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Stephen Jay Gould on Environment - Dictionary of Arguments

IV 43
Environment/Adjustment/Selection/Darwinism/Gould: according to the traditional point of view Darwinism is first and foremost a theory of natural selection.
Gould: that is certainly true, but in reference to power and scope of selection we have become overzealous when we try to attribute every conceivable form and behaviour to their direct influence.
Another often forgotten principle prevents any optimal adaptation: the strange and yet compelling paths of history! Organisms are subject to the constraints of inherited forms that slow down their evolution! They cannot be reshaped every time their environment changes.
IV 44
History/Gould: a world that would be optimally adapted to its current environment would be a world without history, such a world could have been created as we find it now.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gould I
Stephen Jay Gould
The Panda’s Thumb. More Reflections in Natural History, New York 1980
German Edition:
Der Daumen des Panda Frankfurt 2009

Gould II
Stephen Jay Gould
Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes. Further Reflections in Natural History, New York 1983
German Edition:
Wie das Zebra zu seinen Streifen kommt Frankfurt 1991

Gould III
Stephen Jay Gould
Full House. The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin, New York 1996
German Edition:
Illusion Fortschritt Frankfurt 2004

Gould IV
Stephen Jay Gould
The Flamingo’s Smile. Reflections in Natural History, New York 1985
German Edition:
Das Lächeln des Flamingos Basel 1989

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