Re: The evolution of "evolution"

From: Bill Hall (
Date: Mon 03 Oct 2005 - 11:06:29 GMT

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    Given that I am interested in the evolution of behavior and genetic systems, I have been a subscriber to the list for some time, but have too busy writing to follow closely. However, I may be able to contribute to the present thread.

    Although for many years I have followed many aspects of Karl Popper's philosophy and evolutionary epistemology, primarily as expressed in his 1972 Objective Knowledge, until recently I tended to denigrate his "general theory of evolution". However, in my studies of organizational learning I have concluded that Popper's expression is actually much more general than Darwin's and provides an excellent deep explanation for the (inevitable) processes of selectively driven change in all kinds of hereditary systems - whether they are purely "dispositional", genetic or memetic.

    Details of Popper's argument and its applicability to different kinds of hereditary systems are given in some of my papers, which are available via my web site:

    o Hall, W.P. 2005. Biological nature of knowledge in the learning organization. in special issue Doing Knowledge Management, eds. Firestone, J.M. and McElroy, M.W. The Learning Organization 12( 2):169-188. -

    o Hall, W.P., Dalmaris, P., Nousala, S. 2005. A biological theory of knowledge and applications to real world organizations. KMAP05 Knowledge Management in Asia Pacific, Wellington, N.Z. 28-29 November 2005. In Press.

    Hall, W.P. 2005a. Towards a science of knowledge. Seminar presentation. University of Technology Sydney, 27 July 2005.

    The second paper is probably the better of the two. The seminar presentation
    (about 300 KB) outlines the content of the Hall et al. paper and includes some animations of emergent cognitive processes you may find interesting. There is also some good stuff referenced in the bibliographies that have fairly direct relevance to memetics.

    Happy to engage in discussion of these ideas when I can find some time.


    Bill Hall Evolutionary Biology of Species and Organizations url:
    ------------------------------------------ Information is not knowledge Knowledge is not wisdom Wisdom is not truth Truth is not beauty Beauty is not love Love is not music Music is THE BEST
    (Zappa - Packard Goose)
    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Derek Gatherer" <> To: <> Sent: Monday, October 03, 2005 6:49 PM Subject: Re: The evolution of "evolution"

    > Ted
    > To be specific, you commit two kinds of errors in your essay:
    > 1) misrepresentation of neo-Darwinism
    > 2) premature declaration that some kind of
    > "memory" theory would 'explain' ontogenesis
    > The grossest misrepresentation of neo-Darwinism
    > (there are several more minor ones) is in your
    > use of Hoyle's fallacy. For instance,
    > "The Hyacinth macaw can crack a nut with its beak
    > that you or I would need a sledgehammer to open.
    > Is all that colossal strength nothing more than a
    > side-effect of a chance mutation in the macaw's
    > genetic toolkit? How many millions of such coding
    > mistakes had to come and go before the right one
    > announced itself, and at last the bird got its meal?"
    > and again later:
    > "Like a toy in a cereal box, every defining trait
    > of every species on Earth comes with a special
    > mutation hidden inside. Genes, you might say,
    > work in mysterious ways. We don't know why the
    > right mutation comes along at the right moment­it just does!"
    > and again:
    > "What about the creation, from scratch, not from
    > scratch of trillion-celled furry animals with big
    > ears and buck teeth? Apparently, DNA is the one
    > thing that really can pull a rabbit out of its hat."
    > No scientist proposes any of the above 3
    > scenarios. None ever has - even the
    > "mutationists" of the 1920s had a much more
    > refined and sophisticated view than the one you
    > claim we have today. Mutationism went out the
    > window when Fisher showed that Mendelian genetics
    > did after all fit natural selection.
    > As for "memory" explaining ontogenesis, I
    > suggest you take a look inside the pages of
    > journals like "Developmental Biology",
    > "Development", "Mechanisms of Development" or
    > "Genes & Development". Enormous strides have
    > been made since the mid-80s in understanding
    > things like limb and axial development at the molecular genetic level.
    > A lot of your problem is that you're not up to
    > date on the subject you are professing to critique.
    > Derek
    > ===============================================================
    > This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    > Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    > For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
    > see:

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

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