From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Wed Jan 09 2002 - 11:41:43 GMT

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    From: Chris Taylor <>
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    Subject: Lamarckian?
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    > By the way, congrats Chris with your son... Cheers!

    Ta :)

    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.

    I reckon...

    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 ( »people»chris

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