RE: Meme definition

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri 20 Jun 2003 - 05:03:58 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: Meme definition"

    >From: "Richard Brodie" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: RE: Meme definition
    >Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 06:47:44 -0700
    >Chris Taylor wrote:
    ><<I must admit to being alarmed by how close
    >Dennett turned out to be to the EvoPsych nutters>>
    >You think evolutionary psychology is nuts? So you believe the brain was
    >designed by God then?
    False dichotomy.

    Chris could think evolutionary psychology is bunk, yet still hold that the mindbrain is a product of evolution (including the process of selection). I think Chris's point is that his belief in memetics as an explanation of human culture supercedes evolutionary psychological explanations, which tend to root human behavior pretty deeply in some hypothesized environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA) and discount the importance of socifacts in their own right. An emphasis on the efficacy of cultural factors is not an advocacy of an intelligent designer.

    Someone who tries to mix the two (memetics and ev psych) might be better off with the culturgen approach where innate tuning biases rule the day.

    Gould was a serious critic of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, yet I doubt he thought the brain could be explained scientifically as being designed by God. Beyond ev psych and memetics, even if its granted that the mindbrain and culture are products of evolution, its the particular explanations of this evolution that should be scrutinized.

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