Re: social contagion

Aaron Lynch (
Fri, 13 Nov 1998 09:28:59 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 09:28:59 -0600
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: social contagion
In-Reply-To: <>

At 09:59 AM 11/13/98 -0500, Derek Gatherer wrote:


>Oh come on! I don't know how you can say that. Evidence please! I
>did refer to TC in the original draft of my Zygon paper, but a referee
>asked for it to be taken out as it wasn't really important enough to
>merit a mention. I agreed. The Zygon article first section is
>directed at Dawkins' 'Viruses of the Mind' article [printed in 'Dennett
>and his Critics' ed. Bo Dahlbom OUP 1995, but extensively available on
> the Internet). You don't get criticised because those arguments don't
>apply to you. To you, I apply the completely different arguments set
>out in my JoM article.


Your Zygon article argues against Dawkins's "meme concept as the
philosophical basis for a militant atheism." Your above paragraph seems to
suggest that you were *already* starting to lump me with what you call
"Dawkins and his more zealous followers." Perhaps my 1998 article
strengthened this reaction. Perhaps it was my 1996 discussion of afterlife
memes that bothered you more than the natural selection/divine creationism
part. That is not important. I will, however, say that my own involvement
in memetics started with a discussion about drug policy, not atheism.

Is possible to have an angry religious quarrel couched in scientific terms?
Yes. I again invite others to read Gatherer 1998a, 1998b, and Lynch 1996,
1998a to understand what is happening. In any case, our discussion has had
too much the fury and futility of a religious quarrel for busy people like
you and me to pursue it. We both have serious work to do.

--Aaron Lynch

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