From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Thu 22 May 2003 - 00:47:54 GMT
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.*
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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