Re: memes and dancing

Robin Faichney (
Fri, 24 Dec 1999 16:49:10 +0000

From: Robin Faichney <>
Subject: Re: memes and dancing
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 1999 16:49:10 +0000
Message-Id: <99122417022301.00448@faichney>

On Thu, 23 Dec 1999, Wade T.Smith wrote:
>On 12/23/99 10:22, Robin Faichney said this-
>>If you don't like memes, you have to propose some
>>other explanatory framework for horizontal transmission -- or at least=20
>>explain why none is required. So...???
>Are memes necessary for imitation?

You grant that imitation occurs? OK, so "memes" are what we are calling
what's imitated. So what's your problem with that?

>Since memes are not required for either the ability to perform a task, o=
>the ability to learn it, where is the instance they are required at all?

The task is the meme. It's just an _extremely_ convenient way of viewing=

>Why can we not say that birdsong and the waltz are related products of=20
>behavioral (read genetically determined) adaptation to environment? Why=20
>are memes required at all?

Simply because the memetic explanation is so much simpler. And note, it =
_not_ conflict with your explanation. To use memetics is to look at the =
things in another way. (There is no reason why alternative explanations =
be mutually exclusive.) For me, that way is absolutely fascinating, and =
I'm not
too worried about its usefulness, but I understand that attitude is not c=
around here.

With genetics and memetics, we can explain all of biology and culture in =
of information processes. Can you say why that's not worth doing?

This will be my last message to this list before Xmas Day, so to those wh=
celebrate it, I wish happy festivities -- and I hope everyone else has a
pleasant time, too.

Robin Faichney

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