implied or inferred memes

Raymond Recchia (
Sun, 12 Sep 1999 05:02:54 PDT

From: "Raymond Recchia" <>
Subject: implied or inferred memes
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 1999 05:02:54 PDT

I was thinking the other day about how Darwin and 'Wallace?' (I think that
was the other fellow) both more less simultaneously came up with the meme
for evolution. For them to both come up with this meme they both had to
have had a lot of the same background and certainly they were both British
biologist exposed to a lot of the same ideas.

This got me thinking about Susan Blackmore's description of birds that were
pecking open bottles of cream. According to her, this was not a meme
because the birds did obtain the information by imitating other birds but
simply by learning it on their own.

This caused me wonder what we would have called it if the one the things
that was necessary for the birds to learn how to peck open cream bottles was
observation of other birds pecking things other than cream bottles.

Stated more abstractly, aren't there going to be situations in which we can
say that if Meme A and Meme B are transmitted, then Meme C will arise. Meme
C is not directly transmitted, but is an indirect consequence of the
transmittal of A and B.

In some cases Meme C would automatically be expected to arise. In others it
would only have a probability. In still others, like in Darwin and the
other fellow's situation, we might only be able to say that if A and B are
present there is a likelihood that in a given POPULATION that C will arise.

Raymond O. Recchia

Get Your Private, Free Email at

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)