Re: sex and the single meme

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 19:44:37 GMT

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: sex and the single meme
    Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 14:44:37 -0500
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    >From: <>
    >Subject: Re: sex and the single meme
    >Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 12:57:16 +0100
    >On 24 Jan 2002, at 22:02, Scott Chase wrote:
    > > I'm not saying selection would be totally unimportant, but one's view
    > > be tempered with the acknowledgement that other mechanisms could come
    > > play.
    >I can't see how memetics should be independent from our
    >selection. How come memes relate to our thinking process if they
    >are so independent from us? They could be ANYTHING! They don't
    >have to rely on the world around us, but they do! And that's
    >because we select them cause we live in this world and try to
    >survive in it!
    >To think that memetic/cultural development is independent from the
    >individuals/group choice is useless in my eyes. What else would
    >define which memes survive and which not without us?
    >Please name and specify these mysterious mechanisms which
    >happen outside our brains.
    Well in the part you snipped I had set the context for my temperance...that
    in biological evolution there are possiilities such as genetic drift which
    are considered. Genetic drift can become important in small populations
    where alleles can either become fixed or eliminated by no other means than
    merely the luck of the draw. It's possible that drift becomes an important
    consideration in instances of speciation where small founder populations (a
    relatively small subgroup with a non-representative sample of the alleles of
    the parent population) set up shop in isolation from the parent population.
    Genetic drift is likely important in cases referred to as founder effect (or
    founder/flush?) and bottleneck effect, where a population crash results in a
    limited sampling of alleles of previous larger populations. Allelic
    frequencies can change or even go to fixation or elimination from a gene
    pool with negligable input of selection. Selection may be the primary mode,
    but a pluralist looks for other possibilities, albeit in special cases.

    If a group of people of some religious sect decided to break away from the
    general population and go live on an island somewhere and someone happened
    to carry an allele related to polydactyly or some other genetically related
    phenotype, this trait might be more prevalent in subsequent island
    generations when compared to the original mainland population. This would be
    a non-representative sampling of the mainland population. If I'm not
    mistaken, this would be a case of genetic drift. Hopefully someone like
    Derek Gatherer can clean up the absolute mess I've made here, but hopefully,
    far removed from classes I've had in statistics and evolutionary biology,
    I've managed to get the essentials correct.

    I'm not even going to attempt a total botching of Kimura's neutral theory.
    That's what we have Wilkins for.

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