Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Musings on the concept of exaptation and “creationism”

Charles Crawford a1
a1 Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6 Canada


I claim that our desire to be special motivates us to suppose that if we were not God created, we must be self-created. I also claim that Stephen J Gould's claims about punctuated equilibrium, the absence of directional selection, and exaptations, when taken together, lead to kind of secular creationism. I introduce the notion of “adaptive effects” and argue that a focus on the actual physiological and psychological mechanisms that produce adaptations provides a way out of the exaptation dilemma.