Re: Replicators

Paul Marsden (
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 07:27:48 -0400

Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 07:27:48 -0400
From: Paul Marsden <>
Subject: Re: Replicators
To: "" <>

Message text written by

Mario Vaneechoutte wrote

>The only replicator on Earth today is the cell: the
>cell is a system which can reassemble something similar. Genes cannot do=

>that, neither memes. Genes and memes are replicated.<

I'm not qualified to reply to the first point about cells, but I think yo=
comment that memes are replicated and (therefore by inference not
replictors) is interesting. The problem, it seems to me, is that once yo=
say memes are replicated youthen have to posit a replicator, and short of=

homunculi in the brain, souls and such like there aren't a lot of
contenders. I agree that it becomes problematic when we personify memes,=

giving them agency and intentionality - which they clearly don't have, bu=
by saying they replicate themselves ie are replicators is just an way of
saying that they get replicated, nobody not even their imaginary souls do=

it, it just happens. The problem, I think, is our inability to conceive =
something that is both an object and an action - A meme is both a
replicator and a replicant.
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