Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id LAA04607 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Wed, 9 Jan 2002 11:45:42 GMT Message-ID: <3C3C2C77.firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 11:41:43 +0000 From: Chris Taylor <Christopher.Taylor@man.ac.uk> Organization: University of Manchester User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-GB; rv:0.9.4) Gecko/20011019 Netscape6/6.2 X-Accept-Language: en-gb To: email@example.com Subject: Lamarckian? References: <AA-0E749BBF44B1874CFFF8651350E0A843-ZZ@maillink1.prodigy.net> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
> By the way, congrats Chris with your son... Cheers!
I'd like to address this often tacit assumption that meme evolution is
kind of Lamarckian. I remember Dennett analogising about crabgrass and
bluegrass competing for dominion in his yard, to represent competing
ideas in his mind; the important bit here is the idea that there are
many copies (ok grass grows clonally a lot but try to ignore that :\ )
of each 'organism' rather than two competing entities.
This is why meme evolution is really Darwinian, without the need for
acquired characteristics - there are many copies of a meme, probably
successive 'generations' fly by in our heads without any awareness, but
because every time we 'look' we see a meme, very similar to the last
one, we call it the same and assume it has acquired any changes rather
than them having occurred between successive rapid generations.
Plus, this appeals because we could construct a Darwinian 'learning'
machine (effectively a sort of neural genetic algorithm) much more
simply than a Lamarckian version (which must have a facility to learn
for a start). Maybe if AI used GAs we'd be A-OK.
And if the AA used GIs...
Chris Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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