Re: Meme pools?/ evolution and ecology

Mark Mills (mmmills@OnRamp.NET)
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 12:22:25 +0000

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 12:22:25 +0000
From: Mark Mills <mmmills@OnRamp.NET>
Subject: Re: Meme pools?/ evolution and ecology

Mario wrote:

>The basic difference between biology and culture is that
>biology is pure chemistry: exchange of information by
>means of material molecules, while animals have 'learned'
>how to exchange nonchemically transmitted information by
>using photons (vision) and sound waves.

Biology is more than chemistry and chemical transport. Waves are
everywhere in biology, even our definition of biological life. When the
heart stops beating (no heart waves) and brain stops functioning (no
brain waves), we are dead (simply chemistry). Synchronizing cellular
activities is an important role of circadian rhythms.

What I suspect is underneath your comment is a notion that wave
mechanics are not involved in biology (or chemistry). This is more a
feature of our reliance on Newtonian physics and Platonic paradigms than
simple observation. Most people never get to Newtonian wave mechnics
and only few of those ever get to Fourier transforms and start seeing
the relationship between time and frequency domains.

If there is a difference between biology and culture, the difference is
in the frequency ranges of each system. Intercellular biology deals
with lower frequency waves than culture. If a hertz is defined as
'one cycle per second,' biological processes range between the .00001 to
1000 hertz frequency range (circadian rhythms to brainwaves). Sound
waves are in the 20 to 20,000 hertz range. Visible electromagnetic
waves range from 50,000 to 300,000 hertz.

'Culture' might be seen as life's expansion into higher frequency waves
(higher entropy, information space). This expansion started when life
forms evolved senses to 'convert' high frequency sound and
electromagnetic information into low frequency chemical and
electrochemical messages (meaning). Humans has extended this by
becoming capable of generating high frequency meaning.

I'm defending the physical analogy between genes and memes. They are
analogous systems residing in different frequency domains. From this
perspective, it is not hard to see how computers will fit into the
picture, but I'll leave that for another day.


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