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Adaptationist Claims – Conceptual Problems

  1. Christopher D Horvath

Published Online: 25 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0003451



How to Cite

Horvath, C. D. 2001. Adaptationist Claims – Conceptual Problems. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 APR 2001


Adaptationism is the name for a general approach in evolutionary biology that emphasizes the importance of natural selection above all other evolutionary processes. In 1978, Gould and Lewontin published a now classic critique of adaptationism, launching a fierce debate about both the empirical and conceptual adequacy of this approach.


  • adaptationism;
  • adaptation;
  • constraint;
  • natural selection