Re: virus: Death, Destruction, Sex

Duane Daniel Hewitt (
Tue, 31 Oct 1995 13:15:34 -0700 (MST)

On Mon, 30 Oct 1995, Tyson Vaughan wrote:

> It is possible for a genetic instruction to control human behavior without
> that instruction being translated into a concept or meme, but even the most
> basic biological functions have associated memes which add further layers
> of instruction or protocol to the situation.

One thing to be careful of and I do not mean to sugggest that you are
falling into this trap is to avoid some form of genetic determinism.
There are many individuals who are looking for something to blame for
their behaviour and if genetic factors can be blamed they will be in
order to avoid personal responsibility.

> However, your general skepticism about overcoming genetic instructions with
> memetic ones is well-founded. It takes consistent, large-scale effort to
> overcome genetic instructions over a period of time, because the genes will
> continue to be there, hard-wired, for a LONG time. Memes are generally
> more flighty. They are software, subject to updates and revisions and
> edits and deletions.

What happens, though, when selection pressures for the survival of
individuals move from the genetic arena to the memetic arena?

> It is true that many of our problems today arise directly or indirectly
> from genetic instructions more suitable for a much different environment
> than our current one.

An excellent observation

Duane Hewitt