Evolutionary Spandrels

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Read the article by Gould and Lewontin (1979). This article presents a critique of the way evolutionary biology was evaluating selection and adaptation. This article spawned a major turning point for the field. It provides the notion that some traits arise simply as a structural byproduct of selection on other traits. This means that observed or inferred functional differences cannot always be equated to adaptive changes.After reading this article, write a short essay describing how this idea of constraints impact evolution and the way in which researchers should study evolution. What information would Gould and Lewontin need to justify calling a trait an adaptation? What are the main critiques of the Adaptationist Programme? How important do you think the evolutionary history of the species is when considering if a trait is an adaptation? How important do you think constraints are to the process of evolution? Explain your reasoning for these opinions. Be sure to relate back to the readings, lectures, and/or videos that you watched in Modules 2 and 3.Requirements

  1. One-half to one typed-page, single-spaced, times new roman, and 12 point font. DO NOT GO OVER ONE PAGE. Include your name and your section number at the top of the page and upload your assignment as a Word document by the due date. Be concise and logical in your writing.

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