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Identifying adaptation by dysfunction

  • Donald F. Klein (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 August 2002

Specifying exact selection pressures for identifying adaptations is unnecessary. Novel behaviors are not spandrels since they can only develop because of prior functions. An adaptationist approach has a high prior probability, whereas spandrel hypotheses attempt to prove a negative. The concept of maladaptive spandrel is criticized. The utility of dysfunctional states for identification of adaptations gone wrong is emphasized.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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