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

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed Feb 13 2002 - 00:15:28 GMT

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
    Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 19:15:28 -0500
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    >From: <>
    >Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
    >Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 04:19:32 EST
    >In a message dated 2/12/2002 12:40:51 AM Central Standard Time, Scott Chase
    ><> writes:
    > > >Thanks, Scott.
    > > >
    > > >This sounds interesting. Could you quote for us some of Huxley's
    > > >that would count as evolutionary cultural replicator theory, or that
    > > >most suggestive of such theory?
    > > >
    > > Check out my recent posts re: noogenetics vs. memetics. There are some
    > > quotes in those posts.
    > >
    > > In short, he talks about cultural evolution and the self-reproduction
    > > mental products. You saw those posts didn't you? His book with
    > > titles _Knowledge, Morality, & Destiny_ and _New Bottles for New Wine_
    > > probably be found in a university or possibly a public library.
    >Thanks again, Scott.
    >I just now read your posts from yesterday. Judging from the quotes you
    >provide, it does indeed look like another independent and prior invention
    >evolutionary cultural replicator theory, or at least a strong suggestion
    >the scientific community start developing such a theory. I will have to
    >the books to see how elaborated Huxley's work is.
    As far as I've read Huxley's discussions of cultural evolution its not what
    you might consider formalized, with the technical math and all that. Mostly
    its an informal or popular appeal, kinda like Dawkins.

    I've had hesitations on Huxley's usage of a word like self-reproduction,
    though in the context of the gene-complex he refers to this as "a system of
    self-reproducing bodies or genes, arranged in a definite order in larger
    bodies called chromosomes...". I'm cautious about reading too much into what
    he says, looking at his words through the retrospective lenses of knowing
    about memetics. Still, the tempttion is there, and failing replicator theory
    status (even if primitive at best), the reader might still be compelled to
    consider how Huxley's views compare in ways to memetics.

    The cool things about Huxley are that he is Thomas Henry Huxley's grandson
    and that he played a role in the modern evolutionary synthesis. IIRC he had
    some developmentally inspired views and did work on allometry and
    collaborated with Gavin de Beer on a book about embryology. He also used the
    term "cline" in the context of geographic variation.

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