Re: Group Selection

Paul Marsden (
Wed, 17 Feb 1999 09:14:29 -0000

From: "Paul Marsden" <>
To: "memetics" <>
Subject: Re: Group Selection
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 09:14:29 -0000

Derek wrote

>memetic situational logic to genetically unusual communities is a bit
>problematic. The steps might be laid out as follows.

1. Hutterite learned (ie. memetic) religious behaviour was the cause of
a reduction in the genetic diversity of the Hutterite population.
2. This genetic system created the selective conditions for an increase
in the frequency of genetic altruism alleles.
3. The alturism alleles accelerated the frequency with which altruistic
learned behaviour (ie. memes) was exhibited in the population.
4. These memes served to increase the degree of group identity and
therefore fed back into step 1.

The above is something of a positive feedback loop.

Yes, but surely a more parsimonious explanation for non-rational (genetic
fitness enhancing) behaviour simply derives fromn the fact that mechanisms
for appropriating learned (memetic) behaviours may not reslt in inclusive
(genetic) fitness enhancement?

>I think Wilson and Sober were implying that everyone was

Paul Marsden
Graduate Research Centre in the Social Sciences
University of Sussex
tel/fax (44) (0) 117 974 1279

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