Re: Explanatory coherence

Mark Mills (mmmills@OnRamp.NET)
Tue, 5 Aug 97 15:13:38 -0000

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Explanatory coherence
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 97 15:13:38 -0000
From: Mark Mills <mmmills@OnRamp.NET>
To: memetics list <>

>> If memes are outside the body, publically available to all, where did
>> they first come from?
>Well, you speak and the air vibrates. You pound on a log and the air
>vibrates. You put some pigment on a cave wall and there's a picture.


In all three of your examples, conscious action was the source from which
the meme was created (speaking, pounding, painting). If memes are out in
the environment, for everyone to see, they must have been there prior to
conscious activity. Otherwise, they are results of human activity, just
a by product of some internal human process. Rather than being
replicators, they are some sort of vehicle.

Am I missing something?

Going back to the genetics analogy, DNA replication is dependent upon a
rich environment of nucleotide bases. Without this already in existence,
the replication process would never have started. If draws an analogy to
this in the cultural domain, what would be the 'pre-replication' brew
that offered a starting point for cultural replication?

My first guess would be scatological objects. Does that fit into your
system? Is there a better starting point?


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