Re: The evolution of "evolution"

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Fri 21 Oct 2005 - 22:40:07 GMT

  • Next message: Dace: "Re: The evolution of "evolution""

    At 06:15 PM 10/10/05 +0200, you wrote:

    > > Message du 07/10/05 22:14
    > > De : "Keith Henson"
    > > A :
    > > Copie :
    > > Objet : Re: The evolution of "evolution"
    > >
    > > --- Derek Gatherer wrote:
    > > > In the face of this avalanche of evidence, how can you, or anyone,
    > still believe otherwise?
    > > That's actually an excellent question to ask in a memetics group.
    > Rather than argue about the subject (which is in my opinion solidly as
    > Derek states) the memetics meta question is why people believe in things
    > that are clearly just not so?
    >Joel provides an example here. I can think of hundreds of other examples.
    >What do they have in common? What evolutionary forces caused human minds
    >to exhibit this psychological trait?
    >I don't know the answers, (...)
    >As to you current exemple, I know the answers. In my opinion it's not
    >necessary to call upon evolutionary forces. It's a mere problem of
    >vocabulary, background, and translation. Embryogenesis, organogenesis, and
    >"physical development of the embryo" have three distinct meanings as I am
    >used to these terms. I forgot to account for this fact.

    Sorry, I should have looked at the headers and realized the translation problem.

    Still, there are lot of other examples where people hang on to memes that are obviously wrong. I remember amazing hostility by a senior scientist I knew against plate tectonics years and years after it had become well understood and supported by mountains of evidence.

    There is good evolutionary reasons for ideas to be hard to change, especially those ideas in classed that are more important to keep a group together than being important for survival. But it is a difficult question as to how brains classify memes like this.

    Keith Henson

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