Re: memetics-digest V1 #1480

From: Dace (
Date: Tue 17 Feb 2004 - 21:59:44 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1480"

    > From: Keith Henson <>
    > Subject: Re: the meme/brain problem
    > > > Evolution does not happen to organisms. They live or die, reproduce
    > > > fail.
    > >
    > >An organism is not just a sack of molecules. What evolves is the form of
    > >organisms rather than their material constituents.
    > When you are talking about Darwin and evolution, *species* are the level
    > subject to evolution. *An* organism (individual) is stuck with the form
    > has.

    An organism is a living form that's stuck with a particular set of molecules
    (though, over time, it undergoes a complete changeover of molecular constituents). An individual is a materialization of a collective form. What evolves is not the materializations but the form. However, as Darwin emphasized, evolution is propelled forward by adaptations made by individual organisms. Though Darwin had no idea how such inheritance occurs, he maintained to the end that without this ability to pass on acquired characters, evolution as a theory is dead on the water. For Darwin, the organism is the central actor in natural evolution, and I would add that the same is true of the person in cultural evolution.

    > From: "Van oost Kenneth" <>
    > Subject: Re: earliest memetics paper? and a question.
    > - ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Dace" <>
    > > Yes, we have individual minds, but these minds can be regarded as
    > > *individuations* of collective mentality. Rather than six billion
    > > of water, we have six billion waves rising and falling on a single
    > << Again this is regarding the ' individual ' as being standing outside
    > way which evolution follows! Such statements as above misregard all
    > realisations done by individual people. Individuality is a vital part of
    > evolution and of social development. My conduct, in whatever way
    > possible might or might not be induced by any collective mentality,
    > whatever that turn out to be, but saying that my mind is just an
    > individuation of some collective mentality is absurd.

    An individuation of a collective form is no less an individual than a given car on a car lot. The only difference is that, in the first case, its form is essential and its matter accidental, while in the second case, it's nothing but dead matter onto which a form has been arbitrarily stamped.


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