From: Ray Recchia (
Date: Wed Nov 28 2001 - 23:22:55 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "RE: A Question for Wade"

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    Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 18:22:55 -0500
    From: Ray Recchia <>
    Subject: artefacts
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    Ok Wade I'll just add in a few more points. I think I've made enough to
    score a win with the jury already but when opposing counsel is playing
    advocate for the devil it never hurts to add in a few more.

    1. You seem to be insisting that the reason artefacts are a better
    description of memes because of flaws in using imitation. However, your
    artefacts still need to reproduce somehow if you are going to consider them
    evolutionary replicators. You haven't offered any substitute that does not
    involve an examination of the mind of a living organism. Imitation has
    been tendered by behaviorists as a blanket method of explaining replication
    in large part because they wanted to avoid having to delve too deeply into
    the unknowns of the human mind.

    You can't really avoid replication either. Otherwise you have no way of
    distinguishing your artefacts from artefacts created by birds or
    wasps. Somehow, something has to have been replicated extra genetically.

    2. In the next few decades the human race will likely begin genetically
    altering itself. This will make humans artefacts of themselves and thus by
    your definition - memes. Perhaps test tube babies would already count as
    memes in your system. This would make their thoughts part of a meme and
    thus subject to memetic examination.

    In closing, I would like to admonish you for having taken on the devil as a
    client when fellow Massachusetts jurist Daniel Webster fought so hard to
    defeat him in the early part of the U.S.A's development.

    Ray Recchia

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