Re: virus: Dawkins Refers to Church of Virus

Dan Plante (
Tue, 04 May 1999 02:52:18 -0700

At 08:14 PM 03/05/99 -0700, Rhonda Chapman wrote:

>Dan Plante wrote:
>>He [Steven Pinker ] seems to percieve on an intuitive level that the
>>mind/conciousness is the emergent result of interation between memes,
>>intelligence and emotion. I find it rather ironic that the evolutionists
>are way
>>off base, and the linguist has it nailed.
>Don't sell linguistics short.

I wouldn't dream of it. My deliberately superficial treatment of the distinctions between the two was merely a vehicle to transport a well-deserved kick-in-the-pants (in the form of a point of irony) to the evolutionist camp.

>It's a very complex science which combines
>logic and intuition. Any half-way decent linguist has to be a terrific

You're preaching to the choir here, Rhonda. I've always regarded top-notch linguists (chompsky, et al?) as some of the first true memetic engineers. The field's ability to track the prehistorical movements and offshoots of ethnic groups, and to deconstruct and characterise the beginnings of different languages in prehistory, rivals what genetic engineers have been able to do with nuclear and mitochondrial DNA respectively. I have always found this to be a telling example of how memetics is as evolutionary as genetics.

>(Okay I have a bias here, I admit it).

Really. Why?

>Anyway, thanks for passing on an interesting article.

Just quoting a post by David McFadzean, but you're welcome anyway.