RE: Thesis: Memes are DNA-slaves

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Fri Sep 28 2001 - 17:07:35 BST

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    Subject: RE: Thesis: Memes are DNA-slaves
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    > > Of course, if the population was under some selective pressure and the
    > meme
    > > provided the solution to the 'problem', then in fact the reverse could
    > occur,
    > > in that the culture would drag along the genes.

    Yep, and it has a name too. Susan Blackmore called it:
    gene-meme co-evolution. To early humans memes (tools,
    argricultural inventions, hunting skills and what have you)
    determined what genes were preferrable. Personally,
    I believe (a dangerous verb to use now :)) genes spurring
    the development of the qualities of
    1. imitation (to copy memes),
    2. imagination (to picture somebody performing some desired
        memetic skill using retrieval from memory),
    3. consciousness (to actively partake
        in learning and/or modifying some memetic skill),
    4. reason (to fill in missing gaps of some desired memetic skill
       or to improve some mastered skill) and
    5. manual/mental dexterity (to implement and express a memetic

    All of the above features have the purpose to enhance
    memetic prowess and skill and thus historically improve
    chances of survival. At a certain stage in history the
    co-evolution more-or-less saturated due to physical constraints,
    e.g. brains simply don't get bigger than they are right now
    as our poor mother's wouldn't survive otherwise.


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