RE: Do monkeys have memes

Robin Faichney (
Wed, 5 Nov 1997 19:38:46 -0000

From: Robin Faichney <>
Subject: RE: Do monkeys have memes
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 19:38:46 -0000

> From: Mark Mills[]
> Dawkins posits a sense of 'agency' upon genes and memes in the Selfish
> Gene, so you might ask who am I to disagree with the terminology. My
> reading of the book found Dawkins using homunculi as a rhetorical tool
> to
> puncture popular notions about the elevated role of 'human nature' and
> 'human agency.
I have to disagree with this. Dawkins doesn't seem to be
be in debunking mode regarding such concepts in The
Selfish Gene -- though he obviously is, as regards
various specifically genetics-related issues.

On the contrary, in the last chapter (of the first edition),
he says very clearly that the concept of the selfish
gene does *not* imply determinism, and that we have
the capacity to transcend hereditary behavioural traits.

By the way, as regards the existence of Platonic forms
outside of human minds, you may be interested that
Dawkins agrees with my characterisation of life as
"the survival of information".

Robin Faichney

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