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on 12/3/01 5:12 PM, AaronLynch@aol.com at AaronLynch@aol.com wrote:
> That said, I will add that if Gell-Mann had made a mess of the word "quark,"
> quantum chromodynamics would most likely still have developed, even if under
> a different name. One can think of all sorts of vague ways that Gell-Mann
> might have coined a word, perhaps referring to almost any subnuclear
> particle, for instance. But if he had, then physicists would have probably
> ignored the term and some other term would have emerged in connection with
> very similar theoretical constructs.
In the case of culture, what we need is a well-developed body of theory
about cultural change. The reason "meme" is surrounded with confusion is
that it doesn't link to any well-developed body of theory. It's just a word
that's analogically attached to a body of biological theory that folks want
to refit for cultural use. It's the refitting that's difficult.
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