Re: sexual selection and memes

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Mon Jul 09 2001 - 17:08:49 BST

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    Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2001 17:08:49 +0100
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    Subject: Re: sexual selection and memes
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    Hi Ken. I think we're more or less on the same wavelength on this one.
    The best analogy (or perhaps not so much an analogy as an explanation)
    is the idea of the quasispecies, applied mostly to viruses (HIV for
    example) where the 'species', such as it is, is defined by its centre
    point in genotype space; but that point may not even be represented in
    the population - it is just the average. Error rates are huge, but the
    (quasi)species survives. This is in part because most of the correct
    bits get through one way or another (but this only works well if the
    viruses can recombine bits of genome, like 'flu can), however the main
    reason is that in the (mostly) clonal copying, faulty lines of descent
    are terminated, to be replaced with descendants of 'correct' parents;
    like trees overtopping each other.

    Btw I'm interested in your other info on Christianity - I'd certainly
    never heard the Qumran one before (and I plan to read around it a bit -
    all that fascinates me - like the similarities between Gilgamesh and the
    Old Testament for example).

     Chris Taylor ( »people»chris

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