Re: Darwinizing Culture: The Status of Memetics as a Science

From: Trupeljak Ozren (
Date: Sun Apr 22 2001 - 21:24:52 BST

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    From: Trupeljak Ozren <>
    Subject: Re: Darwinizing Culture: The Status of Memetics as a Science
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    Me back. Want Jane. ;P

    --- "Wade T.Smith" <> wrote:
    > Hi Trupeljak Ozren -
    > >In that sense, I would argue that both science and religion are
    > >strustures whose primary function lies in defining our perceptions
    > of
    > >the Universe;
    > _Our_ perceptions of the universe mean very little to science.
    > But our gathered facts do.

    yes, our perceptions might not mean much to the memeplex of science
    itself (although that is rather questionable, since it seems that
    science-bots have quite developed immune systems for othr types of
    thought, and thus, perception).
     You have to understand that what we perceive as scientific "facts" are
    just correspondences with some phenomena we noticed in the world
    arround us. There is no way you can ontologicaly prove that these
    correspondences are *truth*, and thus you are left with the *belief*
    that they are as close to the truth as you can get (as a sideline,
    science by it's methods is unable to ever find, define or explain the
    whole truths, but is always inching closer..).
    > >Aggregations of facts are usualy called knowledges.
    > and
    > >science is a set of rules for finding the truth
    > >about the universe
    > Truths about the universe are facts.

    Semantics? Set of the truths of Universe is inevitably infinitely
    greater then the set of *known* truths about the universe, whathever
    method you use to find them. Godel's incompleteness theorem. Thus, it
    is concievable that other methods, other models (other than science,
    that is;) can find "facts" about Universe that are not explainable or
    provable with the model of science. That does not mean that they are
    *not* truths, in the above mentioned correspondence sense of the word.

    > Science is the desire to know these truths. The scientific method is
    > one
    > way of delivering sets of these to the seeker.

    Exactly. One way. Of the many possible.
    And, I would say, very much influenced by our perception.
    > Religions have no such need to know the universe. They only seek to
    > define the ways of the people within their boundaries.

    Do they really? So all of these religious mythologies that explain the
    Universe are *not* actually response to the need for knowing the
    Universe? How are religious defining of the ways of the people within
    theirs boundaries any different from the scientific defining of the
    same? Granted, one can say that science is closer to the truths of the
    universe, whatever that may mean, but I am trying to point out that the
    mechanisms are similar, so much so that I count science as religion, if
    I look at them from the memetic point of view.
    Very similar structures, trying to answer very similar questions, that
    our minds seem to ask from the time we begin to think.

    > >Most of the Christians living around me would vehemently disagree
    > >about not being able to actually perceive God(s). Who am I to claim
    > >knowledge of what they perceive?
    > Ask them to prove it.

    They say : "Can't you see? There is God's finger in every little detail
    of your life!"

    I argue that that is as much a point of view as mine is. (gods are
    memes ;) And the truths might not be mutualy exclusive at all. :)

    > Every fact is backed up by the entire universe. There is nothing
    > about
    > the godless universe that you cannot show them. They have only
    > anecdotes,
    > beliefs, and other fictions.

    Hm, you mix the data about the universe with the interpretation of the
    data. What you call "fact" might have completely different meaning in
    the universe percieved as an active God's playground. In your view, the
    facts are backed up by a godless universe, in their, same data is
    backed up by a god's universe. That is why I insist on calling it a
    difference in perception.
    Again, some perceptions are more useful then others.

    As for anecdotes, beliefs and other fictions, try talking to a good
    creationist researcher about *our* anecdotes, beliefs and other
    fictions (for example, theory of evolution..;)
    They can use logic just as well as we can; the only difference lies in
    the underlying set of basic axioms, which are ontologicaly unprovable,
    and have to be accepted by a leap of faith, in both cases.

    > In other words, they have perceptions without evidence.

    Or you might not be able to see their evidence as evidence. They sure
    seem to function quite well for someone whose perceptions are at great
    odds with reality.

    > Science will not move without evidence for perception.
    > - Wade

    What does that mean?

    There are very few man - and they are exceptions - who are able to think and feel beyond the present moment.

    Carl von Clausewitz

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