gene replication [was Defining Memes }

Hans-Cees Speel (
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 21:28:32 +0000

From: Hans-Cees Speel <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 21:28:32 +0000
Subject: gene replication [was Defining Memes }

> >IP The gene, as I
> > understand it, is programmed by its molecular structure to self replicate
> > given a particular context. What is the equivalent auto-replicator in
> this
> > memetic replication process we keep discussing
> >
> HS mmm, this seems to b to simple for me. We must be careful not to
> talk about 'the gene' in this way. There are genes that code for
> replication structures in the cell, yes. But not all genes, or rather
> most genes have nothing to do with these structures. So most genes
> are not coding for self-replication. They are replicated by the
> structures that other genes code for.
> ----------------------------------
> I was not thinking of the structures in the cell. I was thinking of
what I understand [and please correct me if I understand wrongly] of
the DNA double helix having an inherent chemical propensity to make
copies of itself GIVEN THE CONTEXT [i.e other genes, cells, nutrients
etc. etc.]. It is the equivalent - if it exists- self replication of
memes that I seek. Of course context will have everything to do with
whether the self-replication can happen.

I think you undertand wrongly, but the frase 'context' makes it
difficult to assess. Dna in a testtube does not self-replicate. It
needs a lot of enzymes and other things that are present in the cell.
The trick is that genes do transcribe for this replciation themselves. But at
time t-1 there has to be something produced so at time t replciation
can take place. So if you take the word 'context' and say 'ok this is
part of the context', then you understand it right, but I am not sure
if this is what you mean.

Genes code for enzymes ( RE I will call them) doing replication at
t, given the decoding- enzymes (I will call DCE) they coded for at t-1. It is a cycle, and if
you remove the enzymes needed for this replication (RE) the cell will
not show dna replciation. So DNA has no inherent structure to replicate
itself. It only replicates when RE-enzymes are ready.
These RE enzymes that are needed to replciate are coded for, but often
gene A that is being red does not code for the DCA enzyme that pro0duces
the decoding of gene a.

Is that more clear, or am I producing more confusion?


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

submit papers to

I work at:
|School of Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and management
|Technical University Delft, Jaffalaan 5 2600 GA Delft PO Box 5015 The Netherlands

This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)