From: Steve Drew (srdrew_1@hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Feb 25 2002 - 23:01:50 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: mind"

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    > Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 21:30:13 -0500
    > From: rmey4892 <rmey4892@postoffice.uri.edu>
    > Subject: [none]
    > Local cultures are, in a very real sense, memetic species. Race is fast being
    > recognized as impossible to find biologically, and most physical differences
    > seem explainable through environmental and developmental mechanisms and
    > conditions.
    > Language is a main division, although difference there is also, IMHO, a local
    > phenomenon. (We all _can_ have language. We can't have long necks or
    > prehensile tails.) Music, especially the chromatic and tonic systems used, is
    > another. For all intents and purposes, I consider religion irrelevant, since
    > along with choice of transportation and fast food emporium it's more choosing
    > whatever's handiest, if one is allowed to desire to choose anything at all-
    > and that is not a species difference but a universal inertia.
    > When we all of us discourse in english and listen to Yanni, or whatever, it
    > will be a matter of plumage....
    > - - - Wade

    I am very ignorant regarding biology, but i thought speciation occured when
    two creatures could no longer 'get it together' ie the offspring of the
    union either is sterile or spontaneously aborts. With memetics, this
    division is far more fluid, and doesn't necessarily represent the true
    picture when cultures and languages interact.
    > thanks for the welcome
    > what is IMHO?

    In my humble opinion, and it took me a while to work out :-)
    > good to know that I am not nuts.thanks to all for the generally favorable
    > reviews.
    > my genetics textbook points to some first hand sources that say as little as
    > one gene can cause speciation. My idea is not a big leap from there, and the
    > thing about races being not that different genetically is no impediment to a
    > memetic species.

    If we push the biological analogy, which i am not always too keen on, then
    if we had memetic species then there would be no point of contact except as
    hunter , prey, or indifference (ie neither food nor hunter).
    > we all can have genes. Those genes can make prehensile tails and long necks.
    > these can be local genetic adaptations. These memes can build things as
    > different as an igloo and jumbo jet which can also be considered local, since
    > the materials for a jumbo jet are not easily found by Inuit tribe members. Are
    > igloos and Jumbo Jets as different as prehensile tails and long necks? I think
    > so.(oh yeah and technically we all can have long necks and prehensile
    > tails....simply reverse every selection pressure that has ever occured in
    > mankind to the common progenitor of life, then proceed up the branch of the
    > tree of life to reach a prehensile tail or long neck)

    Except of course that we don't because for us they weren't too useful, or we
    > interesting that you should bring up music. I actually wondered if you were
    > serious there at first, but it makes sense. Much can be communicated through
    > the medium of music and I think that whatever Tuvan throat-singers sing about
    > is completely lost on me (God Bless 'em....They sing two notes at once!!!!!)
    > finally its not so easy to chose whatever is handiest. Religion, fast food,
    > and cars are hard to come by if you've never seen them before. There may be
    > some inertia to fill the basic underlying biological needs these represent
    > (picking fruit from a fruit tree appears to me to be the fastest food I ever
    > saw, and perhaps I would not need to be "given" the meme for it.).

    If you wished to live in times of scarcity you would let some one else try
    first. When you are very hungry the temptation is eat! Memetically you would
    copy someone else. Let them take the risk. Of course with scarce resource if
    they scoff first there may be nothing left for you.

    Miss Quote " the secret of healthy hitch hiking is to eat junk food" Ford
    Prefect, Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.

    > It is
    > probably true, that genetic instructions sometimes define what must be
    > memetically derived, but the opposite should be true as well since memetics
    > can direct the flow of genes too (Disease resistance in sedentary cultures
    > (Jared Diamond, Guns Germs and Steel)).
    > Memetic species should be coherent collections of traditions(not just one as
    > someone proposed). large collections of memeplexes that form a large coherent
    > body of information (with some variation obviously mixed in for good measure)
    > should be considered memetic species, so religion can have a part in it too,
    > but not all of it. The point is moot anyway, since memetic species will soon
    > disappear forever (until space exploration...Go Star Trek).
    > Finally, thank you for the reading list, I may get around to it soon, but I am
    > otherwise occupied. Any other suggestions don't hesitate to write. I am
    > specifically interested in your opinion (John Wilkins) since your are most
    > aptly qualified for review of this subject.
    > Yanni.....P.U.
    > Randy

    A said earlier, if you want to use biological terms, what would be the
    equivalent for things that can still interact but are not seperate species.



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