Well worth 20 minutes

Larry Moran over at the Sandwalk and PZ Myers at Pharyngula both encourage us to read This Week's Citation Classic: Gould and Lewontin's The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: a Critique of the Adaptationist Programme.

I have just re-read the paper, and can confirm that, 28 years after its original publication, it is as relevant as ever. The one-line summary:

One must not confuse the fact that a structure is used in some way […] with the primary evolutionary reason for its existence and conformation.

But don't trust to one-line summaries; the paper is well worth 20 minutes of your time.

What else are you going to do on a Sunday morning? Everyone else is at church!

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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