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Evolution And Optimality: Feathers, Bowling Balls, And The Thesis Of Adaptationism, Elliott Sober Jan 1996

Evolution And Optimality: Feathers, Bowling Balls, And The Thesis Of Adaptationism, Elliott Sober

Philosophic Exchange

This paper discusses the thesis of adaptationism in evolutionary biology. It is argued that there is a serious scientific question here whose answer is not yet in hand. The truth or falsity of adaptationism is a substantive question about the history of life that must be decided on a trait by trait basis.


Trees Of History In Systematics And Philology, Robert O’Hara Dec 1995

Trees Of History In Systematics And Philology, Robert O’Hara

Robert J. O’Hara

«The Natural System» is the name given to the underlying arrangement present in the diversity of life. Unlike a classification, which is made up of classes and members, a system or arrangement is an integrated whole made up of connected parts. In the pre-evolutionary period a variety of forms were proposed for the Natural System, including maps, circles, stars, and abstract multidimensional objects. The trees sketched by Darwin in the 1830s should probably be considered the first genuine evolutionary diagrams of the Natural System—the first genuine evolutionary trees. Darwin refined his image of the Natural System in the well-known ...