From: John Wilkins (email@example.com)
Date: Sat 04 Feb 2006 - 06:45:00 GMT
On 04/02/2006, at 1:33 PM, Keith Henson wrote:
> At 09:39 AM 2/3/2006 +1000, you wrote:
>> Religion is less virulent when passed on vertically (Boyd and
>> Richerson's "unbiased" transmission) from parent to child, because
>> then the religion must adapt to the hosts' needs to reproduce. It is
>> more virulent when it is laterally ("biasedly") transmitted because
>> then the meme-complex (religion is *not* a meme - it's a memome or
>> something similar. A meme-complex of coadapted memes) has different
>> "interests" to the hosts.
> I don't object to your terminology, I just don't see the need for
> it. Memes to me are like string, any length is still string.
A meme is something that gets passed on entire (which of course means
that something can be a meme at one point in history and a meme-
complex at another). But something like a religion has many elements
that can be differentially sorted and cross-lineage transmitted.
These things are memes.
>> Of course, religious evolution is somewhat faster than biological
>> evolution, so there is considerable slop, but overall if a religion
>> is vertically transmitted, it will tend to be more benign.
> At least it can't be too rough on host reproduction.
In the long run (in which we are all dead, as Keynes remarked), sure.
But given that meme complexes can change rapidly relative to host
reproduction, so long as there are sufficient new hosts for the meme
to inhabit, it can in fact be quite deleterious biologically.
Shakers, again, or (my personal favourite) the Albigensians.
-- John S. Wilkins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biohumanities Project University of Queensland - Blog: evolvethought.blogspot.com "Darwin's theory has no more to do with philosophy than any other hypothesis in natural science." Tractatus 4.1122 =============================================================== 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: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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