We Fit Nature to Us: Evolution’s 2-Way Street
It is in our nature to fit nature to us. We are best at it, but other species do it. This obvious but overlooked factor contradicts the dominant one-way-street gene-centric view of adaptation. A better framework for evolution is needed. Its shape isn’t clear, but it must incorporate: extracorporeal gene effects, “gene-culture coevolution,” “niche construction,” reduced randomness, and intelligent influences.
George Williams, a founder of the gene-centric school, claimed “Adaptation is always asymmetrical; organisms adapt to their environment, never vice versa.” He was wrong.