The purpose of adaptation
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A central feature of Darwin’s theory of natural selection is that it explains the purpose of biological adaptation. Here, I: emphasise the scientific importance of understanding what adaptations are for, in terms of facilitating the derivation of empirically-testable predictions; discuss the population genetical basis for Darwin’s theory of the purpose of adaptation, with reference to the “fundamental theorem of natural selection”; and show that a deeper understanding of the purpose of adaptation is achieved in the context of social evolution, with reference to inclusive fitness and superorganisms.
Gardner , A 2017 , ' The purpose of adaptation ' Interface Focus , vol 7 , no. 5 , 20170005 . DOI: 10.1098/rsfs.2017.0005
& 2017 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
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