Re: Re[7]: Memetic Parasitism

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri 29 Jul 2005 - 02:36:33 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Re[7]: Memetic Parasitism"

    --- Robin Faichney <> wrote:

    > Wednesday, July 27, 2005, 6:17:14 PM, Keith wrote:
    > > I am sorry, but something really major has come
    > up. That will divert my
    > > attention for a while. You might consider reading
    > up on EP for background.
    > Sure, Keith. Unlike you, I've nothing else to do.
    > Any other suggestions?
    We could try taking the thread back to where Alan introduced the topic of how Harry Potter has raised the ire of X-ian fundies and how Kate pointed to the US as a locus of this fundamental (pun intended) focus
    (that rhymes). That was actually getting kinda interesting.

    Not sure how Flintstone psychology (sensu Steve Rose) fits into the picture, unless there's some religiosity module, but even then it's just a basin that attracts ideational content. We could pretty much fit everything with metaphysical and spiritual importance under that same umbrella and call it a day. But, wait, Gould shortcircuits the whole endeavor with the nonaptive spinoff, so maybe we're back to proximate explanation (including memetics) after all and don't need to worry what genetically shaped the biological underpinnings of the ur-religion of Fred and Barney in the EEA. Maybe they suffered existential angst because of the fact that their big noggins enabled them to contemplate mortality, seeing loved ones and others in the tribe croak and they invented some mystical explanation based upon a patriarchal totemism, their Oedipal love for their mothers and some arbitrary Skinnerian reinforcement for good measure. Sacrifices to Odin and Thor brought good crops last year. Wasn't Skinner part of the Standard Social Science Model Conspiracy (TM)? Gotta love the guy.

    If Pebbles had read Harry Potter and Fred decided to bring Wilma to a PTA meeting to protest the presence of such pagan infested occult claptrap on the school library shelves, then we might have something to talk about. Yet if Fred and Barney were true heathens (the Stone Age did antedate the rise of Christianity by a couple years) they might have assented to Potter. Not sure if they could comprehend the modern English prose.

    [note: there's a little sarcasm in there somewhere]

    Seriously, to understand the controversy over Potter I think an exploration of recent history holds the key. EP might provide *a* basis in primordial psychological motivations, but not *the* overarching answer. EP'ers need to get over themselves already. They tend to revert to the kneejerk adaptationist stance no matter how many times nonaptive byproducts are acknowledged then quickly forgotten.

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