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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7551/978-0-262-32621-6-ch009
Pages 45-46
First published 30 July 2014

Identifying Adaptations by Measuring the Trait Derivative of Fitness

Drew Blount

Abstract (Excerpt)

Since Gould and Lewontin’s The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm (1979), there has been controversy in the philosophy of biology regarding adaptationism, a research program that looks to explain evolved organisms in terms of the adaptations that comprise them. Though Spandrels predates the field of artificial life, its central warning should be heeded by anyone studying evolving systems, organic or artificial: it is difficult to identify adaptations.