Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id MAA05986 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Thu, 6 Dec 2001 12:24:48 GMT Message-ID: <B5EDC67328A3D311B0F70006293884CA03919593@electra.shu.ac.uk> From: "Price, Ilfryn" <I.Price@shu.ac.uk> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: The selfish gene meme Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2001 12:19:54 -0000 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19) Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
I missedthe quote. Apologies
> "... However, the ambiguity of a word with many definitions
> swirling around
> it can actually increase its propagation, even as some
> scientists recoil from
> it. When people are able to read into a word the meaning that
> most suits
> them, it may increase the numbers of non-specialists and even social
> scientists who adopt and use the term. ..."
Your 'Physics' memes are showing ne c'est pas? are 'even social scientists' a sub group of 'non-specialists'?
> What is important, in my opinion, is that any word we use serve the
> scientists and their work rather than the other way around.
Most words / memes that take hold in the domain of science need to do that at least initially. The same is true of business fads in the
business domain. However as John W pointed out in the case of 'gene' replication can proceed beyond the utility of precision and other terms
> Interestingly, your use of the term "replication space"
> suggests that you are
> referring to something that is defined with sufficient
> mathematical precision
> to call for a coordinate system. Some readers will want to
> know in exact
> quantitative terms how that space is defined, which in turn
> may cause them to
> want to know in more exact terms how the word "meme" is defined.
I can appreciate how it would suggest that precision to a physicist but I used it as no more than metaphor. C.f Dennet's space in the
Libraries of Mendel and Babel.
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