In praise of spandrels


So does this mean that the fact that men all ended up with a backpfeifengesicht was just a lucky chance?

"Basically, it’s the evolutionary biology of accident. Not all of our features were specifically sought after by evolution. "

You know that all of evolution is accidental, right?

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This bed was not designed for cats. It’s not a cat bed.

Seems pretty clear that the second statement is no longer true. Hope you’ve got some other place to sleep…

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Yeah, that’s not the ideal way to present the idea of a spandrel – it’s more that a trait evolved not due to direct selection on the trait itself but as an indirect result of the evolution of other traits. But yes, even traits under direct selection aren’t “specifically sought” by evolution – it’s just a consequence of variation plus differential reproductive success – there’s no active seeking going on.

The female hip makes a good resting place for the toddler’s bottom when held with one arm…

As does the male belly.

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