Re: virus: Beyondism (a case of parallel memetic evolution?)

David McFadzean (
Thu, 9 Jan 1997 00:51:17 -0700

> From: Richard Brodie <>
> Date: Wednesday, January 08, 1997 5:01 PM
> >1. That evolution is the prime process visible in the universe,
> >to which we have to conform, and should do so in good will.
> I can think of several processes more visible than evolution. Entropy,
> for one. Should we conform to that too?

I'm not sure how to interpret it, but in the interest of giving it
a generous reading we can take it to mean that evolution is the
prime process to which we should conform.

> >2. That human evolution proceeds ultimately by natural selection
> >among groups, which determines and is determined by natural
> >selection among individuals, genetically and culturally.
> The breakthrough in memetics, of course, is that human evolution
> proceeds by natural selection among MEMES.

Except that groups (say religionists vs. freethinkers) are defined
by their memes. Are superorganisms as described in "The Lucifer Principle"
groups or memes? Or are they perhaps a symbiosis of both?

> >3. That natural selection among groups and individuals requires
> >as a precondition adequate variation among groups and individuals,
> >genetically and culturally.
> I can see where this is leading... This is the "...and so diversity is
> good" argument. In reality, there is pressure for and against diversity
> in different situations. And we don't have to will it to happen, it just
> does.

Tell that to the people that have to fight for their right to be different.

[I have nothing to add but my agreement to your comments on 4, 5 & 6]

> What is the "purpose" of evolution????? And why is the concept of a
> group so special?

Again, giving it a generous reading, I don't think he meant evolution
has a purpose any more than genes have a purpose to replicate themselves
into the next generation. Of course they are mindless, without
but it is still useful for illustrative purposes to assign them purposes.

Groups are special because they host the same memes. I'll stop my
commentary here until I get your reply on this point.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus       

p.s. I should have written "a case of convergent memetic evolution?" meaning that Beyondism and Virus share some superficial similarities despite different genealogies, perhaps because they share an ecological niche. I don't mean to imply that they are (or should be) the same.