RE: Selfish Meme?

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sat Jan 26 2002 - 18:51:19 GMT

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    Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 13:51:19 -0500
    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: RE: Selfish Meme?
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    At 05:03 PM 26/01/02 +0000, "Price, Ilfryn" <>


    >There may be a reason for this. Humans are most susceptible to memes
    >they are young. Same thing is true for other primates, the potato
    >behavior spread only slowly into the older groups of monkeys in that
    >Though there are exceptions in humans most older people are not so keen
    >about learning new material--and in the stone age environment such a
    >trait would not have been much selected.
    >Possibly. However younger scientists (in this example)working in the same
    >insitutions are under pressure to conform to current paradigmatic norms
    >(grants, PhDs etc are then much easier to come by) so a memetic ESS has a
    >tendency to self preservation, even in science.

    Granted. Look at the opposition to plate tectonics and bacteria as the
    cause of ulcers.

    >That said, given the origin of this exchange, I do accept science has
    >having more selective pressure for true explanations than other meme

    Right. I have used the term "MetaMeme" for logic and the scientific
    method. Over the long term (and as you point out it can take a generation)
    MetaMemes exert strong selective forces on certain classes of other
    memes. Phrenology as a type case.

    Keith Henson

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