Re: virus: What is meant by "memes affecting genes"?

David Leeper (
Sat, 19 Oct 1996 14:49:21 -0500

:> :> Genes are chunks of DNA. Memes are stored
:> :> in the neural nets of the brain. It is impossible
:> :> to encode memes into genes.
:> :
:> :I disagree. For example, let's imagine a species which has just
:> :deveoped a meme of co-operation. Let us also imagine that it works
:> :i.e. it enhances that species ability to propogate. When genes arise
:> :which facilitate the co-operation meme, those genes will be more
:> :likely to survive. Thus we have a meme evolving into a genetic
:> :quality, given enough time.
:> What sort of genes would facilitate a co-operation meme?
:On a less intelligent scale:
: Would an ant colony count as an example of a species which is
:genetically dominated by a meme of cooperation [among others]?
: I'm not certain which genes would count on a human scale.
:Which behaviors count is easy, though. Glance at the Tao Te Ching's
:definition of proper education [or lack thereof] for the common man.

These may indeed be examples of the Baldwin Effect (which is what started this thread), but they
are not examples of encoding memes into genes. If memes can be encoded into genes then
Lamarckian evolution is correct.

David Leeper
Homo Deus