RE: Parody in Science

Aaron Lynch (
Thu, 29 Jul 1999 18:59:57 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 18:59:57 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: RE: Parody in Science
In-Reply-To: <000301beda02$e71ed5a0$0052ac3e@paul>

At 10:42 PM 7/29/99 +0200, Paul Marsden wrote:
>>Now, there is a work available that falsifies all 7 transmission modes in
>>my book, contains multiple damaging misquotations, attributes statements
>>quite opposite to the ones I make, etc. I will not name that work for you
>>here, first of all because my post was intended to encourage better work in
>>the future rather than criticize past works. (My reply to that piece will
>>soon be published eslewhere anyway.)
>Hmm, now I wonder who said this and who it is directed at....yawn, yawn
>'s a clue... check out
> if you can stand the
>tedium of this singularly inconsequential debate, and search for the
>multiple damaging misquotations, misattributions. Alternatively, wait for
>the reply which I am sure will be full of good deductive arguments,
>substantiated empirical inferences and explicit causal mechanisms. The
>falsification bit has me though - although I'm quite glad my interpretations
>of loose causal inferences were taken as falsifying every one of the seven

The reply to the above "review" did not even have space enough to go over
all the corrections given the word limit. It might have been nice to have
an *honest* debate about scientific issues such as empirical methods,
causal mechanisms, and quantitative analysis. Instead, I ran out the
allotted space long before correcting the misrepresentations of _Thought

Anyone who wants to can read the descriptions of the 7 modes online at See for yourself if any of them exhort
readers to do anything such as "have lots of children." See if the phrases
"the missing link" or "transcendental meme" appear anywhere in the book.
Etc. etc. etc. If you read the "review" at, check absolutely
everything said about _Thought Contagion_ by reading the book itself. Also,
check the claim that there is no risk that anyone can take any of my
hypotheses seriously by reading Blackmore's (1997) references to _Thought
Contagion_'s analysis of the "Honor your father and your mother"
commandment and its section on the Hutterites. Blackmore (1997) is
certainly not the only one who takes hypotheses from _Thought Contagion_
seriously, but her article is almost certainly one that Marsden knew about
before writing his "review."


Blackmore, S. 1997. "The Power of the Meme Meme." SKEPTIC 5, #2, p. 43-49.

--Aaron Lynch

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