Re: Copying, imitation, transformation, replication

Aaron Lynch (
Tue, 15 Sep 1998 10:51:19 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 10:51:19 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: Copying, imitation, transformation, replication
In-Reply-To: <>

At 09:17 AM 9/15/98 +0200, Mario Vaneechoutte wrote:
>I should disagree here. Genes are replicated without transformation. Just
>printed texts are. That, together with the fact that both (genes and
texts) are
>physical entities and that both have unlimited informational content (unlike
>pottery), is the reason why I would consider the true analogy of memes and
>to be outside of our mind.


I'd refer you to section 15 of my paper to see just what I am talking about
in relation to genes. When we say that a "gene" is copied, we do not mean
that a DNA molecule's tertiary structure is copied, for instance. This
means that the molecule can look quite different under the microscope. Nor
do we usually mean that its methylations are copied. We especially do not
mean that its placement of different isotopes is copied. Nor its
vibrational states, rotational states, locations of dissociated H+, etc. It
is always with respect to some system of abstractions that an entity is
"copied." We have decided that the most useful system of abstractions with
respect to which we discern gene "copying" is the one centered on several
nucleotide bases.

--Aaron Lynch

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