Re: Adaptationism again

Bryant (
10 Sep 1996 11:08:48 -0600

In article <512t6v$>, Paul Gallagher <> wrote:
>In <511enl$> (Bryant) writes:
>>There simply are no academic Panglossians out there. Gould created the
>>monster so that he could strike it down (viva Gould).
>Well, no. You say this, Dawkins says this, but you're both wrong. A
>counter-example is provided by your own posts, where you imagine you
>are explaining the evolution of jealousy.

I used jealousy as an example to illustrate the point I was making
against current utility assumptions in evolutionary biology.

Trying to explain a single emotion in adaptive terms is not
pan-adaptationism, of course. That's a bit of illogic that I'm growing
tired of seeing from your side of this debate.

Since that exchange, however, I've located a number of articles on
jealousy, and emotions in general, which universally support the notion
that emotions motivate adaptive behaviors. There are also sex
differences in adult sexual jealousy. Interestingly, the patterns
reflect the different fitness interests males and females see in mateships.

>Anyway, why do people dislike Gould so much? Tell the truth here!

It's interesting to me how often anti-adaptationists so often assume that
those of us who disagree with them must be lying about something.

>Again, just take a look, with an open mind, at the Berkeley web site,
>or at some writings by Seilacher or Raup, if you can't stomach Gould
>and Lewontin. Or even D'Arcy-Thompson - a pan-adaptationist of an extreme
>kind, but with a keen appreciation for structural constraints.

If you've read my posts, you know that I've read more of Gould and
Lewontins' work that their champions here on the newsgroup. All *you*
have to do is take a look at the volumes from the last decade or two of
Animal Behaviour or Evolution to see that Williams' points have been well
taken to heart.

You're beating a dead horse by attacking Panglosianism. If that's how
you feel like spending your time, be my guest. But don't try to set me
up as one of your straw men because I dare suggest that emotions were
naturally selected for instead of the accumulated result of random
genetic drift.