Re: Evolution, "adaptation", and what's currently adaptive

Len Piotrowski (
Wed, 4 Sep 1996 14:19:27 GMT

In article <504v24$> (Bryant) writes:


>In article <>,
>Len Piotrowski <> wrote:
>>In article <501i8n$> (Bryant) writes:
>>>>You haven't identified an adaptation, so I guess you've lost the bet. Their
>>>>"fitness effects" are only asserted.
>>They are just-so-stories.

>I've gotten this msg twice, probably due to a glitch here at UNM.
>Anyway, I thought it over and decided that you're probably correct; I was
>too quick to jump to specific examples that were new to me rather than
>sticking to argument from principle.

>Ironically, I picked jealousy and sugar craving as crude, "common-sense"
>examples to illustrate a point, and didn't intend to end up defending
>adaptationist perspectives of these phenomena!

>But that's what I ended up doing, nevertheless. Live and learn.

>I should have said, "if we accept that X and Y are evolved traits," they
>still need not be currently adaptive (my original point, I believe).

OKay. I guess my main objection is the link between X and Y as evolved
traits and human behavior. I have no trouble recognizing the evolution of
sugar receptors on the tongue or the adaptive value of the human brain. I
question the role of nature anticipating the everyday world of a single
lifetime, whether it be in terms of "sugar craving" or "jealousy."