Re: Song of Myself

From: Dace (
Date: Thu Aug 23 2001 - 20:15:14 BST

  • Next message: Dace: "Re: Time"

    Received: by id UAA29281 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Thu, 23 Aug 2001 20:17:01 +0100
    Message-ID: <003301c12c07$f25da0a0$a586b2d1@teddace>
    From: "Dace" <>
    To: <>
    References: <3B82FAE3.3163.6CCD87@localhost>
    Subject: Re: Song of Myself
    Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 12:15:14 -0700
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    X-Priority: 3
    X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.50.4133.2400
    X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.50.4133.2400
    Precedence: bulk

    From: <>

    > > Genes function in the body the same way a tuning device
    > > functions in a radio. It's not as if 101.3 megahertz is somehow a
    > > code describing the music that appears over that channel.
    > >
    > Here comes the 'channeling Ramtha' mysticism again; this is the
    > REAL fairy tale (the one for which there is NO evidence
    > whatsoever, and the belief in which defies logic, reason and
    > rationality). As if dead, rotted and gone organisms, their system
    > configuration degraded and decayed beyond recognition, could
    > nevertheless send 'messages from beyond the grave' to fertilized
    > zygotes.

    Sheldrake is suggesting that the form of an organism somehow stays with the
    present, even when its materialization has long since vanished. This is
    simply a roundabout way of saying that if memory is real, it's holistic, not

    > Your idea of what genes do is about as plausible as the
    > Greek idea that brains existed to cool the blood.

    And the modern habit of equating the mind with the brain is no more
    plausible than the Greek view. The mind involves representation, such as
    the though, "The telephone is ringing," which refers to an event in the
    world. Yet, if the brain is part of the physical world, then it can't very
    well step outside that world and represent something within it. Physical
    objects abide by a very simple rule: X = X. The thing is itself, nothing
    more or less. One atom or molecule or neuron cannot "represent" another
    atom or molecule or neuron. Arrange the neurons any way you please, they're
    still not going to add up to anything more than themselves. You can draw an
    arrow on a piece of paper, but it's just ink. It doesn't actually "point"
    at something else except in our mental interpretation of this ink.

    Just as mind can't be reduced to brain, organic form can't be reduced to

    > > Every structure
    > > in the body has its own distinctive pattern of vibration corresponding
    > > to its shape.
    > >
    > Vibrations do not correspond to shape so much as they
    > correspond to size and elemental composition; just check out
    > tuning forks. And, BTW, vibrations do not encode the configuration
    > or composition of the source, since many different configurations
    > and compositions can produce the same vibrational frequency, and
    > ocilloscopes and frequency generators can (each) produce many
    > different ones. It just isn't feasible, or believeable.

    Tuning forks aren't alive. Living form is fundamentally different from
    nonliving form. In the first case, the thing *is* the form. In the second
    case, the form of the thing is accidental. A chair doesn't care if it stays
    a chair or gets chopped up into firewood. If a thing is nonliving, it can
    be made to resonate acoustically anyway you please. But if it's alive, it's
    got its own vibe.

    > > However, each individual starts with a slightly
    > > different composition of genes, and this guarantees that the
    > > individual will be unique. Genes account for our differences, not our
    > > samenesses.
    > >
    > This is perhaps the densest contention, and it arises from the
    > confused idea that sameness and difference are nonrelational
    > opposites, rather than being correlative opposites, that is, abstract
    > ideal poles of a concrete real continuum of the more or less similar.

    The differences produced by our genes play out in the context of our


    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)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Aug 23 2001 - 20:21:32 BST