Re: virus: FAQ: initial questions

Eric Boyd (
Tue, 15 Jun 1999 15:47:37 -0400


In the spirit of knowledge creation, I'll answer a few of my own questions:

(a) What the hell is this Level thing you guys keep arguing over?

(b) What is a meme?

(c) What's wrong with believing in God?

(d) Why start a religion?

(e) What is Universal Darwinism?

Universal Darwinism is a generalization of evolution from biology out into the universe at large. It is the recgonition that there are other types of units/objects to which evolution applies.

"Put into Richard Dawkins's language, if there is a replicator that makes imperfect copies of itself only some of which survive, then evolution /must/ occur." -- Susan Blackmore, _The Meme Machine_, pg 11

Any unit which posses the traits of variation, selection and retention
(or heredity), provides a suitable 'substrate' on which Universal
Darwinism can act as a mechanism of evolution.

(BTW, I *highly* recommend Blackmore's book!)

(f) What is the paradigm shift involved with memetics?

The paradigm shift is recgonizing that a meme is a unit to which Univeral Darwinism applies -- and that therefore, memes often serve nothing but themselves. Just becuase an idea exists and is widespread tells you nothing about it's truth; that only tells you that it replicates well! The fundamental insight of memetics is therefore that *if* we wish to find truth, we must guard against the natural tendencies of idea-imitation; we must provide a different selection criteria than "natural selection".

(g) What is clarity of purpose?

(h) What is phaith?

(i) Why is dogmatic faith a sin?

(j) What is UTism?

(k) What is Virus?

>From the web page:

Virus is:
a forum for rational discourse
a memetically engineered atheistic religion a synthesis of religion and evolution
the best possible conceptual framework for living and thinking a neo-cybernetic philosophy for the 21st century Darwin's dangerous idea out of control
an extended phenotype of the Virion Council

(l) What is Religion?

(m) What is Science?

(n) What is Truth?