RE: Thesis: Memes are DNA-Slaves

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Mon Oct 01 2001 - 11:29:00 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: Thesis: Memes are DNA-Slaves
    Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 11:29:00 +0100 
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            Hi Salice,

            Sorry if others have responded to this already. I'm working through
    the weekend's posts this morning.

    >> No need for the people to survive as long as the doctrine
    does, e.g.
    >> suicidal cults, religious/political martyrs etc. etc. Some memes
    appear to
    >> drive people to non-adaptive behaviours like celibacy and

            <martyrs help a culture to survive (in best case). so it helps it's
    > people to survive aswell. if a kamikaze destroyed an us army ship he
    > might have been acting non-adaptive acording to his genes but he
    > might had saved 1000s of others, which might have been not that
    > different to him.
    > when you look at these kind of behaviours you have to be aware of
    > the fact that a lot of dna is similar among people. so if
    > someone commits suicide but helps with this action 100s of others to
    > survive, who share similar genes with him, it's quite clever.>
            This is called kin selection, but it's not likely that it works for
    humans outside of immediately family, as the proportion of shared genes has
    to be pretty high to allow for self sacrifice to the extent of suicide. One
    possibility, as Richard Brodie suggested of the hijackers, is perhaps that
    memes can co-opt the psychological impulses that things like kin selection
    work on, but others have disagreed with that view. The point here though,
    is that this is still not adaptive behaviour.

            How does kin selection account for religious celibacy?

            <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.>
            Surely impotence is a physiological thing- simply a matter of


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