Re: Lamarckism in memetics (Rose and de la C

Bill Benzon (
Mon, 9 Jun 1997 06:45:53 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 1997 06:45:53 -0500
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Re: Lamarckism in memetics (Rose and de la C

>which alters memes - not "conscious agents". What I am saying is
>that memes are not modified or selected by 'consciousness' or
>'individual selves', but by the environment; which includes gene
>built organisms, and other memes.

But how does the "environment" do this "selecting"? In the biological world
the environment does the selecting by killing off individuals which aren't
"fit." That, in turn, means that certain genes those, and only those,
individuals are carrying will not make it into the gene pool in the next
generation. So, are you saying the people carrying non-viable memes will
die out while those with viable memes will not?

That does seem to be the orthodox memetics position. But when I look at
culture, I see variety which seems far in excess of any that can be
explained in this way. At the moment I'm interested in 20th music in the
USA. There must be hundreds of more or less distinct styles (which I think
of as roughly parallel to biological species). I doubt that that variety
can be explained by the effects of those musics on the physical survival of
the "host" humans.

>This is central to any cultural evolutionary theory!

A bit presumptous of you, wouldn't you say?

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA

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