The importance of comparative and phylogenetic analyses in the study of adaptation

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):525-525 (2002)
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Homology can provide strong evidence against exapted learning mechanism (ELM) explanations for psychological and behavioral traits. Homologous traits are constructed by commonly inherited developmental mechanisms. As such, demonstration of homology for a trait argues for its construction by an inherited rather than an exapted developmental process. We conclude that comparative evidence can play an important evidentiary role within evolutionary psychology.



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James Roney
Michigan State University

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