Re: Non-human memes (again)

Wade T.Smith (
Sun, 29 Aug 1999 14:35:39 -0400

Subject: Re: Non-human memes (again)
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 14:35:39 -0400
From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
To: <>

>I read his comment as implying that he still
>thought that memes are specifically human, and so quoted Blackmore on
>birdsong. But he may have changed his mind on that. Maybe.

Maybe is right. I'm on the fence. On one hand, calling birdsong a meme
places that whole thing more in the genetic camp for me- back to
sociobiology once and for all, and I'm not agin that move, all things

But, I still see no need to take birdsong out of the genetic camp, and
yet consider that the difference between birdsong and a symphony is
enough to say that _something_ else, not just a new level of
genetic/behavioral complexity, is in operation, and _that_ is what I
seeing as the memetic paradigm, and yes, I only see that in operation in
humans, or in studies initiated and supervised by humans. I do not
discount the mutation and adaptation of birdsong, or whale song, but I do
not separate it from 'normal' genetic behaviors, in much the same way I
do not consider phototropism to be a lamarckian phenomenon....

- Wade

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