Modest adaptationism: Muddling through cognition and language

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):504-506 (2002)
Strong adaptationists would explain complex organic designs as specific adaptations to particular ancestral environments. Weak adaptationists don't assume that complex organic functioning represents evolutionary design in the sense of niche-specific adaptation. For some domain-specific competencies (folkbiology) strong adaptationism is useful, not necessary. With group-level belief systems (religion), strong adaptationism can become spurious pseudo-adaptationism. In other cases (language), weak adaptationism proves productive.
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DOI 10.1017/S0140525X02220099
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