Re: virus: Do memes exist?

Tim Rhodes (
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 09:40:59 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 16 Sep 1997, David McFadzean wrote:

> At 10:38 AM 9/16/97 -0700, Tim Rhodes wrote:
> >Can we use this forum to come up with such an experiment?
> OK, here's a new thread. But first a question: do species exist?
> How would you prove it?

Hmmm... did we need a proof of what "species" meant in order to find out
about the gene?

Genetics grew from observed differences in the phenotype (black or white
mice, for instance) and the way that was transmitted down through
generations. Can we do a similar thing with memes? Can we follow a
phenotype and infer things about the `genetics'(transmission) of memes?

I think we keep getting bogged down in /what/ a meme is. Is it that
important at this point? Really?!? Did they need to know that DNA was a
double helix in order to figure out how to cross-breed rice plants for a
higher yield or rats for black or white coats? Let's try and get some
*data* and work from there.

Now, how do we gather data about memes?

-Prof. Tim