Re: Whacking on memetics
From: Steven Thiele (email@example.com)
Next message: Richard Brodie: "RE: Whacking on memetics"
Date: Mon 16 Feb 2004 - 22:36:13 GMT
From Keith Henson:
Memetics is a very simple little
corner of knowledge, in math it would be a lemma. None of the works
of people on memes makes the claim it *can* explain anything beyond the
obvious that elements of culture are subject to Darwinian
If this is all anyone working in memetics claimed, then there would be no
reason to take issue with memetics. It is possible that some elements of
culture (again, why is the word culture used over and over again when
what is at issue is social life?) are selected in a way more or less
similar to the way genes are selected (though whether this is usefully
called Darwinian and whether it is obvious is an issue). But the promise
of memetics, taken up by many, is that it will explain social life in
some general way - in more or less the same way that genetics explains
biological life. Surely this is what Dawkins was suggesting in the
Selfish Gene, or what many have interpreted him as saying.
If memetics only explains some aspects of social life, then what doesn't
it explain and what explains the rest? What is the relationship between
memes and the other sources of social creativity?
Why are these difficult questions not being addressed?
The problem with posting like that offered by Keith is that they are
ideosyncratic. Keith thinks he has the answer to everything to do with
memes (for all I know he may be right), yet almost no one else agrees
with him. If someone came to this website, what view would they get of
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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: Mon 16 Feb 2004 - 22:55:54 GMT