Talk:Spandrel (biology)

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(random heading)[edit]

(inserted for readability ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 07:29, 16 October 2009 (UTC))

Could we have more biological examples, and less less about architecture? --Apoc2400 (talk) 09:50, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

More biological examples would be a good thing, but the article is about some kind of abstract structurals, so less about architecture wouldn't be good. Some citations are needed. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 07:29, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Differentiate between present usage and original formulation[edit]

Spandrel is a term used in evolutionary biology describing a phenotypic characteristic that is considered to have developed during evolution as a side-effect of an adaptation.

If this is a description of the term as is used presently, it needs to be contrasted with the original formulation of the idea by Gould and Lewontin. They would not have accepted 'side-effect of an adaptation' as a necessary condition of being a spandrel (although they don't actually use any such term, aside from referring to the particular architectural structure by that name). In fact, they propose a variety of processes by which non-adaptive traits might arise. On that note, the article really needs to be expanded with reference to these propositions. --Pugettia (talk) 07:36, 4 March 2009 (UTC)


Get back to the biological term exaptation[edit]

"Spandrel" is a poetic but confusing term. Exaptation is much more precise (and the term actually coined by Gould and Lewontin). Exaptation has the further benefit of the semantic link with adaptation, and of course cannot be confused with an architectural feature. Exaptation was the word we used at Berkeley when talking about Gould's paper among the grad students, as well, and I think most folks in the field would prefer it. If it didn't disrupt a ton of links from other articles, I'd be tempted to replace almost every instance of "spandrel" with "exaptation."

Xanthoptica (talk) 18:16, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I am leaning toward agreeing with you, so long as it remains easy for a person searching for 'spandrel' to find the page. Many authors have run with the term 'spandrel' in talking about non-adaptive traits (e.g. Pigliucci and Kaplan's (2007) Making Sense of Evolution). --Pugettia (talk) 22:59, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I get the impression that "Spandrel" and "Exaptation" are two related but different concepts, where exaptation is an item reused for a new purpose and spandrel something that is inherent in the "bauplan" and probably the physical reality, but "takes function" only when the organism develops so far. So while a spandrel is "preeminent" in the "bauplan", the exaptation fulfills the spandrel, and therefore the words "spandrel" and "exaptation" tend to cooccurr, which makes many a man believe they mean the same thing. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 07:40, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

From reading this article, I have no idea what a spandrel is, and I suspect the author doesn't know either[edit]

Give actual examples. As it stands this article is a waste.69.122.158.213 (talk) 12:45, 4 April 2011 (UTC)captcrisis

Agreed. This article offers no examples of spandrels in biology nor any explanation of the mechanisms by which spandrels occur in the first place. Instead, it goes into great lengths about the origin and use of the term "spandrel" in biology and its associated controversy. Perhaps this article should be retermed "History of the Use of 'Spandrel' in Biology". :P
–– amanisdude (talk) 01:21, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Well, my thanks to the author(s) for the current version of the article, at the time I would agree that it is a difficult read and that a few examples for us non-specialists would be helpful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.129.165.235 (talk) 11:01, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Agreed with captcrisis[edit]

this is an extraordinarily difficult read. Quite possibly the most linguistically dense page I've ever seen on Wikipedia. I had been hoping for a "simple English" link, but no dice. 68.225.24.2 (talk) 16:32, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

My impression is that - this article is a "difficult read" because it deals with a poorly thought out concept and that too few contributors have called the emperor on his (now not so) new clothes. Prunesqualor billets_doux 00:59, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

I should be more explicit. Architectural structures, clearly, have commissioners and designers – natural evolutionary/biological structures are another matter. Prunesqualor billets_doux 02:11, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Language as a spandrel[edit]

Language as a spandrel not belong on this page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.147.90.2 (talk) 13:14, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

What Actually Is Spandrel Biology?[edit]

This article goes into detail about the naming of Spandrel, who named it, and the criticism of the thinking. This article must go into more detail on what Spandrel Biology actually is rather than going into its criticisms. This article is more about the criticisms rather than the actual topic. I would go into more detail on the Spandrel and instead of what it is being compared to what actually Spandrel Biology is. Also the language used in this article makes it very difficult to read and comprehend even as a college student. The language should be more general and use terms everyone can understand. This article could also use some examples of Spandrel Biology in the real world making it easier to comprehend and understand.

(Bruno.107 (talk) 19:10, 30 September 2014 (UTC))