Re: Dawkins' Mutation Test for Replicators

Wade T.Smith (
Sat, 28 Aug 1999 21:18:20 -0400

Subject: Re: Dawkins' Mutation Test for Replicators
Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 21:18:20 -0400
From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
To: <>

On 08/28/99 13:03 the inimitable Chris Lofting made this comment =8B

>In the 100 monkey link so the 'infection' spread through the gene pool fro=
>an individual to immediate family and then to the whole group etc etc and
>then seemed to 'jump' to genetically linked groups (but with a lower
>correlation) on the other islands.

Look, I don't mean to jump on this so hard, but, since memetics is a
shaky continuum of just-so stories right now, at best, we might just as
well bury the ax right in its head if we use proven fraudulent studies to
base theories on. The entire claim about the fruit-washing spreading to
other islands is a fabrication of the first claimant, and he is
confessed. And I personally would not be amazed to find that the original
washing behavior was caused by imitation by the monkeys of the
'researchers' living there, in the same way I am not convinced about ape
language studies, but time will tell there. Time has already told with
the macaques.

Contaminated studies are, and bloody well should be, a death knell for
fledgling disciplines.

It is not time for memetics to join hands with homeopathy and
parapsychology and other mechanism-absent pseudo-sciences for its

- Wade

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