Gould's Five Adaptationist Programme Essay

677 Words Mar 29th, 2014 3 Pages
The Five Adaptationist Programmes

The spandrels of San Marco and Panglossioan paradigm: a critique of the adaptationist programme, a paper by S.J. Gould and R.C. Lewontin, portrays five of the alternative adaptationist programmes which are the most common view of evolutionary reasoning to date. The first adaptationist programme Gould mentions in the paper is a population that does not undergo selection or adaptation. In this type of population it is possible for the alleles to differentiate and then fix for different alleles. The next adaptationist programme mentioned in Gould's paper is the method that observes an organism as a “whole ” instead of breaking down them down into separate traits. This type of programme was beneficial in
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This programme is important in nature because it undergoes genetic drift, which allows alleles to differentiate and fix without selection on the population. In a large population alleles become fixed for the favorable allele and in a small population alleles become fixed for the unfavorable allele. Genetic drift plays a big role in nature by making it difficult for new mutations to be introduced into the population. Gould's alternative of decoupling selection and adaptation is important to nature because it points out the idea that the amount of offspring is limited to the resources available in nature and can not produce more offspring then the resources available for them. Gould's alternative which looks at the organism as a whole is significant in nature because it brought up the topics of allometry (part of an organism in relation to the whole organism) and pleiotropy (idea where one gene controls multiple phenotypic traits). An example of pleiotropy in nature is the disease Phenylketonuria (PKU); a mutated gene that affects multiple characteristics. In a paper published in 1987 mentions, “Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an autosomal recessive human genetic disorder” indicating that pleiotropy is an important phenomenon in nature (Dilella 1987). An example of adaptation and selection occuring sequentially in nature is very difficult programme for me to visualize. This type of programme undergoes adaptation, but does not give any insight

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