Re: On Gatherer's behaviourist stance (ignore last)

Aaron Lynch (
Wed, 23 Sep 1998 17:35:58 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 17:35:58 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: On Gatherer's behaviourist stance (ignore last)

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 heteroderivative mnemon. A third rat
learning from the second has a homoderivative 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

Now, Tim, don't turn around and declare that the rat race is on!

--Aaron Lynch

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