RE: Absolutist memes

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Wed 27 Oct 2004 - 13:42:03 GMT

  • Next message: Paul: "RE: Absolutist memes"

    At 10:52 AM 27/10/04 +0100, Paul wrote:



    > >The most likely
    > >(grim) outcome is a spasm similar to what happened in Rwanda.
    > >This is my sad prediction based on fundamental evolutionary psychology
    > >principles.
    >Very interesting theory, one that make sense giving your explanation.
    >How fundamental are evolutionary psychology principles? I'm not being
    >sarcastic, I just don't know that much about EP and from that I didn't
    >think memetics and EP could co-exist, i.e., were compatible theories.

    This is like saying that computer viruses and computer hardware/ operating systems can't co-exist when the first utterly depends on the second.

    EP looks at the deep evolution of the human line and the genetic adaptions our line made to solve the problems of everyday life and (especially) reproduction to judge the livelihood of some psychological trait being an evolved mental mechanism.

    Memetics deals with the replicating information patterns (memes) that are communicated from one human mind to the next. Like computer viruses, memes take advantage of the deeper hardware and operating systems of the human minds they occupy. And like computers, most of the stuff in minds is either helpful or at least harmless. The suicide cult memes represent the harmful extreme.

    Far from being incompatible, memetics and evolutionary psychology are deeply linked.

    For background

    If you are not up on where evolution has gone in the last 30 years, try Dawkins or Riddley.

    Keith Henson

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