Re: Lamarckism and Category (?) Mistakes

N Rose (
Mon, 09 Jun 1997 10:22:10 +0000

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 1997 10:22:10 +0000
From: N Rose <>
Subject: Re: Lamarckism and Category (?) Mistakes

Nick Rose wrote:
>> What is directed mutation?

Chris Cleirigh wrote:
>Directed mutation is the idea that mutation of genes can somehow
>of itself proceed towards adaptation -- a view I don't hold. My
>point in mentioning it was to point out that if a selection
>process is wrongly interpreted as a mutation event, the
>"mutation" will seem directed toward adaptation, when in effect,
>an adaptive mutation (or recombination) has been selected in a
>population of varients.

Great point Chris; this is bang on the nail - mutation cannot
direct itself anywhere genes (and memes) have NO FORESIGHT; thus
it is for natural selection to 'decide' whether a mutation is
adaptive or not. Omar's example with the preacher is just such
an example. Omar suggests that it is the preacher who has
directed the mutation of a meme so that it is better adapted to
its environment (i.e. performs better at the key tasks of
longevity, fidelity and fecundity). If culture truely proceeds
by evolution - then this cannot be the case. If culture proceeds
by evolution; then it cannot have foresight: If it does have
foresight, then we do not need a theory of evolution to help us
understand culture.

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