David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):267-280 (2009)
It is important to distinguish adaptation per se (adaptedness, or being adapted) from the more specific concept of adaptation for some function. Commonly used criteria for adaptation in either sense have limited applicability. There are, however, a number of widely applicable criteria for adaptation per se, such as several kinds of cost, low variation, the maintenance of integration, and the fitness distribution of mutations. Application of these criteria leads to the conclusion that adaptation is overwhelmingly prevalent for features of organisms. Neither the presence nor the absence of adaptation has a privileged status in inference. Effectively neutral evolution can occur on adaptive buttes while maintaining the same degree of adaptation, but it is likely to be relatively minor.
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References found in this work BETA
S. J. Gould & R. C. Lewontin (1994). The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme. In E. Sober (ed.), Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology. The Mit Press. Bradford Books. 73-90.
Citations of this work BETA
Patrick Forber (2009). Introduction: A Primer on Adaptationism. Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):155-159.
Deborah E. Shelton & Richard E. Michod (forthcoming). Group Selection and Group Adaptation During a Major Evolutionary Transition: Insights From the Evolution of Multicellularity in the Volvocine Algae. Biological Theory.
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