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

From: Trupeljak Ozren (
Date: Wed Apr 25 2001 - 18:05:05 BST

  • Next message: Trupeljak Ozren: "RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science"

    Received: by id SAA01729 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Wed, 25 Apr 2001 18:08:53 +0100
    Message-ID: <>
    Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 10:05:05 -0700 (PDT)
    From: Trupeljak Ozren <>
    Subject: RE: Darwinizing Culture: The Status of Memetics as a Science
    In-Reply-To: <>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
    Precedence: bulk

    --- Vincent Campbell <> wrote:
    > <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.>
    > >
    > 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
    > Millenium.

    That is true for J.W. Go and try to read some of the medieval
    discourses on theology, and you just might be impressed by the elegance
    of their logical discourses. Of course, most of it seems rather
    ridiculous today, from the simple fact that their beginning
    propositions look preposterously wrong to today's scientific minded
    person. Nonetheless, the process of logic used is no different than
    that used by science.

    > 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.

    Hey, did I ever claim that they were equal in achievements of
    understanding the reality? I was pointing out the similarities in their
    structures, and specificaly their utmost importance for our mechanisms
    of perception. Neither was I equating science with religion (actually I
    seem to rememeber clearly stating that I am not a cultural relativist
    and that I value some viewpoints of reality far more then other); I
    *was* equating the memeplex of religion with that of the science,
    because the similarities in behaviour exhibited by hosts are clearly
    visible, and there seems to be great difficulty in having both of these
    memeplexes active in the same host at the same time, implying the
    relationship between the two, if in nothing else, then "living space".
    So, as you said above, if science is a memeplex (or exhibits the
    behaviour of the same), and we already agree that religion is, you can
    see why I debate about the similarities of their structures.

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

    Carl von Clausewitz

    Do You Yahoo!?
    Yahoo! Auctions - buy the things you want at great prices

    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)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Apr 25 2001 - 18:12:17 BST