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By Steven Hecht Orzack, Elliott Sober

The idea of adaptationism argues that common choice comprises enough explanatory strength in itself to account for all evolution. even though, there are differing perspectives in regards to the potency, or optimality, of the difference version of clarification. If the adaptationism concept is utilized, are strength and assets getting used as optimally as attainable? Adaptationism and Optimality combines contributions from biologists and philosophers, and gives a scientific therapy of foundational, conceptual, and methodological concerns surrounding the speculation of adaptationism.

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A. Grafen, and R. Dawkins. 1979. Evolutionarily stable nesting strategy in a digger wasp. Journal of Theoretical Biology 77: 473–496. Milinski, M. 1979. An evolutionarily stable feeding strategy in sticklebacks. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 51: 36–40. Orzack, S. H. 1990. The comparative biology of second sex ratio evolution within a natural population of a parasitic wasp, Nasonia vitripennis. Genetics 124: 385–396. Orzack, S. , and E. D. Parker, Jr. 1990. Genetic variation for sex ratio traits within a natural population of a parasitic wasp, Nasonia vitripennis.

If both of these things are true, then the parsimony approach assumes that selection for the specified biological role did, indeed, cause character fixation. However, although such an observation strengthens an adaptive hypothesis it is by no means definitive. Even if a derived character has a selective advantage relative to its antecedent state, genetic drift or selection for a different biological role might have been partly or wholly responsible for its fixation. Thus, to evaluate an adaptive hypothesis we must take into account the possibility that the character would have evolved without selection for the hypothesized role.

This organizational divergence reflects and reinforces the molecularization of biology. More and more, biology is simply research on molecules that rightly or wrongly involves little or no investigation of the larger biological context. For that matter, a substantial fraction of molecular biologists does not view evolutionary biology as a worthwhile science. This attitude is reinforced by the departmental division, which lessens or eliminates direct contact with evolutionary biologists, and by undergraduate training in biology that now often makes molecular biology and biochemistry courses mandatory and courses in organismal biology optional.

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