Gould's Five Adaptationist Programme

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The Five Adaptationist Programmes

The spandrels of San Marco and Panglossioan paradigm: a critique of the adaptationist programme, a paper by S.J. Gould and R.C. Lewontin, portrays five of the alternative adaptationist programmes which are the most common view of evolutionary reasoning to date. The first adaptationist programme Gould mentions in the paper is a population that does not undergo selection or adaptation. In this type of population it is possible for the alleles to differentiate and then fix for different alleles. The next adaptationist programme mentioned in Gould's paper is the method that observes an organism as a “whole ” instead of breaking down them down into separate traits. This type of programme was beneficial in that it gave rise to ideas like allometry, material compensation and pleiotropy, The third type of programme Gould discusses in his paper is, “the decoupling of selection and adaptation” (Gould 592). This is a population where adaptation occurs without selection or selection without adaptation. In this type of programme Gould describes a situation where a population undergoes a mutation that doubles the fecundity, which doubles the offspring produced. This would be beneficial in nature if the amount of offspring survival was doubled, but due to limited resources half would not survive, producing the same amount of offspring. The fourth programme Gould discusses in his paper is, “Adaptation and selection but no selective basis for differences among adaptations”(Gould 593). In this type of population there is no distinguishing a difference between a population undergoing selection or adaptation. The final programme that Gould discusses in his paper is the relationship between two unrelated adaptations and what connects these adaptations. A population undergoing this type of programme will assign functions to certain characters that have been developed early on in life.

All of Gould's alternative programmes provide a different

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