re: new review of memetics/sociobiology/EP

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Thu 02 Feb 2006 - 19:13:09 GMT

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    At 02:23 PM 2/2/2006 +0000, Chris Taylor wrote:


    >Mutualism/commensalism versus parasitism; evolution of symbioses. I'd
    >argue that memes obey the same rule as most other infectious diseases of
    >changing over time to be less of a fitness burden on the host. This could
    >be studied; how adapted is the meme pool to take account of some of the
    >needs of the human-mind-mosaic environment?

    Been making this point about the evolution of memes, particularly religious ones, becoming less harmful as they age for 20 years now. I would love to hear your thoughts about how it could be studied.

    >Inclusive fitness is an important one when discounting suicide bombers
    >etc.; maybe we could see the rise in payments to the family appearing, to
    >mitigate the obvious downside for the individual making it almost a mutualism?
    >Tragic the way Hamilton passed away -- I was gonna try for a postdoc with
    >him once upon a time as he and I got on quite well at a conference not
    >long before he died).

    Oh man, tragic indeed! I think inclusive fitness is way underestimated in how much it has shaped the psychological traits of humans.

    Keith Henson

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