RE: Memetic Influence on Evolution

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Tue May 14 2002 - 15:19:37 BST

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    Subject: RE: Memetic Influence on Evolution
    Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 07:19:37 -0700
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    >Nice piece, Grant.
    >Just a quick aside: Fukuyama's brave isn't he? After being about as wrong
    >as you can be with his 'end of history' idea, he's back with a new "idea"
    >that is getting huge coverage all over the place. To be fair, his new idea
    >looks a little more sensible, but I'm always wary of grandstanding
    >like him.
    Hi Vincent,

    I liked the fact that Fukuyama is at least thinking about the moral
    implications of what people are doing by messing with nature now that they
    can. But the things he's looking at are five to ten years behind curve on
    the rate of change and I don't think the government is the proper vehicle to
    institute restrictions, because I don't think they're capable of thinking
    rationally about science involved nor are they capable of controlling the
    minds that are working on it.

    Politics operates on passion more often than rational thought. Passion is
    the thing I think might get us all killed. The United States is a perfect
    example. George Bush just signed a farm bill that flies in the face of WTO
    rules and gave farmers (primarily the largest ones, meaning corporations
    that run farms, while ignoring the small farmers who are going to suffer
    from his actions) on the premise that subsidies will get the farmers to vote
    republican next year. But there are a lot more small farmers than big ones
    and they are enflamed enough to vote against the republicans. What the
    large farmers will do, on the other hand, will be to spend a lot of their
    profits on politicians, which is what roused congressional passions enough
    to get the bill passed.

    Now take that scenario and apply it to scientific research and toss in the
    actions of generals who want to make every new development into a weapon of
    war, and you can see the kind of danger politics is likely to lead us into.
    We'll be lucky to survive.


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