Re: _Religion Explained_ by Pascal Boyer

From: Dace (
Date: Mon 02 Jun 2003 - 00:29:03 GMT

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    > From: Gudmundur Ingi Markusson <>
    > As Boyer is very interested in the transmission of concepts, esp.
    religious concepts, his ideas are certainly relevant to memetics. Nevertheless, note how he introduces memes only to dismiss them shortly afterwards. He does that with reference to Dan Sperber, on not dissimilar grounds as Sperber himself does in "Darwinizing Culture" (Aunger ed. 2000); in brief, concepts are not replicated but recreated.
    > gudmundur

    To understand a concept is indeed to recreate it in our minds. This is how ordinary discourse operates. You say something on your mind, and in the process of understanding it, I recreate the concept in my mind. Memetics is the study of those concepts (or behaviors, etc.) that *don't* depend on understanding to jump from mind to mind. If you're a Scientologist, you believe L. Ron Hubbard is a deity, not because it's reasonable and you've come to understand it, but because everyone you hang out with believes it, and you swallow the concept whole, so to speak, rather than breaking it down and reconstructing it according to reason.

    There is a place for replication, but it's limited. We cannot claim that all concepts are memes.

    Ted Dace

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