Ec 4 - Essay Example

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When an item is adapted to a new role, its design is altered to allow its work well in the new chore. The evolutionary natural science, conversely, gives two distinct meanings of adaptation (Gould &…
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Biology Article Summary The term adaptation has a number of definitions in both science and vernacular. When an item is adapted to a new role, its design is altered to allow its work well in the new chore. The evolutionary natural science, conversely, gives two distinct meanings of adaptation (Gould & Vrba 4-5). The first description, notes that adaptation occurs only when a feature is built as a result of natural selection for the role it executes. The second description concedes that adaptation is any feature that enhances the current fitness (Gould & Vrba 5-6). This brings out adaptation as both a process and a state of being. These two definitions are summarized as historical genesis and current utility.
This presents a dilemma of incorporating distinct criteria of current utility and historical genesis under a single phrase. Biologists have failed to to acknowledge the confusion between these two distinct definitions for they tend to observe natural selection as a dominant evolutionary progression, making the historical process and the current utility seem as combined (Gould & Vrba 7). An outstanding instance of how linking these two definitions has caused misunderstanding is Darwins’ and Williams’ failure to label the infused sutures as adaptation since they were not built by selection to function as they do in mammals (Gould & Vrba 7). Williams calls this feature as an accidental effect that aids in the survival of mammals and not an adaptation. Nonetheless, these biologists failed to give the features that develop as a result of fitness to a current role a name (Gould & Vrba 7-9). Since the new features that develop in organisms to aid in the survival of the descendants re not considered as an adaptation, they develop due to capability and not natural selection and are referred as exaptation. This, then, generates a variance between those features that develop due to natural selection and fitness to a current role. In this case, the mammalian sutures are an exaptation and not adaptation (Gould & Vrba 7-10).
Exaptation offers a solution to the dilemma of preadaptation. Evolutionists and biologists have experienced trouble with the concept of preadaptation. Most of them have connected the features that develop to assist in performing a new role as preadaptation. If adaptation were developed for a current use, then structures functioning in a distinct and subsequent way cannot be preadaptations. In this case, preadaptation has been associated with indeterminate teology. Teology implies a description of the role of a given feature. Notably, preadaptation has been just a classification of exaptation that is deliberated before the detail. Exaptation solves the dilemma of preadaptation. For instance, by referring to feathers, if they originally naturally developed for thermo regulation, then they would undergo exaptation to be used for flying. However, when considering the case of the dinosaurian lineages of birds that would run, then the feathers would be prospective preaptations for flying. Preaptations in this case replaces preadaptations to refer to the role before the actual cooptation. In this case, the preaptations are prospective, but yet-to-be-realised exaptations. Therefore, exaptation lets preaptation replace preadaptation (Gould & Vrba 5-8).
Works Cited
Gould, S. J., and E. S. Vrba. "Exaptation-a Missing Term in the Science of Form." Paleobiology, 8.1 (1982): 4-15. Print. Read More
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