Re: implied or inferred memes

Robert G. Grimes (
Mon, 13 Sep 1999 17:34:22 -0700

Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 17:34:22 -0700
From: "Robert G. Grimes" <>
Subject: Re: implied or inferred memes

At the risk of being "laughed out" of the mailing list I'm tempted to bring up
the old experiments of Yerkes with planarians (1912) and even more recently
planarians and rats, McConnell and Ungar (late sixties to mid seventies) where
they "taught" them to negotiate T-mazes, cut off their heads (and thus their
"brains"), and found they still "remembered, " to a degree, how to avoid the
sand paper side of the maze and they "recovered" their full abilities, learned
more quickly, even after the brain was regenerated. Later it was claimed one
could feed "trained" worms to "untrained" worms who then "acquired" the
ability to negotiate the T-maze, supposedly from memory transfer through the
cellular digestion and metabolizing of DNA. Later, of course, these
experiments were determined to have been non reproducible especially with the
transfer through one worm eating another worm. I remember this particularly
because I used to use the example of that experiment until it was shown to me
to have been discredited. Apparently the part about the memory not just being
in the "brain" was repeatable but not any of the "transfer of memory" was at
all repeatable. Thus, the experiments have been quoted about how such things
as "cellular" memory can exist. The old experiments with squash seeds in
tropism chambers where they alter the seed's position just before it commences
to respond to gravity and "grow downward" several times and then hold the seed
still while it "writhes" in different directions, "remembering" the various
positions before quitting were used to justify "cellular memory" also. I don't
know if these were ever discredited or not.

The Great Tit, however, in Britain and the continent was supposedly passed from
birds in one village in England to, eventually, all over England and then to
the continent. How such "learning" takes place gets back to the old arguments
such as involved with the apes washing yams, etc.

However, the ability of birds and other animals to learn is still noted and one
time a fellow was telling me how they avoided the problem of bird droppings on
boats stored in the large, multistoried, boat racks that are open on the ends,
etc. Well, apparently they put out grain that is "poisoned" (tastes very bad
and makes birds "ill") and, as one fellow explained to me, the birds that eat
it "tell the other birds" not to go into that place as it will make them ill!
However the birds "learn," they avoid the enclosure after the poisoned grain
has been out for a while...

The Great Tit problem, as I recall, eventually led to the caps being covered
with foil so that they could not be opened by pecking.

But, I just heard a radio program where two "physicists" who supposedly taught
the CIA how to "remote view" were interviewed and they said they were taught
themselves by a fellow named Inga Swan. Now, I've seen Inga Swan on television
(robes, cymbals, et al) and how two "physicists" could let themselves be taught
by this scientologist guy is beyond me! Perhaps it was the same "insight" the
birds used... (or maybe they smoked some of the same stuff that Hubbard did)

The biologists and the psychologists who did the worm and rat experiments
fooled a lot of people for a long time and the experiments were so tedious and
involved they were difficult to repeat anyway.



Richard Brodie wrote:

> I agree with you if birds do not learn by imitation. If it were humans,
> though, C would be a meme, right?

Snipped for brevity...

Bob Grimes Jacksonville, Florida

Man is not in control, but the man who knows he is not in control is more in control...

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore....."

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