Re: testing memetics

Jamie McCarthy (
Tue, 2 Dec 1997 09:27:47 -0500

Subject: Re: testing memetics
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 1997 09:27:47 -0500
From: Jamie McCarthy <>
To: <>
Message-Id: <>

Hans-Cees Speel writes:

>What is it with this testing meme? I thought that testing in the
>early Popperian sense is rejected by most scholars.

Well, I haven't read much Popper but that meme is still alive and well
in my mind. :-)

>You cannot test a program
>or a theory as a whole. There can be little parts you can test, that
>may make up a nice 'partly' tested.

I think what we're looking for is a testable hypothesis or prediction,
about something in particular, that can be put forth with memetics, that
is not supported by other fields of study or is not within the realm of
other fields of study.

Of course there is no test for a theory as a whole, but, to pick the most
obvious example, Einsteinian physics became more accepted when telescopes
showed Mercury to be "here," instead of "here" where Newtonian physics
would have it.

What tests are there by which memetics can be thus compared to any other
field of science?

>Also in social sciences many
>theories are not testable and yet accepted: meta-narrative if you like.

I'm interested. Can you give some examples, if it'll help stamp out the
testing meme?

 Jamie McCarthy                           

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