Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)

Date: Tue Feb 12 2002 - 02:23:31 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
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    In a message dated 2/11/2002 6:14:19 PM Central Standard Time, Wade T.Smith
    <> writes:

    > Hi -
    > >I take it that giving Dawkins credit for popularizing is not meant to
    > >detract from Cloak, Hamilton, Trivers, etc. either.
    > Popularizers are very necessary- otherwise, I doubt laymen like myself
    > would ever get a taste of these things, and, ahem, I _don't_ think that's
    > a bad thing, such popularization. It only makes the sincerely curious dig
    > deeper.
    > Personally, I'm enchanted by Dawkin's wonderfully violent anti-religious
    > stance (although, Vincent?, didn't the whole faith-school thing in
    > England actually get through?), but, perhaps, that might be working
    > against him in some quarters.
    > The Selfish Gene was introduced to me by an english major back in my
    > undergrad days, who insisted that I read it, way back in its first
    > appearance. I don't know how he got a hold of it. I passed my copy of
    > Jaynes in return to him.... I recall the dawn-discovering discussions to
    > this day. Well, I don't recall them, but I recall having them....
    > - Wade

    Hi Wade.

    Yes, popularizers are necessary. So are grade school, high school, and
    college text writers. Still, they all need material to popularize, and giving
    credit to popularizers for their work need not detract from those whose work
    is being popularized. For example, nothing prevents you from crediting
    Dawkins on religious topics and Cloak on evolutionary cultural replicator
    theory. Without the work done by Cloak, Cavalli-Sforza, and Cullen, I doubt
    that your readings back in college would have included a "new replicators"
    chapter at all -- including its discussion of religion.

    --Aaron Lynch

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