Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id NAA06062 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Thu, 6 Dec 2001 13:12:23 GMT Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3102A6D17E@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: Wilkins on the meme:engram relation Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2001 12:46:45 -0000 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" X-Filter-Info: UoS MailScan 0.1 [D 1] Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
'even social scientists'?
That's a bit like arguments where someone goes 'even slugs have brains, of
sorts'. I assume you didn't mean that in the pejorative sense? :-)
> From: AaronLynch@aol.com
> Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Wednesday, December 5, 2001 23:02 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Wilkins on the meme:engram relation
> In a message dated 12/4/2001 10:40:28 PM Central Standard Time, John
> <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> > Exactly this sort of confusion arises in the context of "gene" -
> > initially it was well-defined (by Johannsen, IIRC) as a Mendelian
> > hereditary factor (ie, anything that assorted in the Mendelian ratio).
> > As the context broadened, it was gradually less exact, and people had
> > coin new terms like cistron, intron, codon, and the like to become more
> > exact. When molecular biology realised that a "functional" gene could
> > anything at all from a single codon to an entire karyotype (in the case
> > of some asexuals), it became clear that the term had exceeded its
> > life. You generally will find people being very restricted in their use
> > of the word in the primary literature (eg, the Bcl-2 gene, or the
> > eyeless gene), so that it has an implicit subscript or index.
> > Memes do not assort in a ratio that requires this sort of definition.
> > They are defined (by Dawkins) as those things that are transmitted
> > appreciable frequency" after the definition by GC Williams in his 1966
> > book. This makes memes definitional objects - they are nominal things,
> > not actual ones. A meme is whatever we can recognise as being
> > transmitted, for whatever reason, with appreciable frequency, and so is
> > subject to selection.
> Hi John.
> In the case of "meme," we already have some more specific terms available
> the kinds of things to which the term "meme" has been applied. These
> "idea," "artifact," "behavior," "institution," etc. Because these terms
> older and used by as many as a billion people, their meaning cannot easily
> make a dramatic change in the course of a scientist's career. Both the
> prevalence and the slowness of change in meaning can reduce the
> of confusion when using these terms.
> The word "gene" also did not suffer any confusions arising from analogy to
> some other field. The word "meme," on the other hand, does suffer such
> confusions. Its meaning evolves not only by the influence from studies of
> culture, but also according to how closely it resembles various meanings
> "gene." One of the distractions, for instance, is the idea that someone
> be able to view a "meme" under a microscope -- an idea that Dawkins
> introduced in The Extended Phenotype (1982).
> --Aaron Lynch
> 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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=============================================================== 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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