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Thread: Memes

  1. #1 Memes 
    jjg
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    Is memes to be considered pseudoscience. Dawkins arguments seem prettyweak.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman wonkothesane's Avatar
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    I've read some of Dawkin's books in which he talks about memes but haven't read The Selfish Gene and I think this is where he introduces it???

    However from what I have read he only draws parallels between genetic inheritance and the ideas we learn from our parents, viruses and learning from peers and general acceptance of ideas and natural selection. He only suggests these things and admits it is an underdeveloped theory.

    My initial reaction is that he may be overextending Darwinism a bit and the theory seems a little contrived. But I must admit that it is based on *real* scientific assumptions ie that evolution requires 3 things, replication, variation and selectiveness and these are properties that ideas have.

    I haven't heard any arguments for or against it's testabilty. I think it is too soon to label it pseudoscience, I don't think it ever will since I think it's proponents would most likely abandon the theory if it were ever convincingly disproven.


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  4. #3 The selfish gene 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    Can someone explain to me what "The Selfish gene" is ?
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  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman wonkothesane's Avatar
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    "The Selfish Gene" is a book written by Richard Dawkins and published in 1976. The idea of "selfish genes" is basically that genes are only interested in replicating and do not care about the wellbeing and longevity of the organism, which is merely a vehicle for their own proliferation, beyond it's usefullness to the gene.

    Again I haven't read the book so I can't comment too much but I've read some of his selfish gene theory in other books of his.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    I read some of The Selfish Gene and then put it down for good. It is proposed as a way to explain "cultural" evolution, but it makes about as little sense to me as Dialectical Materialism.

    You know, there really is no viable explanation of social evolution out there. The subject is a social science theory wasteland. The meme theory is the only thing out there and I think it survives only for that reason. It is a sort of Uncle Tom's Cabin theory for social evolution. That is the only reason why Dawson was not too embarrassed to even propose it.

    I didn't read his book on The God Delusion because I never thought "He" was anything else but a delusion, an ancient way of explaining things which we had not yet come to understand scientifically.

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  7. #6  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    I didn't read his book on The God Delusion because I never thought "He" was anything else but a delusion, an ancient way of explaining things which we had not yet come to understand scientifically.
    The same might also be said about Dawkins.
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