Re: memetics-digest V1 #1215

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Fri 22 Nov 2002 - 23:14:14 GMT

  • Next message: Steve Drew: "Re: Islam and Europe and Joe"

    Hi Grant,


    > Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 19:10:19 -0800
    > From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    > Subject: Re: Islam and Europe
    > One of the religious memes we always have to cope with is the idea that
    > people were smarter in to old days. The older an idea is, the more it
    > reflects the TRUTH. Most religious practices are attempts at preserving the
    > past and continuing customs and memes that represent "great" ideas handed
    > down from the founders of the religion. Over time, variations on these
    > ideas accumulate into a body of work by people who have tried to perserve
    > the "meaning" of the past. In essence, it is a way of worshiping the past.
    > What was adopted in the past is better than what we are doing now. People
    > believe this in spite of the fact that we've gone from a stage in which the
    > average life expectantcy was 18 to one where it is almost 80.


    From my understanding, life expectancy in pre industrial societies was not that bad if you made it through some of the childhood rigours. Ie there might have been an initially higher loss in childbirth etc due to lack of medical intervention, but after that there was not that much difference. The other point is that an average life expectancy of 18 doesn't seem like one that could reproduce successfully.

    For most of our history as tool users, we have been fairly static in techno terms. It is only "lately" that we have expanded our technology etc.

    So a memetic survival strategy for most of our history is one of copy the survivors. It is only the rapid change over the last few millennia that has changed things and made the wisdom of our forbears less useful?

    Regards Steve

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