Behavioral and Brain Sciences



Short Communication

Identifying adaptation by dysfunction


Donald F. Klein a1
a1 Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032 Donaldk737@aol.com

Abstract

Specifying exact selection pressures for identifying adaptations is unnecessary. Novel behaviors are not spandrels since they can only develop because of prior functions. An adaptationist approach has a high prior probability, whereas spandrel hypotheses attempt to prove a negative. The concept of maladaptive spandrel is criticized. The utility of dysfunctional states for identification of adaptations gone wrong is emphasized.



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