re: lamarkism in memetics

N Rose (
Fri, 06 Jun 1997 14:16:25 +0000

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 1997 14:16:25 +0000
From: N Rose <>
Subject: re: lamarkism in memetics

Omar de la Cruz wrote:

(just to pick up on one point you made)

>Nevertheless, there are cases when people modify memes with the
>goal of making them better replicators.

This is very much like Durham's co-evolution line, where he
suggests that people consciously select and manipulate memes.
The idea that some 'agency' can pick or modify memes denies the
central 'bottom up' simplicity of the original idea. People do
NOT modify memes; memes modify people - otherwise why do you need
evolution of culture to explain its complexity? Dennett goes
into this in some detail.

This may have been intended as short hand? If so I would plead
with you not to use it without ensuring first that it can be
converted back into 'bottom up' language - i.e. in terms of
differential survival.

Nick Rose

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