Re: On Gatherer's behaviourist stance

Aaron Lynch (
Wed, 23 Sep 1998 16:53:50 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 16:53:50 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: On Gatherer's behaviourist stance
In-Reply-To: <056a01bde72d$3b23fa00$12a1bfce@lil--elvis>

At 12:58 PM 9/23/98 -0700, Tim Rhodes wrote:
>Aaron writes:
>>If I take a rat, temporarily shut down its brain, and use spinal electrodes
>>to make it run a maze, then this is a case of the animal exhibiting the
>>behavior without having a meme or a mnemon for that behavior. As I see it,
>>the behavior alone is not eligible for consideration as a mnemon or a meme.
>And if another rat watches the first and from that learns to run the maze,
>has the second rat aquired a meme? If so, how? For there was never an
>internal mnemon to aquire. If not, what is it about the neural information
>the second rat now posseses that makes noticeably it different from the
>neural information found in another rat who might have learned the maze from
>its parent?
>-Tim Rhodes

As I said before, the first rat does not even have a mnemon for running the
maze. Therefore, the second rat has a heterogenic mnemon. A third rat
learning from the second has a homogenic mnemon, that is, a meme. This all
follows clearly from the terminology and definitions in my paper.

Memes are not proposed to be fundamentally new kinds of entities. The word
just signifies a subcategory of learned information to which the term
"replicator" applies. Memes are, after all, supposed to be "the new

--Aaron Lynch

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