Re: Replicators (and the use of code)

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Wed, 11 Jun 1997 11:36:35 -0500

From: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 11:36:35 -0500
Subject: Re: Replicators (and the use of code)


>The problems are similar to the species concept: where do you draw the

Very true.

>When are two copies of genetic information the same gene?
>What when a single nucleotide differs?
> How many mutations are needed to consider a gene different from
>its predecessors? Etc.

I believe that process oriented classification schemes represent the best

Let's consider the analogy between computer files and genes. Both are made
up of code, but neither is dependent on spatial organization. Both
computer files and genes 'work' regardless of where they fit in the 'memory
space.' We call a file a 'copy' if it performs in the same manner as the
original. The same is true for genes.

If it is true for computer files and genes, the scheme ought to work for
memes, too.

>It is only when you know how problematic all these concepts are
>and how careful you have to deal with them, that you can go further
>and think about things like memetics where many concepts have
>been borrowed from genetics (very often erroneous or problematic



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