Re: Absolutist memes

From: John Wilkins (
Date: Thu 28 Oct 2004 - 01:36:09 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: Absolutist memes"

    On 27/10/2004, at 7:52 PM, Paul wrote:

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: [] On
    > Behalf
    > Of Keith Henson
    > Sent: 27 October 2004 02:57
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: Absolutist memes
    >> The opposite can occur as we have seen in Northern Ireland (though the
    >> reverse situation does not get as much press). In that case, a
    >> switch to a
    >> much lower birth rate a generation ago let economic growth exceed
    >> population growth. Rational memes slowly prevailed and support for
    >> the IRA
    >> faded out. My claim here is that the psychological switch into and
    >> out of
    >> war mode evolved in the stone age to be dependent on the difficulty of
    >> getting game and berries. Today the mode trigger maps (roughly) into
    >> income per capita.
    >> Because of the high birth rate in the Palestinian population (and
    >> Islamic
    >> populations in general), there is no resolution in sight. 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., where compatible theories.
    I don't see why - for if memes and evolutionary psych are incompatible, so too are memes and *any* psychology. The etiology of a trait is in no way relevant to its compatibility with memes - only the plasticity of that trait WRT memes.

    Dr John S Wilkins
    Head, Communication Services
    The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
    Parkville, Victoria, Australia
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