Re: Cichlids & Memes

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Sat Sep 08 2001 - 11:55:36 BST

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    From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <>
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    Subject: Re: Cichlids & Memes
    Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2001 12:55:36 +0200
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Vincent Campbell <>
    > A good example might be Easter Island. It appears there was a major
    > transition in belief from a kind of personality cult surrounding past
    > (presumably) that relates to the famous statues, to a belief system
    > to birds, particularly, IIRC, the Frigate bird. Now, why did this change
    > occur? Could, at the most fundamental root, it have been related to the
    > changing ecology of the island? It used to be forested, but humans
    > basically deforested the entire island, affecting, of course, their food
    > supplies as well as the wildlife. Perhaps a changing lifestyle related to
    > the sea emerged, and seabirds became more appropriate symbols for that
    > different lifestyle. Evidence of niche construction writ large perhaps?
    > How might a memetics approach to this transition offer (to use
    > Chris' useful comment from a few days ago) a better/more complete/simpler
    > explanation?


    Again, IMO, you have to see this as it were ' a reaction ' !
    If, by deforesting the island their food supply became jeopardized, direct
    adaption could only be a process in the long term.
    There has to be a quick alternative first, a reaction.
    Reacting fills up the niche mush quicker, adaptation is too slow.

    Interest groups, pressure groups and others would have their say and
    noone would have liked that just they were in the wrong.
    Rapid change can only be forced upon people, ' normal ' change ( like
    changing the way the people lived on Easter Island) will have, in the
    long run, no affect.
    _ See for this what happens nowadays with the notion of being green
    conscient. We have to change to safe the environment, but those chan-
    ges have no affect,... only and maybe in our own conscience.

    > Anyway, again the implication here is that some major historical
    > events may have, at their root, environmental, natural causes. (The ten
    > plagues of Egypt explanation is brilliant in this regard too). Are we
    > simply too close to more recent historical events to see underlying
    > environmental causal factors in them?

    _ That is in a nutshell what Dace was trying to explain in his threads
    about Shelrake and MR, that from a memetic point of view, environ-
    mental causal factors are beyond our control and in a way we are not
    very keen on that idea.
    In a sense, we tranformed such events into our myths, legends and
    folkore, our gods and beliefs and one of those is that the major ancient
    civilisations like the Egyptian, Maya and others could not just vanish
    by a " stupid " environmental catastrophy.
    The same effect played in the discussions with Dace a very important
    role, we can 't, for what ever reason, presume another explanation
    for effects we see around us than a Darwinian one.

    Like I said, many times before, our views are clouded by what we see,
    our views are clouded by what you and I have learned on school; what we
    have seen on TV; what we have read in books.... which all are based
    upon the same common belief that Darwin in all senses was and is right.
    And Sheldrake, Dace and others, including myself, are saying, ok he
    is ok, but not entirely right. And the contention is, and I agree is proof.
    But proving, convincing others would stay difficult because, if I may
    express myself in this way, you and others lack the memetic capacity
    to see things in a different light.



    ( I am, because we are)

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