Re: Dawkins' Mutation Test for Replicators

Chris Lofting (
Mon, 30 Aug 1999 20:09:51 +1000

From: "Chris Lofting" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Dawkins' Mutation Test for Replicators
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 20:09:51 +1000

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Rhodes <>
To: <>
Date: Monday, 30 August 1999 9:26
Subject: Re: Dawkins' Mutation Test for Replicators

>Chris Lofting wrote:
>>Read my posts today *really* carefully and perhaps you will get the idea
>>to what I am talking about. In my comments re a 100 Monkeys so I am
>>relating the story regardless of if it is true or not. I have repeatedly
>>emphasised that *regardless* of the truth or falsehood there is a pattern
>>of meaning here that is common in the species...
>But, Chris, you are one who sees that pattern in everything you've ever
>or read. I have no doubt whatsoever that you may divide up your world
>these lines quite effortlessly after so many years. But you should
>remember, while this may be common in your own thinking, it is quite
>thing to extrapolate from the machinations of ones mind to those of the
>entire species as a whole.
>(And a bit egotistical to boot, I might add.)


Dear Tim, interesting comments but they show a lack of understanding of
fundamental elements of our neurology which are only recently becoming
known. In certain areas you, we, are living an illusion but dont know it. I
am trying to point this out but you dont want to know -- bit like the kid
yelling "but the King has no clothes!" and everyone ignores him.

If you find my writing difficult or too egotistical for you then please
accept my appologies. I have appended an up-to-date reading list of other
peoples work that you may find more acceptable to your taste and from that
you might 'get the idea' (although you will need to review my template work,
summarised at I am 'refining'
this to make it more readable so try it in a month or so ;-) . but see
summary below:)

best regards,


Gazzaniga, M.S., Ivry, R.B., Mangun, G.R. (1998) "Cognitive Neuroscience"
W.W.Norton (intro)
Ivry, R.B., Robertson, L.C. (1998) "The Two Sides of Perception" MITP (on
left/right data processing)
Springer, S.P., Deutsch, G., (1998) "Left Brain, Right Brain - 5th Edition"
W.H. Freeman (review of recent findings)
Allman, S.M. (1999) "Evolving Brains" Scientific American Libary (covers
development from microorganisms to humans)
Hobson, J.A.,(1999) "Consciousness" Scientfic American Library
(Neurophysiologicalist's perspective)
Godfrey-Smith, P., (1998) "Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature"
CUP (philosophy+biology)
Bennett, M.R., (1997) "The Idea of Consciousness" Harwood Academic (strong
neurological approach)
Lycan, W.G. (ed) (1999) "Mind and Cognition: An Anthology - 2nd Edition"
Blackwell (nice collection of articles)

useful subscriptions: "Trends in Neurosciences", "Trends in Cognitive
Sciences" and "Brain"

'older' refs (circa 80s, early 90s)


template summary:

(1) We have adapted to our environment by internalising information
processing characteristics.
(2) These characteristics include the development of sets of specialised
sensory systems where in humans thee is a strong emphasis on audition and
(3) These sensory systems share neural networks 'in here' and from this has
emerged an abstract categorisation system based on the 'what'/'where'
dichotomy aka the distinction of objects from relationships.
(differentiation of the senses in infants determines the degree of
seperation of vision from audition. Synesthesia is common in infants but
rare in adults).
(4) The what/where dichotomy is applied recursively and from this emerges
patterns of 'meaning' that are invarient across the species but are also too
general or more so require a context to be of any use.
(5) The context comes in the form of a discipline or categorisation system
that creates a lexicon and the members of the lexicon act as pointers to the
invarient patterns of 'meaning'.
(6) from (5), all disciplines are thus metaphors for describing what/where
interactions in a particular context.
(7) all disciplines founded on the what/where dichotomy will thus share the
patterns of emotion that signify 'meaning' and so the ease with which we can
make analogies across disciplines since it is the resonating of the patterns
that elicits the connections, the words/labels serve to hide this
connection. people to them literally and in doing so maintain
'objectification', the boundary between 'this discipline' from 'that'
discipline. This boundary is useful at the level of the particular since it
enables precision, but the boundary is also a 'false' boundary when we deal
with what is behind all of the words etc.
(8) From (1) to (7) emerges the theory that:

(a) humans use recursive dichotomisations to create maps of reality.
(b) this method is hard-coded and tied to emotions (which are founded on the
positive/negative dichotomy).
(c) thus all 'meaning' is tied to the method of analysis and so generally
determinable, allowing for local 'anomolies' linked to highly specific,
personal, experiences.
(d) behind all expressions of dichotomies is a template, a general set of
meanings that can be used to guide the development of any discipline or
categorisation based on dichotomisation.
(e) due to the recursion and the self-contained meaning, there are
properties in the method that can be confused with properties of the
things/relationships under analysis and we need to be wary of this since
mistaking the 'owner' of the properties can lead to the perptuation of
'illusions'. For example, the 'wave' equation from quantum mechanics is a
mathematical construct that has been generalised such that the waves are
interpreted as if 'real'. Recursive dichotomisation alone can generate
frequency distributions that take-on an implied wave interference format,
the METHOD can create the patterns and this is traceable back to our sensory
biases where the 'what' favours particles and the 'where' favours waves.

Considering all of this, we live, to some degree, in illusion. To understand
'in here' and the relationship with 'out there' we need to understand these
patterns and so be more discerning in our assessments about 'what is going
on where'.

This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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