RE: virus: Genes vs. Memes: The War Heats Up

John ''!Boolean'' Williams (
Thu, 05 Jun 1997 21:05:02 -0400

At 03:00 PM 6/5/97 -0700, Grant wrote:
>I hope you will not continue to put words and ideas into my
>mouth that did not come from me. Knocking down straw men
>that you have set up doesn’t address anything that I have

Okay, I want to ask for clarification one more time here, because I think
we are definately out of sync.

So far, Grant, I've heard you insist that behavior patterns are both
entirely genetic, and entirely taught, which is why we seem to be somewhat

My position, and Robin's position, is that genetics plays a role in what
has gone wrong, and that memetics also plays a role. Your position that
genes are causing all the destructive behavior and memes fight that, I
think, is overly simplistic.

In some instances, the distinction can be important, but I don't think this
is such a case.

As near as I can tell, you want to change people's behavior using memes.
We want to change people's behavior using memes.

We both think that can be done.

We both would probably go about it similar ways, since memes only work in a
philosophical and cultural realm, and do not effect biology[1]

What is at issue is whether genes are the primary source of "bad" or
"memes" are involved as well, but I don't see how that makes an awful lot
of difference on how we're going to approach the problem

So let's cut to the chase here: *why* is it important that we accept these
negative behavior patterns as genetic, not memetic? What difference does it
make, on an application level? Why are you pointing at this particular spot?

Thanks ---

-- John

John Williams ICQ Address: 1213689
"See my loafers? Former gophers!"
Various Artists: Raising the Tide of Mediocrity for Two Years