Kansas meme wars

Bill Spight (bspight@pacbell.net)
Mon, 18 Oct 1999 02:49:29 -0700

Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 02:49:29 -0700
From: Bill Spight <bspight@pacbell.net>
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
Subject: Kansas meme wars


I found this on sci.psychology.psychotherapy. I thought you might enjoy

> Syndicate Section III - Number 1
> The Kansas Board of Education's decision to delete evolution from the
> state's recommended curriculum and from its standardized tests is, in
> itself, powerful evidence against the veracity of Darwin's great theory.
> If Charles Darwin were able to visit Kansas in 1999 he would be obliged to
> concede that here was living proof that natural selection doesn't always
> work, that the unfittest sometimes survive and that the human race is
> therefore actually capable of evolving backwards toward, rather than away
> from, those youth-depressing apes.
> - Salman Rushdie, The Globe & Mail, Sept. 2/99

It is interesting how the popular understanding of Darwinian evolution
includes progress or development.

I think that memetic evolution, however, should show a certain amount of
progress, not in terms of memes, but in terms of human well-being. And
that is because humans form the fitness landscape for memes. OC, we may
have flaws as a species that allow deleterious memes to persist
indefinitely, even to prevail. But in general, I think, deleterious
memes will be rejected (such as the idea that it is cool to smoke
tobacco), or their adherents will die out.



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