Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Adaptationist Program

Perspective among some evolutionary biologists in which all characters are viewed as being optimized in adapting a species to its environment. Researchers using this approach attempt to determine the adaptive significance of species characters. The term was introduced in a discussion by Gould and Lewontin in 1979.

See W. D. Hamilton, G. C. Williams, E. O. Wilson, and R. Dawkins.

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