Wednesday, July 19, 2006

 

[evomech] [Update] Re: The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm


--- In evomech@yahoogroups.com, "John Latter" <jorolat@...> wrote:
>
>
> --- In evomech@yahoogroups.com, "jorolat" jorolat@a... wrote:
> >
> > [Gould & Lewontin, Royal Society of London, '78]
> >
> > Abstract:
> >
> > "An adaptationist programme has dominated evolutionary thought in
> > england and the United States during the past forty years. It is
> > based on faith in the power of natural selection as an optimizing
> > agent. It proceeds by breaking an organism into unitary "traits" and
> > proposing an adaptive story for each considered separately. Trade-
> > offs among competing selective demands exert the only brake upon
> > perfection; nonoptimality is thereby rendered as a result of
> > adaptation as well. We criticize this approach and attempt to
> > reassert a competing notion (long popular in continental Europe) that
> > organisms must be analyzed as integrated wholes, with baupläne so
> > constrained by phyletic heritage, pathways of development, and
> > general architecture that the constraints themselves become more
> > interesting and more important in delimiting pathways of change than
> > the selective force that may mediate change when it occurs. We fault
> > the adaptationist programme for its failure to distinguish current
> > utility from reasons for origin (male tyrannosaurs may have used
> > their diminutive front legs to titillate female partners, but this
> > will not explain why they got so small); for its unwillingness to
> > consider alternatives to adaptive stories; for its reliance upon
> > plausibility alone as a criterion for accepting speculative tales;
> > and for its failure to consider adequately such competing themes as
> > random fixation of alleles, production of nonadaptive structures by
> > developmental correlation with selected features (allometry,
> > pleiotropy, material compensation, mechanically forced correlation),
> > the separability of adaptation and selection, multiple adaptive
> > peaks, and current utility as an epiphenomenon of nonadaptive
> > structures. We support Darwin's own pluralistic approach to
> > identifying the agents of evolutionary change."
> >
> > Full text at:
> >
> > http://www.aaas.org/spp/dser/evolution/science/spandrel.htm
> >
> > [Bookmarked]
> >
> > Jorolat
>
> Now available at:
>
> http://www.aaas.org/spp/dser/evolution/history/spandrel.shtml
>
> John
> -- Model of an Internal Evolutionary Mechanism (based on an extension to homeostasis) linking Adaptive Mutations to the Baldwin Effect:
> http://members.aol.com/jorolat/index.html Evolution: Where Darwin meets Lamarck? Discussion Forum:
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evomech/
>

Now available at:

http://www.aaas.org/spp/dser/03_Areas/evolution/perspectives/Gould_Lewontin_1979.shtml

Wish they would stop moving it! :)

John Latter / Jorolat

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