Re: Absolutist memes

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Fri 29 Oct 2004 - 02:29:40 GMT

  • Next message: Alan Patrick: "Re: Absolutist memes"

    At 07:00 PM 27/10/04 -0700, Scott wrote:

    > >
    >I'm not sure about compatibility, but maybe there's
    >something to be said for relevance between EP and
    >If memes are sui generis floaters like the socifacts
    >or collective representations of Durkheim, psychology
    >per se is not relevant, including evolutionary


    Pascal Boyer has a good deal to say about this with respect to religious memes.

    In _Religion Explained_ he presents a list of religious stories and it is easy to pick out the ones that are religions or could be from those that could not.

    Urban legends and rumors are other examples. Some stories spread well and others not, and the ones that do can be quantified.

    Like humans are genetically programmed to be receptive to learning language, we are programmed to accept some memes far more readily than others.

    The new idea I have been examining is that the kind of memes that spreads well depends on the condition, particularly the psychological condition, of the population that is host to the meme.

    Incidentally, if you are in the Toronto area, I will be lecturing on this subject November 15 (Sunday) at 1pm at the Unitarian Church at 175 St Clair Ave W Toronto.

    The talk will be about evolutionary psychology and the origin of war. I will keep the talk short so there can be lots of interaction.

    Keith Henson

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