Re: re.Cultural Evolution (units of analysis)

Bill Benzon (
Thu, 12 Jun 1997 19:02:44 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 19:02:44 -0500
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Re: re.Cultural Evolution (units of analysis)

Mario Vaneechoutte says,

>Bill Benzon wrote:
>> >From Alex Brown
>> >The problem in the usage of the term 'meme' is
>> >that it is applied to (interchangable with) several different levels of
>> >analysis at the same time leading to all sorts of confusions in the
>> >search for the mechanisms of cultural evolution. I offer the following
>> >for discussion:
>> >
>> yes
>Yes, yes. I hate to say this, but Dawkins is to be blamed.

Fine by me. Seems to me he recognized the possibility of treating culture
as a Darwinian evolutionary system, but really hasn't given much thought
about how to realize that notion. But he wrote a very popular book or two
on evolution and coined a catchy term, so we seem to be stuck with his
superficial formulations as well. Given that the term "meme" has been
around awhile etc I sort of feel obligated to use it. But I'm not happy
with the baggage which seems to come attached to the term.

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

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