Re: Clincher?

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Fri Sep 14 2001 - 21:33:21 BST

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    Subject: Re: Clincher?
    Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 22:33:21 +0200
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Dace <>
    Sounds like you're trying to express evolution entirely in terms of memes.

    << Is there in your opinion still a genetic evolution !?
    I don 't think so ! memes took over the genetical tracks a very long
    time ago.
    Where the ape- man stopped and homo sapiens began, memes took
    over, despite the fact that genetic mutations due to natural selection
    occured. But, that IMO, is all a result of memetic evolution at work.
    The early human being transformed itself by creating new needs for
    itself, les besoins remerber !?
    Genes yield certain bodily and neurological characteristics.

    << Yes, but all for memetical driven reasons !!
    There is no parallel track left. Memes drag genes along the way they ride,
    there is IMO, not even co -evolution.

    Memes yield certain cultural preferences.
    We're like trains running on parallel tracks. The
    question is whether both tracks are directed selfishly and blindly (Dawkins)
    or if bodily and cultural traits follow from freely-chosen adaptations
    (Sheldrake). Can we comprehend genes and memes atomistically,
    or do we need the holistic context of the organism?

    << My first impression !? We need the context.

    > Lamarck writes, " Or, cet ébranlement subit donne lieu à l' instant à une
    > reaction qui, rapporteé à toutes parts au foyer commun,..." ( page 518,
    > Philosophie Zoologique).

    Of course, Lamarck is talking about a fluid subtil, when this is ' shaken ',
    ( ébranler) the whole of the organism feels it.
    This ' shaken ' give rise to a reaction which is brought from all parts of
    the body into the centre.
    IOW, what is felt by any part of the body, mind, brain, senses, is felt
    troughtout the body.

    > And yes, to round this up, we have to see Lamarck, approach Lamarck
    > as indeed as the origin of the genuine study of mind.
    > IMO, Lamarck is and was always misread.
    > Lamarckism has to be dealt with as it were psychology, not biology.

    As Scott (tentatively) pointed out, it was Lamarck who plucked mentality out
    of "metaphysical" abstraction and put it squarely in the domain of biology.
    Minds are living, and therefore psychology is a subset of biology. But that
    doesn't mean minds are reducible to brains (any more than brains are
    reducible to minds). The point is that biology is the study of mind as
    much as matter. Every organic structure is guided by natural memory. In
    that sense, minds are integral to all levels of organic activity, not just
    neurological. There's no possibility of understanding life without
    understanding mind.

    << Yes, of course not, but Lamarck, especially in part III of Philosophie
    Zoologique tried, at least in my opinion, to write psychology and not
    so quite biology. In order to write and even to understand psychology,
    he wrote a lot about biology_ how the brain, the body, the nerves etc,
    according to him worked and intertwingled.
    That is why, in the memetic context of things, IMO, Lamarck can con-
    tribute to memetics in general and to the understanding of mind in
    He talks about habits, the nervous system, about_ instinct, sensations, la
    sensibilité physique, émotions, the will, morality... all things we find
    in one way or the other in memetics.

    Best regards,


    ( I am, because we are) all New Yorkers

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