Re: Genes and Memes

From: John K Clark (
Date: Mon Apr 28 2008 - 08:41:57 MDT

On Mon, 28 Apr 2008 "Stuart Armstrong"
<> said:

> Memes do not come bundles in a clearly
> defined object - they are contained in brains

Yes, and a brain is a clearly defined object.

> but leap freely from one to the other,

And one gene activates or deactivates another gene which activates or
deactivates yet another gene which…..

> while genes stay fixed in a body

Unless they are mutated, and even when the genes themselves are fixed
the activity of those genes is not. And unfortunately many memes stay
fixed in the brain; memes like religion learned at the age of three
while sitting on his mother’s lap often remain stagnant for the life of
the individual.

> and are only transmitted by reproduction.

Both genes and memes can only be transmitted by reproduction. I mean,
how else could they be transmitted?

> the gene-meme similarities as nothing
> more than a linguistic analogy.

That does not compute. Nothing more? First you say memes and genes are
COMPLETELY different (with an exclamation point!) and then you admit you
can make an analogy between them. If you can make an analogy between two
things then they are not completely different, if you can make a good
analogy as I believe you can between genes and memes then they can’t
even be substantially different.

I would even go as far as to say that if you can write a computer
program that can find good analogies between things then you have
largely solved the AI problem.

  John K Clark

  John K Clark
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