Re: virus: memes, genes and empiricism

Dan Plante (
Mon, 28 Jun 1999 20:12:56 -0700

At 09:39 PM 28/06/99 -0500 Joe E. Dees wrote:
>The root metaphors for memes are viruses and genes, both of
>which undergo evolution. In fact, without the theory of evolution
>from which Dawkins could have extrapolated, it is unlikely that
>memetics would have emerged. The theory of evolution, as well as
>its mechanism (natural selection) was formulated as a result of
>Darwin's empirical study of species diversity within nature.
>Memetics is employed by testing and modifying differing memes
>and memeplexes to ascertain which variants of them work best in
>one's life. Utility and truth, while not identical, are not unrelated.

I would say they are dualistic yet complimentary aspects of the same basic thing.

>To categorize a scientist's developments of an empirically derived
>theory as anti- or non-empiricist is to misunderstand memetics

....and the true nature of the evolutionary process which underpins it, as well.