Re: sex and the single meme

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 21:44:38 GMT

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: sex and the single meme
    Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 16:44:38 -0500
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    >From: <>
    >Subject: Re: sex and the single meme
    >Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 21:26:03 +0100
    >On 25 Jan 2002, at 14:44, Scott Chase wrote:
    > > If a group of people of some religious sect decided to break away from
    > > general population and go live on an island somewhere and someone
    > > to carry an allele related to polydactyly or some other genetically
    > > 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.
    >Well yes, but still. These crazy folks on the island select which
    >memes they use and believe in.. with their brains. There's no
    >outside force which does the selection.
    >I don't know what others on this list think but i sometimes think
    >that they have this picture in their mind that memes float around in
    >cultural space, mixing themselves with each other based on some
    >unknown rules, like they would be personalities for themselves and
    >then we as humans freely welcome the memes which survived
    >in our brains.
    >There might be something like a meme-space but we define what
    >memes are in there and we also partly decide which memes to
    >extract from it. Culture and individual.
    If one were to look at a pool of ideas and analogize variants of ideas as
    allelic (so to speak), could it be that generation to generation shifts in
    the frequencies of these variants could, in special circumstances, be
    related to nothing more than sampling error? I'll leave it to those more
    imaginative and mathematically versed than I to flesh out the details.

    Flipping from the index to Leslie Horvitz's _The Complete Idiot's Guide to
    Evolution_ (2002. Alpha. Indianapolis, Indiana, p. 162) there's a discussion
    of genetic drift and the Amish are used as an example, looking at dwarfism
    being more prevalent (1 in 14) now within the Amish grouping than within the
    general population (1 in 1000). If this is indeed the case (my caution stems
    from the mosque/mosquito thing in another _The Complete Idiot's ..._ book),
    than there you have it, a real life human example. Are there other cases
    where numerically limited subsets of humans have broken off and had
    higher/lower prevalence of genetically base traits contrasted to the
    parental population due to drift?

    The Dunkers may be another example as discussed in Eli Minkoff's
    _Evolutionary Biology_ (1983. Addison Wesley. Reading, Massachusetts, p.

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