Someone must really do a word study sometime on the many tautologies associated with Darwinism. One that appears in quite a few science media releases is “adaptive.”
Science philosopher Karl Popper noted,
To say that a species now living “is adapted to its environment is almost tautological,” Popper wrote. “Adaptation or fitness is defined by modern evolutionists as survival value, and can be measured by actual success in survival. There is hardly any possibility of testing a theory as feeble as this.” [Popper, *Unended Quest* 1974, p. 168]
A friend notes that R.C. Lewontin said something similar. He doubted that “adaptive” could be a useful term said so repeatedly in the late 1970s, for example,
In order to make the argument that a trait is an optimal solution to a particular problem, it must be possible to view the trait and the problem in isolation, all other things being equal. If other things are not equal, if a change in a trait as a solution to one problem changes the organism’s relation to other problems of the environment, it becomes impossible to carry out the analysis part by part, and we are left in the hopeless position of seeing the whole organism as being adapted to the whole environment.”
See also: Finally, retiring the term “living fossil” is hot?
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