Re: Dawkins' Mutation Test for Replicators

Lloyd Robertson (
Sat, 28 Aug 1999 12:14:01 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 12:14:01 -0600
To:, <>
From: Lloyd Robertson <>
Subject: Re: Dawkins' Mutation Test for Replicators
In-Reply-To: <002001bef122$fd89c840$dd146ccb@ddiamond>

At 05:00 PM 28/08/99 +1000, Chris Lofting wrote:
>>A major reason we do not consider nest making by most (if not all) bird
>species to be cultural is that variations are *not* passed on. By contrast,
>we do consider the washing of food in the ocean by Japanese rhesus monkeys
>to be cultural is that that behavior is learned and passed on, and arose
>from the variation of feeding behavior by one individual female.
>you left out the bit about the monkeys on nearby islands 'suddenly' adopting
>the same behaviour without any perceived contact with the original group.
>This gets us into the possible manifestation of quantum mechanics concepts

My understanding is that "monkeys" on nearby islands didn't "suddenly"
adopt the same behavior. Initial reports to this effect may have been
subject to researcher bias. Similar behavior on nearby islands were
observed years later with groups of macaques who were not controlled for
external contact. I am not sure we have to invoke quantum mechanics as a
possible manifestation here.


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