There is only kind of adaptationism: explanatory adaptationism. Explanatory adaptationism claims that adaptation is the “big question” in evolutionary biology, and natural selection is the “big answer”. In recent decades, philosophers of biology have largely come to agree, first, that explanatory adaptationism is only one kind of adaptationism among many (at the high end, seven) and, second, that these kinds are logically independent and so can, in principle, be accepted or rejected in any combination. On the surface, this is true. Beneath the surface, it is not. When the arguments supporting various forms of allegedly non-explanatory adaptationism are interrogated closely, each turns out to essentially rely on explanatory adaptationism. The different kinds of adaptationism should be recognized as different ways of understanding the import of explanatory adaptationism. In the end, every adaptationist is an explanatory adaptationist.

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