The descent of Biological Engineering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The genealogy of Biological Engineering, spanning a period of at least four millennia, shows that Biological Engineering is descended from the intersections of various disciplines that originate from three ancient pillars of knowledge, including the practices of engineering and medicine and the discipline of philosophy. The descent of Biological Engineering through the ages flowed from the demise of Teleology and from the triumph of Mechanism, making Biological Engineering a thoroughgoing mechanistic discipline, no different in this respect from all the other modern engineering disciplines. It is the mechanistic nature of Biological Engineering that enables the basic technical activity of Biological Engineering, engineering design, to be successfully accomplished. The genealogy of Biological Engineering also underscores that, based on historical evolution, Biomedical Engineering precedes Biological Engineering. Based on the disciplinary hierarchy, however, Biomedical Engineering falls under the rubric of the broader, more inclusive, Biological Engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number1 PART I
StatePublished - 2006


  • Biological engineering
  • Biomedical engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'The descent of Biological Engineering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this