Re: Memetic Influence on Evolution

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Tue May 14 2002 - 03:10:25 BST

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    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: Re: Memetic Influence on Evolution
    Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 19:10:25 -0700
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    >>From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    >>Subject: Memetic Influence on Evolution
    >>Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 07:06:08 -0700
    >>The following story illustrates the coming influence of memetics on
    >>evolution. For a view of what we might do about it, read Francis
    >>Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution.
    >Sorry Grant, I fail to see your point. The article below summarizes the
    >of Rudy Raff and others (such as developmental biology text author Scott
    >Gilbert) to synthesize the long ago separated fields of experimental
    >developmental biology and evolutionary biology. I can't even see "meme" or
    >"memetics" as keywords in the below article. You must be reading your
    >assumptions into the article. Raff and others have been launching the field
    >of evolutionary developmental biology which has little to do with memetics
    >or cultural evolution *per se*, though instead of memetics offering
    >to evo-devo, Dawkins inspired memeticists might become more informed by
    >evo-devo, reading such books as Raff's _The Shape of Life_. It's a tad more
    >heady than _The Selfish Gene_.
    >Brian Hall and Wallace Arthur are two other authors to look for and there's
    >classic works by Gavin de Beer and Stephen Gould (ie- _Ontogeny and
    >Phylogeny_) too.
    >Evo-devo has more to do with Bauplane (body plans) than memes, though it is
    >important to note how erroneous mind sets like Haeckel's ORP have fallen by
    >the wayside.
    I guess you could say it comes from my own view of memetics that the use of
    genes to create new species is the creation of a meme. They weren't stories
    about memes per se but about the memetic use of genes. The meme as a tool
    viewpoint seems to me to be bearing fruit because it is creating new areas
    of cultural as well as genetic evolution. The evodevo concept is being
    picked up and passed around like any other meme. I suppose I just didn't
    think it would be that hard to see. Maybe that's the difference in our
    thinking. I see memes in the actions of people and you only see a meme if
    someone calls it one. It's what Rudy was doing that was memetic in my mind,
    not that he himself was calling it memetic. He was changing the content of
    our culture. He was also changing the way species are studied and created.
    To me, that's memetic activity. But I have no doubt others will demure and
    see it from a different point of view. A man who creates a new tool for
    work or study is creating a new meme and contributing to the body of our


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