Teaching About Adaptation: Why Evolutionary History Matters
- Kostas Kampourakis
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Adaptation is one of the central concepts in evolutionary theory, which nonetheless has been given different definitions. Some scholars support a historical definition of adaptation, considering it as a trait that is the outcome of natural selection, whereas others support an ahistorical definition, considering it as a trait that contributes to the survival and reproduction of its possessors. Finally, adaptation has been defined as a process, as well. Consequently, two questions arise: the first is a philosophical one and focuses on what adaptation actually is; the second is a pedagogical one and focuses on what science teachers and educators should teach about it. In this article, the various definitions of adaptation are discussed and their uses in some textbooks are presented. It is suggested that, given elementary students’ intuitions about purpose and design in nature and secondary students’ teleological explanations for the origin of adaptations, any definition of adaptation as a trait should include some information about its evolutionary history.
- Amudson, R. (1996). Historical development of the concept of adaptation. In M. R. Rose & G. V. Lauder (Eds.), Adaptation (pp. 11–53). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
- Ariew, A., & Lewontin, R. C. (2004). The confusions of fitness. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 55, 347–363. CrossRef
- Audesirk, T., Audesirk, G., & Byers, B. E. (2002). Biology: Life on earth (6th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
- Avise, J. C. (2010). Inside the human genome: A case for non-intelligent design. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- Beatty, J. (2006). Replaying life’s tape. Journal of Philosophy, CIII(7), 336–362.
- Bloom, P., & Weisberg, D. S. (2007). Childhood origins of adult resistance to science. Science, 316, 996–997. CrossRef
- Bock, W. J. (1980). The definition and recognition of biological adaptation. American Zoologist, 20(1), 217–227.
- Bowler, P. J. (2003). Evolution: The history of an idea (3rd ed.). Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press.
- Brandon, R. N. (1990). Adaptation and environment. Princeton New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
- Burian, R. M. (1992). Adaptation: Historical perspectives. In E. F. Keller & E. A. Lloyd (Eds.), Keywords in evolutionary biology (pp. 7–12). Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: Harvard University Press.
- Campbell, N. A., & Reece, J. B. (2005). Biology (7th ed.). San Francisco: Pearson Education- Benjamin Cummings.
- Cummins, R. (2002). Neo-teleology. In A. Ariew, R. Cummins, & M. Perlman (Eds.), Functions: New essays in the philosophy of psychology and biology (pp. 157–172). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Darwin, C. (1859). On the origin of species by means of natural selection. London: John Murray.
- Darwin, F. (1995/1902). The life of Charles Darwin. London: Senate.
- Dawkins, R. (2006/1986). The Blind Watchmaker. London: Penguin Books.
- Depew, D. (2008). Consequence etiology and biological teleology in Aristotle and Darwin. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 39, 379–390. CrossRef
- Evans, E. M. (2001). Cognitive and contextual factors in the emergence of diverse belief systems: Creation versus evolution. Cognitive Psychology, 42, 217–266. CrossRef
- Evans, E. M. (2008). Conceptual change and evolutionary biology: A developmental analysis. In S. Vosniadou (Ed.), International handbook of research on conceptual change (pp. 263–294). New York: Routledge.
- Evans, E. M., Spiegel, A., Gram, W., Frazier, B. F., Tare, M., Thompson, S., et al. (2010). A conceptual guide to natural history museum visitors’ understanding of evolution. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47, 326–353.
- Futuyma, D. (2005). Evolution. Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates.
- Godfrey-Smith, P. (1994). A modern history theory of functions. Noûs, 28(3), 344–362. CrossRef
- Gould, S. J. (2002). The structure of evolutionary theory. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
- Gould, S. J., & Vrba, E. S. (1982). Exaptation—a missing term in the science of form. Paleobiology, 8(1), 4–15.
- Griffiths, A. J. F., Gelbart, W. M., Miller, J. H., & Lewontin, R. C. (1999). Modern genetic analysis. New York: WH Freeman and Company.
- Kampourakis, K. (2011). Children’s intuitive teleology: How the philosophy of science may inform conceptual development research. Paper presented at the 11th International history philosophy and science teaching conference, Thessaloniki, Greece.
- Kampourakis, K., & Zogza, V. (2007). Students’ preconceptions about evolution: How accurate is the characterization as “Lamarckian” when considering the history of evolutionary thought? Science & Education, 16(3–5), 393–422. CrossRef
- Kampourakis, K., & Zogza, V. (2008). Students’ intuitive explanations of the causes of homologies and adaptations. Science & Education, 17(1), 27–47. CrossRef
- Kampourakis, K., & Zogza, V. (2009). Preliminary evolutionary explanations: A basic framework for conceptual change and explanatory coherence in evolution. Science & Education, 18(10), 1313–1340. CrossRef
- Kampourakis, K., Pavlidi, V., Papadopoulou, M. & Palaiokrassa E. (2011). Children’s teleological intuitions: What kind of explanations do 7–8 year olds give for the features of organisms, artifacts and natural objects? Research in Science Education (online first article).
- Keil, F. C. (1992). The origins of an autonomous biology. In M. R. Gunnar & M. Maratsos (Eds.), Modularity and constraints in language and cognition. Minnesota symposium on child psychology (Vol. 25, pp. 103–138). New Jersey, Erlbaum: Hillsdale.
- Kelemen, D. (1999). The scope of teleological thinking in preschool children. Cognition, 70, 241–272. CrossRef
- Kelemen, D. (2003). British and American children’s preferences for teleo-functional explanations of the natural world. Cognition, 88, 201–221. CrossRef
- Kelemen, D. (2004). Are children “intuitive theists”? reasoning about purpose and design in nature. Psychological Science, 15(5), 295–301. CrossRef
- Kelemen, D., & DiYanni, C. (2005). Intuitions about origins: Purpose and intelligent design in children’s reasoning about nature. Journal of Cognition and Development, 6(1), 3–31. CrossRef
- Kitcher, P. (1993). Function and design. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 18, 379–397. CrossRef
- Lauder, G. V., Leroi, A. M., & Rose, M. R. (1993). Adaptations and history. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 8(8), 294–297. CrossRef
- Lewens, T. (2007). Adaptation. In D. L. Hull & M. Ruse (Eds.), Cambridge companion to the philosophy of biology (pp. 1–21). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
- Lewin, R. (2005). Human evolution: An illustrated introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
- Lewontin, R. C. (2001). The triple helix: gene, organism and environment. Cambridge, MA and London, England: Harvard University Press.
- Mader, S. S. (2004). Biology (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Mayr, E. (2002). What evolution is. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
- Miller, K. R., & Levine, J. (2004). Biology. Upper Sadle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Co.
- Nehm, R. H., Kim, S. Y., & Sheppard, K. (2010). Academic preparation in biology and advocacy for teaching evolution: Biology versus non-biology teachers. Science Education, 93, 1122–1146. CrossRef
- Paley, W. (2006/1802). Natural theology or evidence of the existence and attributes of the deity, collected from the appearances of nature. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
- Purves, W. K., Sadava, D., Orians, G. H., & Heller, C. (2004). Life: The science of biology (7th ed.). New York: WH Freeman & Company.
- Raven, P. H., Johnson, G. B., Losos, J. B., Mason, K. A., & Singer, S. R. (2008). Biology (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Reeve, H. K., & Sherman, P. W. (1993). Adaptation and the goals of evolutionary research. Quarterly Review of Biology, 68(1), 1–32. CrossRef
- Ridley, M. (2004). Evolution (3rd ed.). London: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Smith, M. U. (2010). Current status of research in teaching and learning evolution: II. Pedagogical issues. Science & Education, 19(6–8), 539–571. CrossRef
- Sober, E. (1993/1984). The nature of selection: Evolutionary theory in philosophical focus. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
- Southerland, S. A., Abrams, E., Cummins, C. L., & Anselmo, J. (2001). Understanding students’ explanations of biological phenomena: Conceptual frameworks or p-prims? Science Education, 85, 328–348. CrossRef
- Sterelny, K., & Griffiths, P. E. (1999). Sex and death: An introduction to the philosophy of biology. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
- Turner, J. S. (2007). The tinkerer’s accomplice: How design emerges from life itself. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: Harvard University Press.
- Walsh, D. (2008). Teleology. In M. Ruse (Ed.), The oxford handbook of philosophy of biology (pp. 113–137). Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- West-Eberhard, M. J. (1992). Adaptation: Current usages. In E. F. Keller & E. A. Lloyd (Eds.), Keywords in evolutionary biology (pp. 13–18). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Williams, G. C. (1996/1966). Adaptation and natural selection: A critique of some current evolutionary thought. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
- Williams, G. C. (2001/1996). Plan and purpose in nature: The limits of darwinian evolution. London: Phoenix.
- Wright, L. (1973). Functions. Philosophical Review, 82(2), 139–168. CrossRef
- Teaching About Adaptation: Why Evolutionary History Matters
Science & Education
Volume 22, Issue 2 , pp 173-188
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Geitonas School, P.O. Box 74128, 16602, Vari Attikis, Greece