Re: Dawkins etc

From: Dace (
Date: Thu Sep 06 2001 - 23:14:33 BST

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    Subject: Re: Dawkins etc
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    > Hi, Ted,
    > What I am trying to find out is just what you mean physically by
    > "morphologically." You said initially it operated in a manner akin, if I
    > understand you correctly, to electromagnetism or gravity, but without
    > how it was different. How does 'similarity of form' of organisms give rise
    > to _any_ 'resonance'? If you just say it does so 'morphically', as below,
    > you really haven't explained what you are referring to, other than to say
    > that 'morphism' is 'morphic.' Can you explain what you mean without using
    > the term 'morphic' and without metaphors or analogies that you then
    > I am trying to be quite precise here so that we don't go around in
    > and do not mean this to sound sharp or overly demanding.

    How does similarity of charge among particles give rise to resonance? Can
    you answer this without mentioning electromagnetism? Can you describe,
    without resorting to strange notions of "gravity," the attraction of dense
    objects to each other? These are not phenomena. As properties of nature
    they require no explanation. How does space get warped around massive
    bodies? Gravity, Gravity, of course. Gravity is the explanation, not the
    thing to be explained (except, perhaps, as an asymmetrical manifestation of
    a primordial unified force).

    How are macromolecules molded in living structures? Memory, of course.
    Their components take shape according to the same developmental pathway
    utilized by their predecessors. DNA plays a role in this process, but no
    one knows exactly to what extent. If we can prove that *intrinsic* forms
    resonate over time, then we've explained memory according to a fundamental
    property of nature. This is far preferable to relying on artificial,
    storage-based memory, for this itself relies on other physical principles.
    Instead of trying to piggy-back on physics, biology must apply the same
    methodology to life that physics applies generally to matter. We must
    understand the principles involved in its self-organization. The point of a
    real explanation is that it needs no explanation of its own. This is what
    mechanistic biology has never grasped. There's nothing natural or
    fundamental about machinery.

    > Ted and my fellow list-mates, I am recapping here for a couple of reasons:
    > 1. The on-going discussion on 'MR' seemd to have leapt to questions beyond
    > these too rapidly (or maybe I simply missed Ted's answers earlier -- in
    > which case I do apologise for the repetion here) and I am still trying to
    > figure out if there is anything to the notion. If there is, then of course
    > it may have significance for memetics.
    > 2. I am interested in 'MR' as a meme in and of itself. It has been
    > persisent, and Ted has advanced it patiently and nimbly. Even if there is
    > no substance to the notion (I await Ted's response to my above questions
    > this), then we can certainly examine the memetic representation for clues
    > about its ability to persist. For example, does some of its success lie in
    > the juxtaposion of two equal abstractions, 'morphic' and 'resonance'?
    > the abstraction of one shield the other from substantive inquiry? Of
    > course, I look forward to Ted's responses to my above questions.
    > Ted, I do hope you will focus on my questions in my first paragraph,
    > Without understanding the answers, it is very hard for me to take 'MR'
    > seriously or go further in the discussion.
    > Best regards,
    > - Lawrence

    MR is propagated according to logic rather than its own drive to reproduce.
    While memes might choose logic as well as illogic as a mode of propagation,
    genuine culture is all about consciousness, not itself. It's whole, not
    atomized. It reduces to sensibility (nature) not abstraction (machine).


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