Philosophers who apply the theory of evolution generally do so in a very simple way. The philosopher picks some capacity that human beings have, a capacity which it is in one way or another useful for human beings to have, and argues that it must have been selected for in the evolutionary process. This use of the theory of evolution is one that many evolutionary biologists find extremely questionable. The working evolutionary biologist does not assume that every useful capacity of a species is the result of selection. A genetic alteration frequently has many different effects. If any one of those effects contributes markedly to the reproductive success of members of the species having that gene, then that new genetic trait will be selected for, and other side effects, provided they are not so negative as to cancel out the benefits of having the new genetic trait, will be carried along. In this way, it can even happen that a trait which does not contribute to the survival potential or the reproductive success of a species, or even one which it would be better for the species not to have, arises through natural selection without itself being selected for. But it can also happen that the trait which is carried along is actually beneficial to the species, although that is not the reason why the trait became universal in the species. In general, the assumption that every change in a species which is beneficial to the species was specifically selected for is rejected in contemporary evolutionary theory. Evolutionists are extremely cautious about saying which capacities and organs and so on were specifically selected for (were “adaptations”) in the evolutionary history of a species and which ones arose serendipitously. Philosophers, however, are not so cautious.
[Hilary Putnam; Renewing Philosophy (Gifford Lectures), Kap. 2]
Diese Art Philosoph nennt sich heute Evolutionspsychologe und ist in Funk und Fernsehen sehr beliebt dafür, daß sie uns die letzten Geheimnisse der menschlichen Art offenbart, indem sie sich Geschichten aus der Steinzeit ausdenkt; oder? Züchtigt mich, wenn ich falsch liege.