Exaptation "Is it possible that technology is just such an exaptation, evolved originally to enable people to cut meat and chop wood, but available tens of thousands of years later to solve the growing problem of communication?"
"And might it be that our 'abilities', an adaptation of the primate brain, might through exaptation enable and explain the evolution of technological 'skills' that continues, ever accelerated, into the present?"
"is the use of a tool in a way that is not primarily intended..."
"Stephen J. Gould and Elizabeth S. Virba have proposed a term 'exaptations' to describe those characteristics in animals which give them an advantage today, even though they may have evolved originally for a different purpose."
Pursell, p. 27.
An exaptation is a character evolved for a different purpose than that which it is currently used. In other words, a character may be appropriated for a new use other than the uses for which it was originally developed.
Keystone tools such as ball bearings are essential to modern machinery that forms the basis of an automated technological complex.
Researchers at Durham University in UK have held seminars focused on a cross-disciplinary approach to understanding exaptation; that form of an adaptive response where the adaptation is used for another purpose effectively other that for which it was originally adapted.
Basically, changes occur simultaneously among gifted individuals in a society and the needs of the society itself to meet old problems or growing unmet demands. Old means are reorganized to promote ends different from those for which tools and techniques were originally designed to address. For example the wine press has elements which a thousand years later were used to enable a functional printing press to operate.