Re: Durkheim on historical origin versus current utility

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Fri 13 Feb 2004 - 13:49:41 GMT

  • Next message: Chris Taylor: "Re: what is a meme?"

    Is this really true? Can we have a quick show of hands? Biology doesn't actually have any laws as such, memetics doesn't properly exist, and I'll be buggered if I believe sociology or psychology have any (we do mean law in the Physicists' sense yeah?), and certainly wouldn't want to assert any law-like beliefs about the interrelationships of non-law things (kind of like trying to rivet jellies together).

    I thought we were well past the starting point. Fundamentally, memes
    (define at will) and genes[*] are parts of a complex system, so it's useful to look for commonalities (and there are plenty), along with analogies (of which there are loads as well), and as a parallel activity, differences (perhaps the quickest route to some insight in all the fields concerned -- bear in mind that work done in 'memetics' can provide insights for mainstream biologists too).

    [*] Btw the parallels are not just with genes but with whatever the appropriate level of selection is -- base/residue, sequence feature,
    'gene'/cistron, coadapted complex, cell assemblage (cancer being a good example of a conflict), individual, 'group', ecosystem, whatever.

    Cheers, Chris.

    > The majority of those who post here seem to have a
    > naive belief that the analogy of meme=gene and of
    > ideas spread via Darwinian evolution is a law. IT IS
    > WE need to move PAST the starting point folks. And we
    > need to stop trying to assert that the similarities of
    > an analogy override the differences.

      Chris Taylor (
      MIAPE Project --

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