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From: Derek Gatherer (gatherer@biotech.ufl.org)
Date: Thu Sep 27 2001 - 19:31:12 BST

  • Next message: salice: "RE: Thesis: Memes are DNA-Slaves"

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    Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 13:31:12 -0500 (EST)
    From: "Derek Gatherer" <gatherer@biotech.ufl.org>
    Message-Id: <200109271831.NAA20623@snipe.biotech.ufl.org>
    Re: Thesis: Memes are DNA-Slaves
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    This is really quite an old argument in memetics, and goes back at least
    as far as Lumsden & Wilson's arguments about memes being on a 'leash'.
    People in the field tend to be:
    a) agreeing with you that memes are DNA-slaves (ie. they are sociobiologists)
    b) allowing memes a degree of independence (ie. they are Wilsonian leash-theorists)
    c) allowing memes total independence in theory but arguing that in
    practice they depend a lot on genes (ie. they are gene-culture interactionists)
    d) totally disagreeing with you and having memes as 'the new replicators',
    totally free of underlying genetics (ie. they are cultural determinists)

    Essentially the 4 groups pursue independent research programs with very little
    to say to each other (I exaggerate slightly here).

    Traditional sociologists are of course cultural determinists too, but they
    don't invoke evolution as an explanatory mechanism, so they are a separate
    category again.


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