Re: what is a meme?

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed 04 Feb 2004 - 04:48:36 GMT

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    >From: Keith Henson <>
    >Subject: Re: what is a meme?
    >Date: Tue, 03 Feb 2004 21:19:22 -0500
    >At 02:21 PM 03/02/04 +0000, Scott wrote:
    >snip (amusing rant hard to take entirely seriously)
    I cannot take credit for writing the below quoted material. I believe Chris Taylor is the critic of ev psych you are responding to...
    >>Also, under AOB, I'd like to completely dissociate myself from the dark
    >>side of biology trying to _help_ explain all this, i.e. evolpsych, which
    >>should imho confine itself to studies of brainstem-related stuff (primal
    >>fear, basic pattern recognition and so on), and what effect that has on
    >>minds constructed of memes (the commensalistic/parasitic,
    >>telencephalically based us).
    >But if I were to take the last paragraph seriously, I would have to object
    >that evolutionary psychology per se does not study *anything.*
    >"The goal of research in evolutionary psychology is to discover and
    >understand the design of the human mind. Evolutionary psychology is an
    >approach to psychology, in which knowledge and principles from evolutionary
    >biology are put to use in research on the structure of the human mind. It
    >is not an area of study, like vision, reasoning, or social behavior. It is
    >a way of thinking about psychology that can be applied to any topic within
    >"In this view, the mind is a set of information-processing machines that
    >were designed by natural selection to solve adaptive problems faced by our
    >hunter-gatherer ancestors. This way of thinking about the brain, mind, and
    >behavior is changing how scientists approach old topics . . . ."
    Chris would probably say that his brand of memetics is more apt than ev psych for the task of explaining everything, where I would chastise both of you for your biases against social science that have been aired recently.

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