New paper: Units, Events and Dynamics in Memetic Evolution

Aaron Lynch (
Thu, 02 Apr 1998 23:07:00 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 23:07:00 -0600
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: New paper: Units, Events and Dynamics in Memetic Evolution

My new paper "Units, Events and Dynamics in Memetic Evolution" is now
published at JOM-EMIT, at

Thanks to my anonymous peer reviewers for their constructive criticisms, to
JOM-EMIT publisher Bruce Edmonds for working with such a long paper, and to
Hans-Cees Speel and the other editors for their work in establishing the

--Aaron Lynch

Units, Events and Dynamics in Memetic Evolution

1 - Introduction
2 - Non-Metaphoric Memetics
3 - Units of Memory Replication
4 - Other Propagating Items
5 - Representing Mnemons Symbolically
6 - Complementary Mnemons
7 - Mnemon Combinations
8 - Competing Mnemons
9 - Homogenic and Heterogenic Events
10 - Meme, Concisely Defined
11 - Stemming the Tide of Expanded Definitions
12 - Meme Sizes
13 - Massively Cooperative Propagation
14 - Centralized Communication
15 - The Fundamental Role of Abstraction in Science
16 - Population Memetics
17 - Qualitative and Quantitative Evolution
18 - Falsifiability
19 - Other Empirical Issues


An evolutionary recursive replicator theory of mental/brain
information is presented. With all replicator theories resting at
least tacitly upon the fundamental notions of causation and of
calling two or more entities "the same" with respect to an
abstraction, the concept is rendered explicit in defining the
terms "mnemon" and "meme". It is argued that memetics may
have no "absolute" system of memory abstractions much as
physics has no absolute coordinate system (framework of
space-time abstractions). A symbolic calculus of mnemon
conjugations and replication events is introduced. The term
"meme" is given a technical definition, and reasons are
offered for avoiding more expansive definitions. Arguments
that meme sets are generally only partially ordered then
provide a formal reason for rejecting mnemon "size" as a
crucial element in defining the word "meme". Differential
equations are developed for meme host population versus time
in a two-meme system, modeling the dynamics whereby
events at the individual level give rise to trends at the
population level. This lays a foundation for computerized
simulations and the falsification or validation of specific
memetic hypotheses, and for testing population memetics
theory with animal experiments. As memetic hypotheses
generally involve observable communication events, they are
found to have stronger empirical standing than hypotheses
involving unidentified genes. Mechanisms of creativity as a
population phenomenon are examined, with memetic analysis
yielding a novel explanation for the temporal clustering of
independent co-creations. Creation and propagation are
integrated into a theory of evolution by variation and natural
selection of memes.

KEYWORDS: Meme, mnemon, evolution, replication,
abstraction, transmissivity, receptivity, longevity, recursive
algorithm, differential equation.

Available at:

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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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