Re: Sue Blackmore lecture Wednesday 5.15pm London

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sun 16 Feb 2003 - 23:48:26 GMT

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    >From: Jon Gilbert <>
    >Subject: Re: Sue Blackmore lecture Wednesday 5.15pm London
    >Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 13:11:10 -0800
    >>The problem is that, in the case of genes, a fuller explanation is readily
    >>available to anyone who wants to dig it out of the literature. That's not
    >>the case with these self-propelled memebots. As far as I can tell no one
    >>who talks about memes in this sense can actually give a fuller exposition
    >>that is grounded in psychology and neuropsychology. There is no
    >>intelligible neural account of memes. In the case of memes the shorthand
    >>"language of purpose" as you call it is the only language these folks
    >>They can't spell out the real mechanisms in full because they don't know
    >>what they are.
    >>As far as I'm concerned, that means that that language is bogus, based on
    >>little more than blind faith in Darwinian metaphor. It's not a tool for
    >>thoughtful analysis, it's a substitute for such analysis.
    >>Bill Benzon
    >The lack of knowledge about DNA didn't stop Darwin. The fact is, we KNOW
    >there are neurological and psychological underpinnings of memes. There has
    >to be. True, science has not advanced to the point of having a
    >comprehensive description of what they are, but when it does, we'll be
    I don't know that I'd buy into this typical comparison to Darwin's plight, being unaware of genetics or molecular bioogy when formulating his theories, to that of memeticists. It sounds more like special pleading or writing a check which might not have sufficient funds to back it.

    It all fits into the mentality of hyperdarwinism where folks are captivated by the hallucinogenic effects of the universal acid, but don't feel so well when the effects wear off. There are the dangers of flashback episodes too, when folks who have stop indulging in the abuse of the universal acid occasional succumb to residual effects.

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