Re: Replicators (and the use of code)

Hans-Cees Speel (
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 11:29:42 MET

From: Hans-Cees Speel <>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 11:29:42 MET
Subject: Re: Replicators (and the use of code)

> I could live with that, but the problem is that using replicator itself
> is confusing. As I tried to explain before then you speak of an active
> agent. In that sense a photocopier is a replicator, still genes and
> memes are not, although also the word replicator is used for them. An
> enzyme and a photocopier are replicators, cells are self replicators,
> genes and memes are information which is replicated.
> The confusion is not because I think that we should keep the use of
> replicator for cells only, the confusion has been caused by Dawkins from
> the start, and it still exists after we call a cell a self replicator
> (Moreover I dislike the use of 'self' and 'auto-').

I coined the term replication mechanism in my first essay. The copy
machine is such a thing and so is the cell. You would then get the
replicator (which is not an agent on its own) and the replication
mechanism. Next to that you also have the transcription or
translation or interpreter mechanism (which enables code to become
action, thus enzymes in genetics)

We get clode to the work of for instance Rosen, and information
science about computers and turing machines here.


Theories come and go, the frog stays [F. Jacob]
Hans-Cees Speel
Managing Editor "Journal of Memetics Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission"

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