Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 09:06:05 +0200
From: "Gatherer, D. (Derek)" <D.Gatherer@organon.nhe.akzonobel.nl>
Subject: memetic fitness
To: "'memetics@mmu.ac.uk'" <memetics@mmu.ac.uk>
Aaron:
Hence, I do not use the term "fitness"
in my mathematical model. Moreover, when "fitness" is defined
mathematically, it is defined with respect to a specific mathematical model
based on particular premises that do not apply universally. Hence, there is
no one universal mathematical definition of "fitness" even when the term is
used.
Derek:
There is however, a universal evolutionary definition, and that's the one we
should stick to. There's no reason to throw out Cavalli-Sforza's
definition, provided the assumptions his theory requires are acknowledged.
|Aaron:
Right after that, Blackmore even mentions
that Boyd and Richerson have "let go of the leash" (without using the word
"meme") but amazingly, she neglects to mention that they have developed a
mathematical analysis
Derek:
Amazingly she does mention it p75 and p198
Aaron:
Later in the book, she also mentions my 1991 paper
"Thought Contagion as Abstract Evolution," but again does not mention that
it contains a specifically memetic mathematical model.
Derek:
But your model is an epidemiological one, so mentioning Cavalli-Sforza and
Feldman covers it. A model is only worth mentioning when it's sufficiently
unlike previous models to merit discussion in its own right.
Aaron:
The problem is not
that Blackmore does not mention works that contain mathematical models of
culture or mathematical memetics, but that she does not explicitly *tell*
the reader that these works contain mathematical models that specifically
qualify as memetic rather that sociobiological.
Derek:
I don't see the point. Fitness is fitness, whether you're dealing with a
strict gene-determinist sociobiological model or a Cavallian one.
Aaron:
This problem could easily
have been averted by asking some who have worked with mathematical memetics
to check her manuscript.
Derek:
As I've said before Aaron, I have several publications in mathematical
genetics. Your persistent attempts to imply that we Meme Labbers are a
bunch of mathematical illiterates would be insulting if it weren't so
ludicrous. There is nothing in MM that constitutes a mathematical error, or
even a mathematical misrepresentation, of any kind.
===============================================================
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit