Re: Re. Is memetics necessary?

Hans-Cees Speel (
Tue, 24 Jun 1997 10:14:27 +0000

From: Hans-Cees Speel <>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 10:14:27 +0000
Subject: Re: Re. Is memetics necessary?

the theory must match the richness of the system we study.

so why have a theory at all then; just walk through reality! But
seriously, no theoryis as rich as everything. A theory is a model
that reduces. You can reduce in many ways, and memetics does it in a
way that shows evolution, etcetera. It will surely simplify things
other theories go into much more deeply, but it can add evolution.
But I agree with the next:

> 3. Is memetics necessary? Well, defined as the study of cultural systems
> and their evolution, the answer is yes. However, what may not be
> necessary is to reinvent the wheel. If there are tested models and
> theories which can explain similar complex phenomena, then a pragmatic
> approach would be to see how they can be used, merged and customized to
> explain cultural processes.

I would say this is a sensible approach. I always see memetics as
genetics: it has some theory of its own. But for real explanations of
why some species go extinct or change into a new niche, you need
ecological theories, geological theories and so on.
In the same way you can describe how theories change (as memeplexes)
but then you need to explain why by social theories, including
cognitive ones probably.


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

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