Re: information transmission

Mark Mills (
Sat, 20 Mar 99 08:24:47 -0600

Subject: Re: information transmission
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 99 08:24:47 -0600
From: Mark Mills <>
To: "Memetics List" <>


>The view that I accept is that genetics and memetics are both
>examples of Universal Darwinism,.. Like many memetic theorists
>have said, memes don't have to be parallels of genes, they just
>need to display Darwinian properties (like variation, selection
>and retention) like genes do.

Ok. So, in my classification scheme, you vote for a weak parallel
between genetics and memetics. You also vote for genes being more
physical than memes.

Great. That puts you in good company. It is the most popular brand of
memetics. Class a):

a) genes are things, memes are patterns: Lynch, Gatherer, Marsden, Price
and many others
b) genes are things, memes are things: Brodie and Benzon probably come
closest to this view.
c) genes are patterns, memes are patterns: Wilkins, Emeche, Hoffmeyer
d) genes are patterns, memes are things: No one takes this position.

As I said before, I put myself in class c).

Since our perspectives are fundamentally different, my token scheme of
communication suggests passing 'logic' messages back and forth will have
little impact. We build our logical frameworks differently. What you
think a fine foundation, I wouldn't touch and vice-versa. At least,
that's what my model predicts.

>OK, so without getting involved in an argument, the fact that
>information can get passed horizontally really is a central
>property of memetics qua Universal Darwinism. That doesn't
>happen in genetics.

I'm puzzled by your use of the term 'Universal Darwinism' with an
immediate exception for genetics. This seems strange. If 'Universal
Darwinism' is 'universal', why make an exception of the field most
closely linked to Darwinism, genetics?

Your 'horizontal transfer' term sounds Lamarckian to me. Admittedly, many
think Lamarckian processes work in the memetics domain, but those that
make this claim generally don't claim to be Darwinian, too.


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