Re: I know one when I see one

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Mon 28 Oct 2002 - 21:31:32 GMT

  • Next message: Bill Spight: "Re: Standard definition"

    Dear Ted,

    > Who says I'm personifying memes?


    > Memetics is a hypothesis that culture can be reduced to its "atomic"
    > structure, that the indivisible unit of culture, and not human
    > consciousness, is what provides its guiding principle. This unavoidably
    > endows memes with *self-nature*, as *they use us* for their own propagation. To
    > deny the "selfish" nature of memes is to abandon memetics. "Meme" would
    > cease to have a unique meaning and could just as easily be replaced with
    > "word, habit, tune," etc. The question of memetics is the question of
    > whether these elements of culture carry their own momentum, their own *drive
    > to reproduce*. If not, memetics is finished.

    Emphasis mine. All of the emphasized phrases are personifications.

    It is true that Dawkins and others also personify memes. However, he does not claim that the metaphors are scientific description. By putting the question of memetics in metaphorical terms, all you need to do to refute it is to disprove the metaphor, which is a no-brainer. Since you are questioning memetics, you should do so fairly, giving an accurate account of memetics, without personifying memes.

    > That genes self-replicate is the cornerstone of modern biology.

    Do the genes for blood type replicate themselves? If so, how?



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