Laws and Limits

Nature (the living world) is bound to obey the laws of physics and limits of space and is shaped by these laws and limits into patterns and forms. For example, there are only so many ways that you can fill space or join two points or fit certain shapes into a container. Living organisms must abide by these limits. Organisms must also respond and adapt to forces like gravity or the surface tension of water. Their forms are often shaped by these adaptations and different creatures face different challenges. For example, large animals must struggle against gravity and inertia, while small insects must struggle against forces like drag and surface tension.

This concept is closely allied with the concept of “form following function”, since function is often dictated and/or limited by the forces in the environment.