RE: Dawkins' Mutation Test for Replicators

Gatherer, D. (
Mon, 30 Aug 1999 09:41:10 +0200

Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 09:41:10 +0200
From: "Gatherer, D. (Derek)" <>
Subject: RE: Dawkins' Mutation Test for Replicators
To: "''" <>

Just to clarify:

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

Sorry to bore everybody yet again on this subject, but the rhesus monkey
potato washing trick was taught to them by their keeper.

Derek again:
Yes, macaques, sorry......

There is no
evidence of any imitative behaviour among these monkeys.

Derek again:
I don't just mean no evidence for the telepathy theory that Chris mentioned.
but that there is no evidence for the _entire imitative washing story_.
Some monkeys did, and do, wash food items that humans give them, but this
was a trick taught to them by their keeper, who rewarded them for doing it.
It was good old fashioned circus training, that's all. At no time did the
monkeys copy each other. It is therefore, on Blackmore's criteria,

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