Re: Where are the zoologists?

Pat Dooley (
14 Dec 1994 00:05:24 -0500

In article <3cipq6$>, (Joel Hanes) writes:

Both anthropologists and vert. paleontologists are
aware of the general falsity of "strict adaptionism" --
the idea that every feature of an organism is to be
explained, somehow, as an adaption to some selective

It's my impression that many species are the way they
are "for historical reasons" (as we say in software).

By contrast, it seems to me that the larger scientific
community and the popular press have yet to hear
that evolution is contingent -- that some things just
end up the way they do by accident, for no particular



The minor features are probably random. Many feature
hang around because they are there doing nothing. But
major features, such as bipedalism, that required a host
of consequential adaptations, some of which are still
not perfect, do not arise randomly.

In software terms, going from quadrupedalism to
bipedalism means rewriting all the locomotion routines,
the balance routines and the make program.

Pat Dooley