RE: Thesis: Memes are DNA-Slaves

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Sat Sep 29 2001 - 16:33:19 BST

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

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    Subject: RE: Thesis: Memes are DNA-Slaves
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    > >there are a lot of symptoms which can't be directly explained with
    > >normal evolutionary theory. like impotence for instance. but when you
    > >look on the overall scale of effect certain actions make sense.

    > What scale would explain coming to the aid of a whale or other wild
    > animal
    > in distress? I watched a program recently where a whale was in distress
    > and
    > a bunch of people got together to help it and it was then sent to a
    > water
    > park for rehabilitation. *Why* (in the evolutionary sense of the word)
    > would
    > someone consider the plight of sea turtles a serious concern? Would
    > inclusive fitness or reciprocal altruism fit the bill here?

    Its funny isn't it? There is obviously no compelling
    biological reason to undertake such actions as it wouldn't
    serve to increase our fitness.
    Hence biological evolution didn't favor it. Interspecific
    altruism can only be explained memetically I contend. We have
    plenty of resources to allow us to engage in such interspecific
    charity activities such as described above. It's also a
    goodness/kindness-gauge, so to speak, which other people
    appreciate very much as they might reflect overall characteristics
    of the well-doer. People
    think: `Oh well, look at that *nice guy* helping out those
    poor whales!'.
    In that sense, interspecific altruism is useful in that it
    increases fitness, not biological but rather cultural. Hence,
    on being valuable to increase cultural fitness,
    memes propagating interspecific altruism flourish and spread...



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