Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id UAA04749 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Wed, 5 Dec 2001 20:27:04 GMT Message-ID: <001d01c17dca$a9e1d520$2a24f4d8@teddace> From: "Dace" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> References: <1A32D0CE-E8ED-11D5-97EA-003065A0F24C@harvard.edu> Subject: Re: Definition please Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 12:23:10 -0800 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Priority: 3 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.50.4133.2400 X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.50.4133.2400 Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Ted said-
> > The idea that memory
> > is contained in the brain is simply not a scientific assertion.
> It'll have to do until such time as memory is located in that
> pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.
> - Wade
What exactly does the standard theory *do*? It certaintly doesn't tell us
anything solid. It might be true-- seems like it would have to be-- but
it's not as if we actually know. How would we recognize a "memory" in the
brain if we saw one? Moreover, how would we recognize its absence? In the
sense that it's neither verifiable nor falsifiable, it fails to qualify as a
What's striking about mechano-determinism is its randomness. Why would the
brain work the same way a computer works? There's just no particular reason
why it should be so. We might also ask why the "Savior" should be a guy
named Christ who lived 2000 years ago? Why should the "Resurrection" come
after 3 days? Why not give Him a week? It all just seems off the top of
someone's head, yet people believe it-- literally-- as if it were the secret
of eternal life. Can't be explained logically, so there must be a memetic
reason. Somehow this particular meme caught on, and now it selfishly
perpetuates itself in our self-contained realm of abstraction.
"Neo-Darwinian" dogma is a faithful recapitulation of the ancient religious
impulse. First of all, it's so patently false. Weismannian theory has as
much in common with Darwinian evolution as capitalist, militarist America
has with Jesus. Secondly, though it lacks any reason or sense, its
adherents are as fixed in their belief as the most fervent apostle.
Thirdly, it encourages a feeling of security while simultaneously playing on
our narcissism. That a living thing is essentially a mechanism confirms our
sense that all things revolve around us. All of life is made in our image.
The operating plan of the organism is but a poor imitation of human
technologic. Yes, Rover is a machine, but a flawed, hairy, and ultimately
self-destructive machine. Along with this, mechano-determinism comforts us
with the "knowledge" that everything is subject to our rational analysis and
control. All things are transparent to us, that we may build the City of
Science, i.e. the "New Jerusalem," as the early scientists called it.
Science has yet to get clear of the afterbirth that accompanied its delivery
some four centuries ago in Christian Europe.
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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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