From: Keith Henson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon 26 Jan 2004 - 06:08:16 GMT
At 05:54 PM 25/01/04 -0800, you wrote:
>I know who Richard is.
That wasn't my question. Do you agree that he defined memes as replicators?
>Your example by analogy is just that. Where is the
>mechanism? Why is it that "same shape" means same
If you want to facilitate communications, it would be better to use
standard practice for postings. Which is to say put your postings where
people don't have to guess what you are referring too.
Assuming you are talking about my example near the end of the post, then
the part about Cytochrome C was there to give shape to the hand ax
discussion. The mechanism is survival feedback in both cases, namely cells
with a bad mutation of the gene for Cytochrome C don't do well at surviving
and human line primates who used a different shape of hand ax don't kill
game as often and thus in the long run don't do as well in competition with
primates who did make egg shaped, flattened, and sharpened all the way
around hand axes. The good-for-survival 3D shapes for both the protean and
a good game killing rock depends on factors ultimately rooted in
physics. In fitness landscapes these shapes are on peaks.
If you had a time machine, you could go back and find a proto human
band. Transplant them somewhere else without taking any rocks. Now watch
for a while. Do they find some rock and chip out these really specifically
shaped killer rocks or not? If they do, then it is my contention that they
had the meme of how to chip a hand ax in the brains/minds. Do they then
use them to water hole hunt? If so it is my contention they have another
meme about how to use these rocks as well.
Point being that physical reality generates a niche for certain
memes. Memes like this one cannot drift far from the peak before their
hosts pay a terrible price.
>Once again I repeat I have come up with ONE answer to
So you say. I see no evidence that the people who post here understand
what you are saying.
>No one else seems to have. So
>are you all rejecting Bruce's challenges or merely
>Yes Dawkins coinage is offhand. He did no research to
>"support" his point instead he uses it as analogy.
I don't know how you can have read that chapter and make such a
statement. Dawkins does use the chapter partly as an analogy but he
researched the literature and cites a dozen sources starting with P.F.
Jenkins and including Cavalli-Sforza, F.T Cloak (who did the marvelous
wheel evolution work) and J.M. Cullen by the end of the second page.
>By your rationale as to priority of definitions then
>the very notion of physics as we now udnerstand it
>should be called something else, atoms must have
When physics reached the level where they needed to describe parts below
the atoms of elements they invented new words, electrons, nucleons (protons
and neutrons). When it turned out that nucleons were composites, they
pulled a whimsey name for the parts from James Joyce (Three Quarks for Mr.
>and evolution really means something
>very different than almost all of us understand.
>(Since by this rationale only the work of Darwin
Darwin got it mostly right. But again when you needed something to go into
more detail about how natural selection works, new concepts got new names
like Hamilton's "inclusive fitness."
>Bruce raised serious issues about the future of
>memetics. You ignore them and defend your point by
>stating that "memes" means.... well it is not the idea
>of memes whose future was challenged it was the idea
>that there is a serious study and science of memes
As I have mentioned and you have ignored I don't think memetics is a big
enough subject to be an isolated area to study. Like genetics it has to be
embedded in a larger sociobiology/evolutionary psychology/culture context
to be meaningful. Perhaps we should talk about the memetic model
instead. If you want to contribute to this area of study, the first
chapter of _The Adapted
Mind_ http://folk.uio.no/rickyh/papers/TheAdaptedMind.htm is essential
background. You certainly won't get anywhere trying to develop memetics
themes within the SSSM.
>Memes as an idea can survive by ignoring Bruce's
>challenges. Memetics probably cannot.
Can you rephrase? This makes no sense.
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