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

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 12:02:54 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: Darwinizing Culture: The Status of Memetics as a Science
    Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 12:02:54 +0100
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            <Nonetheless, the process of logic used is no different than
    > that used by science.>
            I can't help thinking that if that were true, then religions would
    have rejected dogma a long time ago, but they essentially haven't. But
    since I'm no expert on logical processes (and, arguably not an exponent of
    them either :-)), I won't push this one.

            <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.>
            Hmm.... well OK. I'll let that one go.

            < 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)>
            Yes but to critique someone's claims of the equivalence of science
    and religion (in some regards) is not to accuse them of cultural relativism,
    and certainly that's not what I'm suggesting. It's to accuse them of
    underplaying the fundamental differences between scienctific and religious
    modes of thinking. As cultural institutions, as I said, I think indeed
    there are clear parallels, but your comments are about processes of
    thinking, and deep structures, which IMHO science and religion clearly

            <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".>
            Well, this is reasonable (assuming you buy the memes in mind idea,
    of course). Actually even in the 'memes in artefacts' framework this has
    some merit. Both science and religion have institutions, uniforms, rituals
    etc. etc. So in that sense, yeah absolutely. Having said that, I suppose
    it kind of goes without saying that I'm an example of someone who can't
    "host" science and religion at the same time (of course I'd put it as
    having a natural immunity against religion :-)).

            <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.>
            Yes- depending upon what kinds of structures we're talking about.


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