From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Thu 05 Feb 2004 - 02:17:32 GMT
At 09:42 AM 05/02/04 +1100, Steven wrote:
>At 01:49 PM 4/02/2004 -0800, Ted wrote:
>>Bruce recognizes the importance of case studies and requests one definitive
>>example. He also insists that we narrow the field by identifying where,
>>specifically, the memetics model applies. I fully agree. I think the chief
>>reason for the failure of memetics to be widely accepted as a science is its
>>attempt to reduce all of culture to a memetic struggle for survival (and the
>>corresponding illusion that this can render the study of culture into a
>Yes, and the reason for this reduction is simple. It is supported by those
>who believe that all of biology is a genetic struggle for survival.
Again, I can't think of anyone who takes that hard a line on genetics. As
important as genes are, there are lots of other factors. One of the major
themes of modern biology is cooperation and co-evolution. Our very cells
are an example of fusion and cooperation of different lines. Then there
are all sort of ecological considerations.
>So as soon as memes are proposed as analagous to genes, the automatic
>belief is that 'all of culture is a memetic struggle for survival'. Since
>the first belief if dubious, the second is even more so.
I don't know where you find such simplicity. I sure don't see it. Can you
cites reliable sources who take such a simplistic line?
>The idea that memetics is more scientific than social science is baseless
>- neither are scientifically oriented.
As I have mentioned, I am an engineer, but I respect the scientific
approach. I do think that if you are going to get anywhere with
understanding memes, it is going to be through evolutionary psychology
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