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From: Derek Gatherer (gatherer@biotech.ufl.org)
Date: Tue Oct 02 2001 - 16:09:13 BST

  • Next message: Vincent Campbell: "RE: What/Who selects memes?"

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    Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 10:09:13 -0500 (EST)
    From: "Derek Gatherer" <gatherer@biotech.ufl.org>
    Message-Id: <200110021509.KAA02195@snipe.biotech.ufl.org>
    Re: What/Who selects memes?
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    you ask me where else are memes stored if not in brains? What makes you think
    that memes _are_ stored in brains? Memes aren't stored - that's why memetics
    has struggled to make the same scientific impact as, say, genetics. Memetics
    doesn't lack good theoreticians - Cavalli-Sforza, Richerson, Feldman, Laland etc
    but it does lack the element of tangibility that genetics has.

    You gave me a handful of sentences, and then say that whwn I read them, they
    are 'somewhere in my head'. Really? What neural correlate can you point to
    that corresponds to any of those sentences? clearly something must be going on in my head - but whatever it is, it certainly isn't storage of sentences.

    You ask me 'if memes have nothing to do with your brain....
    ' but I didn't say that memes ahve nothing to do with the brain. Clearly a
    brainless animal would have to be acultural, and culture only exists in
    fairly brainy animals. But that doesn't mean that culture is a mental

    As to 'what or who lets [memes] survive in the population' there is no 'thing'
    letting memes survive. they survive because they provide some kind of
    advantage to the organism exhibiting them, or of course, because they tend
    to be transmitted well even if deleterious to the organism (hence 'selfish memes').

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
    see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit

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