Adaptationism and Optimality by Steven Hecht Orzack, Elliott Sober

By Steven Hecht Orzack, Elliott Sober

The idea of adaptationism argues that usual choice includes enough explanatory strength in itself to account for all evolution. although, there are differing perspectives concerning the potency, or optimality, of the variation version of rationalization. If the adaptationism concept is utilized, are power and assets getting used as optimally as attainable? Adaptationism and Optimality combines contributions from biologists and philosophers, and provides a scientific remedy of foundational, conceptual, and methodological concerns surrounding the speculation of adaptationism.

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If these assumptions apply, then the probability of gaining red petals (Pg) in birdpollinated (BP) lineages should have a direct relation to the likelihood of red petals evolving given that they are favored by selection for bird attraction (PgΩBP). This likelihood should be a reasonable prior expectation of Ladapt for Lobelia cardinalis. Similarly, Pg in lineages that are not bird-pollinated (NBP) should be a reasonable predictor of Lalt. 34 Phylogenetic Analysis of Adaptation Pagel (1994b, 1998) and Milligan (1994) have developed a maximum-likelihood method for estimating the probabilities of change based on a tree topology and a set of tip values for both the independent variable (pollination mode) and the dependent variable (petal color).

Baum and michael j. donoghue applicability of likelihood approaches. However, it is commonplace to explore a range of models to determine the area of parameter space within which one hypothesis is favored over the other. This amounts to specifying the background assumptions that need to be met to prefer that hypothesis and is, we think, a great improvement over approaches such as parsimony whose background assumptions are hard to identify (Lewis 1998). To see how a likelihood framework can be applied to the testing of an adaptive hypothesis, consider the logic of the parsimony approach of Baum and Larson (1991).

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.

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