Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id AAA01898 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Mon, 28 Jan 2002 00:04:37 GMT Message-Id: <firstname.lastname@example.org> X-Sender: email@example.com X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 5.1 Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 12:45:30 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Keith Henson <email@example.com> Subject: Re: sex and the single meme In-Reply-To: <3C533158.8424.4352F6@localhost> References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <3C52BABB.30986.946240@localhost> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
At 10:44 PM 26/01/02 +0100, you wrote:
>On 26 Jan 2002, at 13:43, Keith Henson wrote:
> > That's too wide a net to cast. A gene that benefits the entire species
> > does not have any feedback to spread. The math for it to spread means it
> > must save more copies of itself than are lost.
>Well it's quite complex indeed. It's just a thought anyway, cause i
>can't explain myself how suicide memes come about cause i don't
>really believe in the memes-hijack-us thought.
It is actually remarkable simple. As Hamilton said one time, he should be
willing to die if it would save more than 2 brothers or more than 8
cousins. If you understand that a brother carries half your genes and a
cousin one eighth of your genes it is obvious math to see that genes
favoring this level of sacrifice would be favored over the long term.
> > You are getting close to the models constructed by the late William
> > Hamilton (Dawkins cites him a lot.)
>Hm, never heard of him. Going to do some readup.
I would say so. Try here for a
Obituary from the Daily Telegraph
Evolutionary biologist who explained how selfish genes could produce altruism
PROFESSOR WILLIAM HAMILTON, who has died aged 63, was the most influential
evolutionary biologist of his generation.
Bill Hamilton's paper on "the genetical evolution of social behavior"
(1964) became the most cited paper in all science. He was responsible
almost single-handedly for a revolution in the study of animal behavior. He
remained in frontline research until his death, caused by an infection
caught while on a research expedition in the Congo.
My most memorable conversation with Bill was at Oxford in 1990. We were
talking about the evolution of parasite virulence, and I asked him if he
new of a convincing example of evolution to intermediate levels of
virulence other than the few so often described in the literature. He
didn't think long and replied: "Religion."
(I published about the evolution of parasitic cults to symbiotic religions
in 1987, but I would guess Hamilton came up with this independently. He
was one smart guy.)
I don't have a copy at hand, but I think Hamilton's insightful comments on
the concept of memes is right there in Dawkin's chapter in Selfish Gene.
> > Since we are not all that good at determining exactly who we
> > are related too, ...
>This is actually not really required. If one defends a culture which
>includes memes which select for certain genes and these genes
>are also part of the defending individual then the job is done.
I have heard argument that Jewish culture is a 5000 year memetic selector
for higher intelligence. But the mechanism is not one of defending
relatives, but that of defining the more intelligent men to be more
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Jan 28 2002 - 00:54:43 GMT