We’ve seen that misconceptions regarding natural selection and adaptation are common. Natural selection is often incorrectly viewed as the only mechanism of evolution and is commonly misinterpreted as “trying” to perfect organisms. Similarly, people tend to over-apply the concept of adaptation, looking for adaptive advantages in traits that may have evolved for some other function or through means other than natural selection. Although natural selection and adaptation are key concepts in evolutionary theory, the mechanisms of evolution are diverse and include mutation, migration, and genetic drift, and the results of evolution are contingent upon the vagaries of history.
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