Re: Whales and the Memetic Group definitions

Robert G. Grimes (
Thu, 30 Sep 1999 16:12:39 -0700

Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 16:12:39 -0700
From: "Robert G. Grimes" <>
Subject: Re: Whales and the Memetic Group definitions

"Wade T.Smith" wrote:
Snipped for brevity

> Along with, well, just about everything else.... - right now, I see
> genetics and the perspective of socio-biology, and see no need for memes.
> My rationale here is- if birdsong is memetic, then the term is
> meaningless- birdsong to me is totally behavioral and innate- the bird
> 'has-to' do it. _If_ that is a memetic process, then I see no need for a
> boundary between any behavior and what a being 'has-to' do.
> Identity....

Again, the magic word, identity, but I won't start on that again. It was the
statement about the bird song that, "the bird has to do it," which reminds me
of something I wrote some time back when presented with the argument that the
plant kingdom "doesn't feel pain because they don't possess a 'nervous
system.' " This was said by a very nice gentleman who was an animal rights
person and a vegetarian (wearing synthetic material belt, shoes, etc., to
emphasize his sincerity) and I posed the question, "Have you ever asked a
Rose?" He couldn't properly respond to that but agreed to several drinks
afterward (apparently whiskey doesn't feel pain, too and, after a few of
those, I don't think he did either). Thus, I guess the proper response to
Wade's statement is, "Have you ever asked a parrot?"

Just the other day I taught my little Lhasa Apso puppy how to sit up and beg.
It only took a short period of less than an hour and now she is totally
irresistible and has extended the teaching from getting food (the original
reward) to other things like a good massage, the scratching of her tummy with
the toe of my shoe, etc. She stands there, confidently awaiting what ever
particular reward she wants, and most of the time I am intelligent enough to
realize just what it is. So, we won't put down the other animal species just
because they haven't written "Mein Kampf" and slaughtered a lot of folks for
various reasons like some other sentient folks :>)... (But I still don't buy
the Whale stuff either)



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....."

=============================================================== 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) see: