Re: virus: Re: Inter-species memetic transfer

Wade T.Smith (
Wed, 12 Feb 97 17:59:57 -0500

>Memetic transfers within non-human species are fairly well documented.
>Seasonally-changing songs are transferred from whale to whale around the
>planet. Gorillas trained in ASL will teach it to their children.
>Chimpanzees teach each other simple technologies they've invented - such as
>fishing for ants by poking sticks into ant-hills.

I can only remain skeptical about all these statements. 'Memetic
transfer' itself is a clanging term, hardly describable, certainly known
only to a select few.

_Mimetic behavior_ is certainly well documented. Some classification of
learning is probable among chimps, although there is no proof it is not

Signing among laboratory gorillas is not transferred without
experimental/human reinforcement. It is even controversial whether or not
it is separate from mimicry and memorization behavior.

(And it's termites the chimps go after.... Much tastier.)

Wade T. Smith |'There ain't nothin' you | shouldn't do to a god.' |'Theism is mental inbreeding.'
********* ********