From: Scott Chase (email@example.com)
Date: Mon 09 Jun 2003 - 05:23:16 GMT
>From: "Wade T. Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: Religion Explained, as if....
>Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2003 09:55:50 -0400
>>Memetics studies how the future is influenced by differential selection of
>>replicating cultural elements.
>And, moments before, Lawry wrote:
>>Memes, [dare I say he means 'memetics'], in our PoV, is much more about
>>influence than either (conscious, considered) understanding, or (reactive,
>And, right now, I write:
>The performance model is quite happy with these two statements, as both are
>part of its matrix, and can manage them with ease. The future, however, is
>both malleable and inscrutable, as the aleatory is a deeper part of nature
>than culture, and the instinctual is only mildly understood. There is no
>reason memetics needs to study only what will be, as it is contains a
>darwinian engine, which is all about moving what happened before within the
>conditions of the present, than about what will be. Indeed, I truly doubt
>there is any darwinian mechanism that can 'predict' the future of a
>species. This was the main error of Lamarck, considering such effects.
And if memetics gets into the business of historical prophecy it might be subject to the same sort of harsh abuse that Popper levelled against Plato, Hegel, and Marx in his _Open Society and its Enemies_. We might as well all go down and get our palms read. That would be about the same as predicting the future of "memetic" evolution.
Palmistry is a pseudoscience, but unlike Keith's bugbear phrenology, or the
recent talk about bloodletting, has no saving graces. Phrenology scooped ev
psych on the modularity front and bloodletting via leeches may have modern
medical applications as Bill Hall has expanded aptly upon my sarcastic but
way too subtle quip.
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