Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id WAA11096 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Wed, 21 Mar 2001 22:42:58 GMT Message-ID: <3AB92D30.F621B16E@wehi.edu.au> Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 09:37:35 +1100 From: wilkins <wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU> Organization: The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.76C-CCK-MCD (Macintosh; U; PPC) X-Accept-Language: en To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: The Demise of a Meme References: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745CFC@inchna.stir.ac.uk> Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="------------0119EE013DA7B1BC61015DD1" Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Vincent Campbell wrote:
> > From: wilkins
> > Richard Brodie wrote:
> > >
> > > Science is most certainly not memeless. It is a set of carefully crafted
> > > memes designed to produce reliable knowledge and theories through
> > > observation and hypothesis. People have died to propagate the memes of
> > > science.
> > >
> > Who, exactly? Are you referring to the Minchurist-Lysenkoist movements?
> > Or to what deaths? I can think of several candidates but not many who
> > died *because* of their memes.
Galileo most assuredly did not die, at least due to his heliocentric
views. I thought Richard might have meant Giordano Bruno, but he was
more likely burned because of his theological rather than his scientific
memes. Arguably Alan Turing was hounded to his death, but this was due
to his homosexuality rather than his beliefs about thinking machines.
I'm hard-pressed to think of anyone other than the pre-Lysenko
Mendelians who died in Gulags who died for reasons related to their
scientific views, and even these died because of a conflict in secular
politics rather than scientific views.
One of the things that characterises science, and the processes of
selection of scientific memes, is that people do *not* die as a result
of memetic competition.
-- John Wilkins, Head, Graphic Production, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia Homo homini aut deus aut lupus - Erasmus of Rotterdam <http://www.users.bigpond.com/thewilkins/darwiniana.html> Content-Type: text/x-vcard; charset=us-ascii; name="wilkins.vcf" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Description: Card for wilkinsContent-Disposition: attachment; filename="wilkins.vcf"
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