RE: Has anybody read this book?

From: Price, Ilfryn (
Date: Wed Jan 16 2002 - 16:16:49 GMT

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    Subject: RE: Has anybody read this book?
    Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 16:16:49 -0000
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    > From: Keith Henson []
    > Sent: 16 January 2002 14:49
    > Memes and genes have been co-evolving for long enough for our
    > genes to
    > become fully dependant on the meme class that helps stabilize
    > our mental
    > systems against the negative effect of being able to
    > anticipate the future
    > and worry about it. The ability to anticipate has high
    > survival value, of
    > being able to plant in anticipation of a harvest, to store up
    > firewood for
    > winter, and to move with the seasons to take advantage of
    > seasonal resources.

    Unless we grant, say squirrels or swallows, with a high susceptibility to religion we must assume some at least of the anticipation is
    genetic. Firewood could be a 'Maybe' but we would have to assume harvests are memetic, so much of your thesis may only for 8,000 years odd
    (difficult perhaps for genes but not necessarily impossible)
    > But this ability comes with problems. Once you have it, it is nearly
    > impossible to avoid applying it to your own future--leading
    > to time and
    > energy wasting worry about a problem (death) our ancestors
    > could do nothing
    > about. Enter the religious memes which provide "answers" to the
    > unanswerable, comfort to the grief stricken, and let the
    > genes get on with
    > replicating (I.e., taking care of the kids).

    The religous memes also provide 'comfort' to the 90++% of post agrarian revolution populations compelled to see their economic surplus
    devoted to building wealth and monuments for others, including many religous or religous / military power structures.

    > Do this long enough, give it enough of an advantage, and you
    > get genes
    > building a place in the brain to accept religious class
    > memes. If you dig
    > about in the literature the location (temporal lobe) is
    > known. Seizures in
    > this area are connected to extreme religious feelings and
    > (for unknown
    > reasons) to "hypergraphia," writing incessantly.

    Given limits to upward mobility of genetic exchange perhaps those with a propensity to accept the status quo just lived long enough to breed
    at all. The rest got burnt / crucified / enslaved or whatever. Writing as you say is a puzzler.

    >It's a patch, but evolution is like that, patch upon patch.

    Its also - as is my version - a just so story. Interesting to test it. I'm not sure whether the variables could be eliminated.

    If Price

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