Re: Logic

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri Aug 10 2001 - 08:54:59 BST

  • Next message: Mark Mills: "Re: Logic"

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: Logic
    Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 03:54:59 -0400
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    >From: John Wilkins <wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU>
    >Subject: Re: Logic
    >Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 17:09:42 +1000
    >On Friday, August 10, 2001, at 04:50 PM, Scott Chase wrote:
    >>>From: "Dace" <>
    >>>To: <>
    >>>Subject: Re: Logic
    >>>Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 22:54:18 -0700
    >>> > > Memes are indeed, of course associated with thought and IMO we
    >>> > > have to stop applying ' genetic- like ' explanations to describe
    >>> > > memes themselves and the processes where they are involved in.
    >>>When he first coined the term, Dawkins located "memes" in the brain.
    >>>If the
    >>>brain is reducible to genes, then memes are functions of genes. But
    >>>if the
    >This is a classic reductionist fallacy. I'm surprised to find a new ager
    >proposing it.
    >If there is sufficient degrees of freedom of outcome from a lower level
    >system, and we know that neuronal connections are extremely plastic and
    >adaptive to the life history of the organism, then it makes no sense at
    >all to say that the higher level processes are "a function" of the lower
    >level ones. In short, genes do not determine most memes. At best (in the
    >case of evolutionary psychological explanations) they bias them.
    >>>brain is informed by past, similar brains, then memes are patterns of
    >>>neurotransmission that follow habitually from previous, similar
    >>Well, if there is a social heredity or means of cultural transmission,
    >>whether Dawkinsian memes or the noogenetic/noetic patterns of Julian
    >>Huxley (somewhat following in the footsteps of Teilhard), the brain
    >>could be informed by past "similar" brains without the spooky MR
    >>principle. This means of social heredity need not be tightly leashed by
    >>genes either.
    >What's wrong with learning and imitation as a vector? ;-) Do not
    >unnecessarily multiply entities in explanation, as I seem to recall
    >somebody once saying...
    Notice that I set an *if* conditional and didn't even commit to memes,
    offering another option, Huxley's noogenetics.
    >>Tradition need not resonate, whatever that means.
    >It's a form of sympathetic magic, this MR stuff. Like homeopathy.
    I've enjoyed the volleys on this topic thus far.

    When Dace was talking earlier on about the difficulties of protein folding,
    I wonder as with a lot of the problems with modern theories the MR
    proponents harp on, whether he had done an exhaustive search on the
    literature of protein folding before throwing up his hands. I'm no
    biochemistry buff by any stretch of the imagination, but for some reason the
    topic of molecular chaperones (chaperonins?) comes to mind. Maybe Derek
    Gatherer could clear this up?

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