Re: virus: FAQ: v1.0 (o) -- Off-topics

Tim Rhodes (
Sat, 19 Jun 1999 21:01:58 -0700

Eric wrote:

>How about:
>Christian apologetics (including by not limited to pascals wager, the
>lord/liar/lunatic argument, and any discussion of biblical or papal
>infailability) as well as (debates about the truth of) *biological*
>evolution are off topic, because past experience has revealed that
>debate on these topics is useless and distracts Virus from making
>further progress.

Can we use "are considered" as the verb in that sentence? (A personal preference in part.)

>I'm more and more convinced that the biological
>metaphor for memetics is a blind ally. It gets us all caught up in
>arguments about memeotypes and phemomemes and other "carry overs" from
>biology that (frankly) we have no evidence for in memetics. We also
>talk about "Lamarkism" and bable on about needing to know (physically)
>what a meme is, both of which are really inessential for progress at
>this point in memetics. Darwin's theory of biological evolution had
>to wait 60+ years to acheive that kind of knowledge -- why should
>memetics suddenly happen over night? To the extent that biological
>evolution can help us understand evolution (and U.Dism), it's fine --
>but do be very wary of carrying the metaphor to far.

I agree with you. (And I'll cross-post a message here which I sent to JoM-EMIT about that just a couple days ago.) But remember what we a writing here, a FAQ for those new to the list and the topic. I think we do a disservice to our audience to limit the overly discussion on an important subject they may not be familiar with yet.

-Prof. Tim