RE: Twins

Aaron Agassi (
Mon, 30 Aug 1999 14:13:40 -0400

From: "Aaron Agassi" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: Twins
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 14:13:40 -0400
In-Reply-To: <>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of
> Sent: Monday, August 30, 1999 10:54 AM
> To:
> Subject: Twins
> In a message dated 8/30/99 6:35:23 AM Central Daylight Time,
> writes:
> > Chris:
> > I would seriously consider an analysis of twin data etc etc
> since it does
> > say something about the purity pattern. The question is
> whether this is a
> > 'real' pattern or else a pattern linked to our method of
> analysis, our ways
> > of thinking. Personally I am biased to the latter, as I
> demonstrate in my
> > articles on wave/particle duality and the EPR paradox (which implies
> > 'superluminal' communications).
> >
> > Derek:
> > No, I don't see that EPR and other quantum things can help us
> to understand
> > twins or monkeys.
> >
> I remain fairly skeptical about quantum phenomenon explaining all sort of
> mysterious macro-phenomenon, though in principle I cannot
> automatically rule
> it out. The mechanisms proposed by those hopeful to find
> justification for
> telepathy and other related things like "critical mass" 100th
> monkey, have
> sounded so tenuous if remotely plausible, that I think it reveals more a
> desire to believe than a compelling explanation for legitimately
> observed and
> confirmed phenomenon (which they almost always seem to turn out
> not to be).
> Couple that desire to believe, with another's unemployed desire
> to explain.
> Add to this the number of otherwise highly qualified and now highly
> disillusioned physicists that were left high and dry after the
> cancellation
> of such government projects as the super-conducting
> super-collider, and we
> have the makings of a memetic plague of Quantum mechanical
> "explanations" for
> all sorts of pseudoscientific hopeful monsters.
> This business of the twins, however, has remained a point of
> fascination with
> me. The general and prolific uncanniness that has emerged from
> the Minnesota
> twins study and other similar twins studies begs for some sort of
> explanation
> that has not been forthcoming. Obviously geneticists and sociobiologists
> would claim this as new confirmation of the power of genetics to
> determine
> behavior, but even this starts to sound incredibly hokey -- you
> mean there is
> a genetic determinant for brands of toothpaste??
If brand preference has anything to do with stimulus response, then perhaps.
Then again, even coincidence may remain plausible, depending on how vast the
quantity of data is compared. Plenty of people use the same toothpaste!

>This stretches
> the limits
> of credibility almost as much as suggesting a tenuous quantum
> cause for this
> eeriness.
> I do think however, that this is an area that memetics could be highly
> efficient at closing the explanation gap. A meme-gene
> *Co-evolution* makes
> more sense than any of these other more incredible explanations.
> Regardless
> of the different socioeconomic backgrounds and geographical
> distance of these
> separated twins, it is likely that they have been exposed to many
> of the same
> memes, that permeate our popular culture. If these memes are likewise
> evolving to appeal to and capitalize on particular genetic
> proclivities that
> occur within the general population, this sort of eeriness
> shouldn't come as
> a surprise. Perhaps it wouldn't become as apparent, considering
> the genetic
> variations that occur even between closely related individuals, whereas
> identical genetics would more likely bring this sharp focus.
Especially given the triviality of the choice. Only a very small influence
may be needed to bias the decision.

> This is also an area where the evolutionary autonomy (metaphorical
> selfishness) of memes comes into stark focus as well. Clearly the
> advertisers and marketers of brands of toothpaste did not conceive of a
> particular genetic proclivity that they were consciously
> targeting. A lot of
> that is just sensitive intuitive guesswork based on market
> feedback, even to
> the point of behavioral conditioning -- both of the consumer and of the
> marketers -- by the emergent memetic package. Behavior
> conditioning without
> a conscious human conditioner, but a meme.
This also suggests that market research data contains hidden gene pool

> I think this is a very appropriate promising area for aspiring
> memeticists to
> provide explanations.
> -Jake
> ===============================================================
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)