Re: Genes and Memes

From: John K Clark (
Date: Fri Apr 25 2008 - 10:14:54 MDT

On Thu, 24 Apr 2008 "Stuart Armstrong"
<> said:


>> Memes and Genes are not completely different,
>> they are not even substantially different.
>> It's true that they run on different operating
>> systems, one on proteins and the other on a brain,
>> but both are units of information that can be
>> transferred from one generation to the next.
"Stuart Armstrong"

>Yes, in that sense they are the same.

Thank you.

> But in most ways they are
> substantially different!

So different it requires an exclamation point?

> A gene is an object that can make only a
> small number of discrete changes, comes
> bundled in a clearly defined being
> (an animal body), is only passed on through
> one definite process (reproduction), is nearly
> entierly dependent on its interaction with
> other genes, and can be entirely eliminated.

Neither a meme nor a gene is an object, they are adjectives. Both can
make a huge number of discrete changes, comes bundled in clearly defined
objects (proteins or a brains), are only passed on through one definite
process (communication), are nearly entirely dependent on their
interactions with other memes or genes, and neither can be entirely

> A meme can make many continuous changes

A gene can make many continuous changes
> consider deleting 10% of the memes in the world
> versus deleting 10% of the genes in a body

I do not believe deleting all the memes regarding Gilliganís Island (or
of religion) would cause great or long lasting harm; and most genetic
material is junk, like many thousands of repetitions of the same letter
one right after the other.

   John K Clark

  John K Clark
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