The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian paradigm: a critique of the adaptationist programme

@article{Gould1979TheSO,
  title={The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian paradigm: a critique of the adaptationist programme},
  author={Stephen J. Gould and Richard C. Lewontin},
  journal={Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. Biological Sciences},
  year={1979},
  volume={205},
  pages={581 - 598}
}
  • S. Gould, R. Lewontin
  • Published 21 September 1979
  • Biology, Medicine, Philosophy, Sociology
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. Biological Sciences
An adaptationist programme has dominated evolutionary thought in England and the United States during the past 40 years. It is based on faith in the power of natural selection as an optimizing agent. It proceeds by breaking an organism into unitary ‘traits’ and proposing an adaptive story for each considered separately. Trade-offs among competing selective demands exert the only brake upon perfection; non-optimality is thereby rendered as a result of adaptation as well. We criticize this… Expand
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