Discussion papers

CPM-98-37 - 26 May 1998

On Modelling in Memetics

Bruce Edmonds

Published as: Edmonds, B. (1998). On Modelling in Memetics. Journal of Memetics – Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission, 2(2).


The field of memetics is characterised and two types of memetic model analysed: the a priori model and the `black-box’ model. These are used to motivate a picture of scientific modelling, where by chains of models are built from abstract models at the `top’ down to data models derived from measurement. These models are linked to each other by validation (where the structure of a model comes from another) and verification (where the results of a model are checked against another). The role of formal models in clearly establishing these links is discussed. This picture is applied to the process of modelling in memetics. The paper argues that stronger selection are required to enable the field to evolve. In particular it argues that validation and verification constitute a minimum such set for memetic models.

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