Re: Exaptation and The Adaptationist Stance
JOHN LANGDON (LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU)
Mon, 22 May 1995 12:47:46 -0400
Another list I am on has also recently dumped on Gould, and particularly on the
Spandrels article as if it were somehow threatening to all evolutionary studies.
I see it in a different light from its critics. Gould and Lewontin do not deny
adaptation, but the unreflective practice of many evolutionists of assuming
adaptation a priori. Let's face it, there have been some pretty silly things
written to explain the adaptive advantages of specific traits. Nonetheless, we
cannot do without an adaptationist approach.
This is not a question of who is "right." While Gould and Lewontin were in
a position where they had to state their case strongly, I think all
evolutionists would agree that evolutionary explanation requires both adaptation
and non-adaptive change. Read their article as it was intended: a cautionary
tale meant to wake up complacent adaptationists.
JOHN H. LANGDON email LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY FAX (317) 788-3569
UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS PHONE (317) 788-3447
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46227