- a new study suggests it’s how well the two brain hemispheres communicate that sets highly creative people apart.
Marcelo Errera's insight:
More paths allow more freedom of flow configuration. The robustness of the design and the variability are interesting subjects for further investigation. 
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UNU-WIDER : Blog : A brief history of the role of energy in the global economy

UNU-WIDER : Blog : A brief history of the role of energy in the global economy | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
Marcelo Errera's insight:
After all, why humanity organized itself to consume and supply energy ?  Why haven't efficiency measures decreased energy consumption ? 
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Eugene Koonin: "The New Evolutionary Biology"

Eugene Koonin: "The New Evolutionary Biology" | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
“They should have invited Eugene Koonin,” Canadian biochemist Larry Moran told me in the hallway during a break at the November Royal Society “new trends” in evolution conference in London — somewhat exasperated by the proceedings. And I agreed. But Eugene Koonin doesn’t quite see it that way, as he revealed during our recent conversation.
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Even biology seeks paradigm shift because new facts came to light.
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How Life (and Death) Spring From Disorder | Quanta Magazine

How Life (and Death) Spring From Disorder |  Quanta Magazine | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
Life was long thought to obey its own set of rules. But as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent
Marcelo Errera's insight:
It seems more people are reading the book 'The Physics of Life'. As predicted by science historians and philosophers, a new paradigm emerges to rescue status quo incapability to explain the world around us. https://www.amazon.com/Physics-Life-Evolution-Everything/dp/1250078822
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Information and Self-Organization [Introduction to Special Issue]

The process of “self-organization” takes place in open and complex systems that acquire spatio-temporal or functional structures without specific ordering instructions from the outside. In domains such as physics, chemistry or biology, the phrase, “far from equilibrium”, refers to systems that are “far from thermal equilibrium”, while in other disciplines, the term refers to the property of being “away from the resting state”. Such systems are “complex” in the sense that they are composed of many interacting components, parts, elements, etc., and “open” in the sense that they exchange with their environment matter, energy, and information. Here, “information” may imply Shannon information, as a measure of the capacity of a channel through which a message passes, pragmatic information, as the impact of a message on recipients, or semantic information, as the meaning conveyed by a message.

 

Information and Self-Organization
Hermann Haken and Juval Portugali

Entropy 2017, 19(1), 18; doi:10.3390/e19010018


Via Complexity Digest
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Very interesting approach. Indeed when there is a finite-size system through which any flow takes places and there is freedom to morph, there will be organization and design evolution towards flow facilitation.  It's the constructal law. If one uses the ad-hoc principle of Minimum Entropy Production (mEP) or Maximum Entropy Production (MEP) or any other ad-hoc principle for that matter to guide the organization or the evolution he or she is invoking the constructal law.  For more, see Prof. Antonio Heitor Reis paper below:

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River basins of Brazil in rainbow colors - artwork that resembles fractals. Drawing is not explaining.

River basins of Brazil in rainbow colors - artwork that resembles fractals. Drawing is not explaining. | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it

Map print, wall art map, map poster, travel print, home decor, wall decor, printable, river map, wall art, poster, gift, art print, geography, hydrography, Brazil, Amazon ----------------------------------------------- High resolution map of all the streams and rivers of Brazil in beautiful rainbow colours, divided into catchment areas.

Marcelo Errera's insight:
River basins resembles fractals art work. But are they ? What is then the fractal dimension ? Is it an infinite series ?

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An Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions

An Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it

The emergence in the United States of large-scale “megaregions” centered on major metropolitan areas is a phenomenon often taken for granted in both scholarly studies and popular accounts of contemporary economic geography. This paper uses a data set of more than 4,000,000 commuter flows as the basis for an empirical approach to the identification of such megaregions. We compare a method which uses a visual heuristic for understanding areal aggregation to a method which uses a computational partitioning algorithm, and we reflect upon the strengths and limitations of both. We discuss how choices about input parameters and scale of analysis can lead to different results, and stress the importance of comparing computational results with “common sense” interpretations of geographic coherence. The results provide a new perspective on the functional economic geography of the United States from a megaregion perspective, and shed light on the old geographic problem of the division of space into areal units.

 

Dash Nelson G, Rae A (2016) An Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0166083. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166083


Via Complexity Digest
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Could economy be organized otherwise ? Multi-scale activity covering an area.
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Generic temporal features of performance rankings in sports and games

Generic temporal features of performance rankings in sports and games | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it

Many complex phenomena, from trait selection in biological systems to hierarchy formation in social and economic entities, show signs of competition and heterogeneous performance in the temporal evolution of their components, which may eventually lead to stratified structures such as the worldwide wealth distribution. However, it is still unclear whether the road to hierarchical complexity is determined by the particularities of each phenomena, or if there are generic mechanisms of stratification common to many systems. Human sports and games, with their (varied but simple) rules of competition and measures of performance, serve as an ideal test-bed to look for universal features of hierarchy formation. With this goal in mind, we analyse here the behaviour of performance rankings over time of players and teams for several sports and games, and find statistical regularities in the dynamics of ranks. Specifically the rank diversity, a measure of the number of elements occupying a given rank over a length of time, has the same functional form in sports and games as in languages, another system where competition is determined by the use or disuse of grammatical structures. We use a Gaussian random walk model to reproduce the rank diversity of the studied sports and games. We also discuss the relation between rank diversity and the cumulative rank distribution. Our results support the notion that hierarchical phenomena may be driven by the same underlying mechanisms of rank formation, regardless of the nature of their components. Moreover, such regularities can in principle be used to predict lifetimes of rank occupancy, thus increasing our ability to forecast stratification in the presence of competition.

 

Generic temporal features of performance rankings in sports and games

José A Morales, Sergio Sánchez, Jorge Flores, Carlos Pineda, Carlos Gershenson, Germinal Cocho, Jerónimo Zizumbo, Rosalío F Rodríguez, Gerardo Iñiguez

EPJ Data Sci. (2016) 5: 33. doi:10.1140/epjds/s13688-016-0096-y


Via Complexity Digest
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Also on sports rank, here is contribution by the constructal point of view:

RESEARCH ARTICLE The evolution of speed, size and shape in modern athletics Jordan D. Charles, Adrian Bejan Journal of Experimental Biology 2009 212: 2419-2425; doi: 10.1242/jeb.031161

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HK PolyU - GEC - Prof Bejan predicted that Donald Trump would win the US Presidential Election

On 25 July 2016, in an interview by the GEC MOOC team,  Prof. Adrian Bejan predicted Donald Trump will win in the US Presidential Election, which was based on Figure 8.1, page 157, in his book "The Physics of Life - The Evolution of Everything".

Marcelo Errera's insight:
ICYMI, with politics aside, chances of something happen following a physics principle. (edited) One may argue 50-50 chances. Indeed, but only one poll predicted Trump would win. So that's something to think about.
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A new twist on airplane wing design

A new twist on airplane wing design | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
MIT and NASA have developed a whole new twist on the design of airplane wings: “morphable” shapes made of modular parts.
Marcelo Errera's insight:
New degrees of freedom lead to new designs. It's the inevitable design evolution. There's no ultimate design.
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How ants self-organize to build their nests - CNRS Web site - CNRS

How ants self-organize to build their nests - CNRS Web site - CNRS | Constructal Law of Design in Nature | Scoop.it
Ants collectively build nests whose size can reach several thousand times that of individual ants and whose architecture is sometimes highly complex. However, their ability to coordinate several thousand individuals when building their nests remains a mystery. To understand the mechanisms involved in this process, researchers from CNRS, Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier and Université de Nantes1 combined behavioral analysis, 3D imaging and computational modeling techniques. Their work shows that ants self-organize by interacting with the structures they build thanks to the addition of a pheromone to their building material. This chemical signal controls their building activity locally and determines the shape of the nest. Its breakdown over time and due to environmental conditions also enables the ants to adapt the shape of their nests. This work is published in PNAS on 18 January 2016.
Marcelo Errera's insight:
Creative and meticulous study shed light in the mechanisms that lead to ants build anthill and nests.  It seems there is a "blueprint" they follow. And that raises another question, why this or that blueprint. What principle drove the design evolution ?
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