Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id PAA05957 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Tue, 14 Aug 2001 15:41:01 +0100 Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745FFB@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: Teleology etc. Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 15:12:45 +0100 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain X-Filter-Info: UoS MailScan 0.1 [D 1] Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 100th monkey thing is a myth, because it deomstrably isn't true. Other
populations of monkeys did not suddenly start performing the same behaviour
once 100 of the original population did, in fact no populations started the
behaviour at all.
Primates have good capacities for imitation, but they are finite, and there
are finite periods within with species can learn. I saw a TV programme
(perhaps de Waal's book mentions it also but it's gathering dust on my
bookshelf at the moment) where this was shown with a female chimp who had
moved troops. She had learnt, as a youth, to crack a particular kind of nut
with a stone that her new troop couldn't crack. When she cracked these nuts
almost the entire troop would watch her. But long observation showed that
only the youngsters were learning how to do break nuts at all (by copious
watching of parents and other adults), older members of the troop could note
develop new skills.
In this kind of context, the notion that suddenly troops of monkeys many
miles apart, with no contact could suddenly start utilising such a behaviour
is ludicrous. It's also unfounded, having been checked out by several
researchers. I believe I read about this somewhere.. either in Shermer's
'Why People Believe Weird Things' or 'The Skeptic' magazine. I'll try and
track it down.
> From: Kenneth Van Oost
> Reply To: email@example.com
> Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2001 11:38 am
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Teleology etc.
> Hi Chris,
> You wrote,
> > Sorry, I'm the culprit for introducing that into the discussion.
> > How would this 100th monkey story differ from the blue tits and milk
> > thingy? These notions becoming a part of the collective consciousness,
> wrong > as they may be, are fair game in this forum. Frans de Waal talks
> about the
> > 100th monkey stuff in his book _The Ape and the Sushi Master_ (2001,
> > Books, New York). What is it about these ideas that is so appealing?
> << How can you be so sure that those stories are wrong !?
> You have no prove that a mecanism drives the birds and the monkeys
> or not !
> It is still a mystery, all the reasoning is highly hypothetical.
> It is IMO not a " prove" that a nearby scientific application says it has
> to be wrong because its prove shows it that way, that it is wrong !! The
> prove it will have is just circumstancial.
> It must be proven, either way !!
> And maybe further investigation into what makes those ideas so appea-
> ling will turn out to be the tenet of what memetics is all about !!
> 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)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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=============================================================== 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) see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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