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adaptation +‎ -ism


adaptationism (uncountable)

  1. (evolutionary theory) The view that many traits of organisms are evolved adaptations.
  2. (evolutionary theory) A set of methods for distinguishing traits resulting from adaptation from those arising through other processes.
    • 2006, Massimo Pigliucci, Jonathan Michael Kaplan, Making Sense of Evolution: The Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Biology[1], University of Chicago Press:
      Until one is clear about just what one means by adaptationism, what evidence one needs to accuse someone of being an "adaptationist" will remain vague; this rather diminishes the force of the accusation.
  3. (pejorative, evolutionary theory) The belief that all traits are adaptations brought about by natural selection, when some are only functionless by-products (also called "spandrels").

Related terms[edit]