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

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Wed Apr 25 2001 - 11:52:53 BST

  • Next message: Vincent Campbell: "RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science"

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: Darwinizing Culture: The Status of Memetics as a Science
    Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 11:52:53 +0100
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            <They can use logic just as well as we can; the only difference lies
    > the underlying set of basic axioms, which are ontologicaly unprovable,
    > and have to be accepted by a leap of faith, in both cases.>
            No they can't. Logic is a foreign country to religions. When the
    end of the world didn't come in 1911 did the Jehovah's Witnesses' abandon
    the notion that it would end, as might have been logical? No, they picked
    another date, and another, and another, and another, and another.
    Eventually it dawned on them that they might not recruit new members if they
    kept on getting it wrong, so they were rather quite by the time of the

            The list has discussed science as a memeplex, and here we ended up
    with broad agreement taht it was to some extent at least, if there was also
    some strident disagreement as to what that did to science's validity (or
    whether science was a "good" or "bad" meme). Whilst I'll acknowledge clear
    problems with some of the viewpoints there, including my own, I see
    absolutely no reason to equate science with religion in the terms you're
    utilising here. Religion is illogical, irrational, and has only an
    arbitrary relationship with reality. Science endeavours to be logical,
    rational, and to understand reality. Religions is about absolute truths
    that must not be questioned, science is about contingent truths that must be
    continually questioned. They couldn't be further removed as ways of
    thinking. As cultural institutions, they may be closer, but that's a
    different point.


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