Re: DS syndrome

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Thu 22 May 2003 - 00:47:54 GMT

  • Next message: William Benzon: "Re: performance"

    At 06:36 PM 21/05/03 -0400, Scott wrote:



    >>Here Scott is wrong. Memetics has hopes of being a science.
    >>Correctness is indeed selected for in this field, by the Verification
    >>Principle and peer review.
    >Yet where's the your attempt at incorrectness of the field being selected
    >against via the Popperian falsification principle with its associated
    >process of conjecture and refutation? Sounds more like people seeking to
    >confirm their predisposed biases in favor of the idea versus trying to
    >approach it critically (philosophizing with a hammer) and seeing what remains.
    >Has the existence of memes been verified?

    I would say yes. *If* you define memes as replicating information, cultural information, *and* you consider a package of replicating information such as plate tectonics or the C/T disaster being due to collision with an extra terrestrial object to be typical memes in scientific culture, then you can observe in the historical record (by counts of science paper publications) the gradual replacement of previous memes by these memes.

    Science does work in fields such as geology and cosmology where knowledge is not experimental but historical and observational. (I have been around long enough to have seen both of those meme replacements. It was downright amazing to me to see a respected scientist--who was not even in geology--rant and rave about how stupid plate tectonics was after the issue was approaching consensus. For lack of logical thinking it put to shame any of the arguments on this list.)

    >You'll probably assert that somehow fMRI studies and other imaging
    >techniques verify memes, yet all you wind up doing is embedding your
    >cherished notion of the meme within the garb of legitimate neuroscientific

    That work verifies that memory has location in the brain. Memes-in-the-brain are a class of memory. The point to that discussion was to make the case that memes (being pure information) have to be encoded in *something.*

    Keith Henson

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu 22 May 2003 - 00:53:12 GMT