Re: To Robin, Applied Memetics

From: Kate Distin (
Date: Mon 01 Aug 2005 - 18:34:57 GMT

  • Next message: Lawrence deBivort: "RE: To Robin, Applied Memetics"

    Keith Henson wrote:
    > At 12:04 PM 31/07/05 +0100, Kate wrote:
    >> But at least biological evolution is an accepted scientific theory
    >> which stands firm on the available evidence - memetics is too new and
    >> untested to withstand the impact of too many non-explanations: the
    >> cumulative effect will be a feeling that memetics has no explanatory
    >> worth.
    >> I remain fairly hopeful that it does have explanatory worth, but I
    >> don't think we're there yet!
    > Memetics does not have explanatory power simply because the frame is too
    > small. You have to understand the meme's host to be able to say much
    > about its life cycle. Trying to look at memes alone is like trying to
    > study the malaria parasite without considering its hosts and vectors.
    > Best wishes,
    > Keith Henson

    Memetics, seen as the study of memetic evolution, would encompass both memes and their environment (including human minds) - just as the study of genetic evolution encompasses both genes and their environment. Memetics doesn't have to over-emphasise the power of the meme, and dismiss human autonomy and psychology.


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