Re: The race is on

Aaron Lynch (
Thu, 17 Sep 1998 10:39:07 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 10:39:07 -0500
To:, <>
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: The race is on
In-Reply-To: <000f01bde219$2a3de0c0$5f4895c1@pc>

At 09:19 AM 9/17/98 +0100, Paul Marsden wrote:
>Aaron said
>>Gatherer did not propose any experiments in his paper. I did propose
>>experiments in my paper. In fairness, this does not mean that Gatherer
>>cannot propose experiments. It might just reflect the fact that his paper
>>devotes far more effort to attacking the work of others than to advancing
>>his own line of work.
>I thought this was a central component of science. You have been brave
>enough to posit a radical new theoretical framework for memetics - the next
>stage is for your colleagues to tear it to bits by assessing whether it has
>all the characteristics of good theory: explanatory power, predictive power,
>parsimony, falsifiability, internal consistency, heuristic provocativeness,
>organising power etc). After this demolition tour, hopefully something may
>remain, and part of your theory may well be present in memetic theory in
>fifty years (if we don't become extinct following an extended period of
>subsistence in a toxic cloud of hot arcane drivel). But for the possibility
>of this future glory you have to open up your theory to criticism, and be
>open to inevitable fact that you will not have got it 100% right fist time.
>It's not personal, it's science.

Agreed, Paul.

I have long advocated scientifically critical thinking, and do not in any
way fault Derek for "daring to criticize" my work--even as I do
counter-criticize his thesis and many of its particular points and methods.
(Counter-criticism is also a part of science!)

I wrote my paper fully expecting a firestorm of criticism. The paper is in
fact largely the *product* of a firestorm of criticism: the self-criticism
that has helped me advance my thinking considerably since the day 20 years
ago when I re-invented memetic evolution theory.

>(if we don't become extinct following an extended period of
>subsistence in a toxic cloud of hot arcane drivel)

What, are you proposing a hot arcane drivel theory of global warming?!?

--Aaron Lynch

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