Preadaptation and the explanation of human evolution

Biology and Philosophy 14 (1):65-82 (1999)
The concept of preadaptation, though useful, continues to trouble evolutionary scientists. Usually, it is treated as if it were really adaptation, prompting such diverse theorists as Gould and Vrba, and Dennett to suggest its removal from evolutionary theory altogether. In this paper, I argue that the as-if sense is ill-founded, and that the sense of preadaptation as a process may be defended as unequivocal and generally useful in evolutionary explanations, even in such problem areas as human evolution.
Keywords adaptation  explanation  evolution  preadaptation  specialization
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DOI 10.1023/A:1006539827648
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C. Shelley (1999). Multiple Analogies in Evolutionary Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 30 (2):143-180.

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