new Sue Blackmore article

From: Derek Gatherer (
Date: Thu Jun 07 2001 - 11:09:56 BST

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    Subject: new Sue Blackmore article
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    Artif Life 2000 Summer;6(3):227-35
    On meme--gene coevolution.
    Bull L, Holland O, Blackmore S.

    In this article we examine the effects of the emergence of a new replicator,
    memes, on the evolution of a pre-existing replicator, genes. Using a version
    of the NKCS model we examine the effects of increasing the rate of meme
    evolution in relation to the rate of gene evolution, for various degrees of
    interdependence between the two replicators. That is, the effects of memes'
    (suggested) more rapid rate of evolution in comparison to that of genes is
    investigated using a tunable model of coevolution. It is found that, for
    almost any degree of interdependence between the two replicators, as the rate
    of meme evolution increases, a phase transition-like dynamic occurs under
    which memes have a significantly detrimental effect on the evolution of genes,
    quickly resulting in the cessation of effective gene evolution. Conversely,
    the memes experience a sharp increase in benefit from increasing their rate of
    evolution. We then examine the effects of enabling genes to reduce the
    percentage of gene-detrimental evolutionary steps taken by memes. Here a
    critical region emerges as the comparative rate of meme evolution increases,
    such that if genes cannot effectively select memes a high percentage of the
    time, they suffer from meme evolution as if they had almost no selective

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