Can Cumulative Selection Explain Adaptation?

Publication Year:
2004
Usage 395
Downloads 395
Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1911
Author(s):
Nanay, Bence
conference paper description
Two strong arguments have been given in favour of the claim that no selection process whatever can play a role in explaining adaptations. According to the first one, selection is a negative force; it never creates, only destroys, hence it cannot play a role in explaining adaptation. The second argument claims that selection cannot play a role in explaining adaptation, since the explanandum and the explanans are phenomena at different levels: selection is a population-level phenomenon, whereas adaptation occurs on the individual level. After pointing out that both arguments ignore the significance of the limitation of environmental resources, I will construe a positive argument for the claim that cumulative selection processes can play a role in explaining adaptations.