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Not by DesignRetiring Darwin's Watchmaker$
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John Reiss

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520258938

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520258938.001.0001

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(p.353) Conclusion
Not by Design

John O. Reiss

University of California Press

Darwin's preconceptions about adaptedness, combined with his focus on environmentally driven evolution, produced the theory of natural selection as a fundamentally teleological theory, which in turn has contributed many controversies in evolutionary biology. This book deals with the problem of teleology, arguing that Cuvier's principle of the conditions for existence can help resolve persistent issues in evolutionary biology. This conclusion summarizes the reasons why we need to “retire Darwin's watchmaker” to achieve a more balanced structure for evolutionary biology. It argues that by doing this, we can be free to pursue the study of evolution under the dual view of mechanisms which generate variation and the conditions for the continued existence of that variation.

Keywords:   adaptedness, evolution, natural selection, teleological theory, evolutionary biology, teleology, conditions for existence, variation

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