Re: virus: Dawkins is an idiot

David McFadzean (
Wed, 20 Nov 1996 18:33:19 -0700

At 01:00 AM 28/08/70 +0000, David Leeper wrote:

>I believe that Exaptation differs from Adaptation in the following
>1] Natural selection will often select against traits that will one
>day be used by Exaptation. Until Exaptation occurs, these traits
>may actually decrease the organisms chance for survival, with no
>corresponding benefit.

So an exaptation is an adaptation that isn't immediately useful.
It is still a type of adaptation.

>I would say the peacocks tail puts it at a disadvantage in one area,
>but at an advantage in another area. (Perhaps this combination is
>not all that rare, consider our brains and the good and bad they are
>capable of).

Of course. Otherwise it would not have developed that huge tail.
Similarly, even though the flounder wastes energy metamorphing
in mid life and is at somewhat of a disadvantage during the period
when one eye has only migrated halfway around its head, the advantage
of occupying the niche of other flatfish more than makes up for it,
otherwise it wouldn't be like it is. In any case the flounder is
non-optimal, but the same is true for every other living organism.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus