Re: Durkheim (resend)

From: Kate Distin (
Date: Wed 30 Mar 2005 - 12:24:55 GMT

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    Keo Ormsby wrote:

    > "Kate Distin" wrote:

    >> The claim that there exist social facts, independent of the members of
    >> society about which they are facts, may be received with incredulity.
    >> Such "facts" can seem rather mysterious and unconvincing.
    > But alas, this also happens with genes. What do we mean when we say that
    > a gene "exists"? Does it necessarily have to have a manifestation in an
    > organism? I can download a sequence from GeneBank and change an
    > aminoacid that I reasonably know will not hamper its expression, but
    > might have phenotypic effects. Is this a new gene existing only in
    > cyberspace? Or it is not a gene until someone synthesizes it and puts it
    > in and organism? It is clear (at least to me) that genes exist
    > independently from pirimidines and purines, in the same way that social
    > facts exist independently from individuals. It is only *relevant* to
    > study them if they are expressed in some way.
    > Keo Ormsby

    I agree - the same information can be represented in several different ways, and additionally those representations may be realized in a variety of different media. This must be as true for genes as for memes.


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