Re: Memes and Things

Mark Mills (
Sat, 30 Jan 99 17:53:58 -0600

Subject: Re: Memes and Things
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 99 17:53:58 -0600
From: Mark Mills <>
To: "Memetics List" <>
Message-Id: <>


>The issue here is whether we must treat memes as high fidelity units of
>heredity, because Darwinian evolution requires these "replicators" in
>order to
>proceed (otherwise, it's not Darwinian evolution). In fact, I would now argue
>that the notion of a replicator is a *neo-*Darwinian concept (due to the work
>initially of Weismann and Fisher), and while sufficient to cause Darwinian
>evolution, is not necessary. One case of ordinary Darwinian evolution -
>selection without replicators but with loose reproducers - would be the
>initial selection on autocatalytic hypercycles at the beginnings of life. In
>other words, the first "living" systems did not have a gene-phenotype split.
>It had to evolve, quite Darwinianly, in the absence of high fidelity

I wonder if this doesn't touch on the ability of 'things' to be both
genotype and phenotype in special situations. I guess I could claim that
all things are 'code', most simply have low fecundity and reproductive
fidelity. I could also claim that all things are the result of
antecedent processes and thus phenotype.

Would you agree?


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