Dawkin's Legacy

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Hi kiddies, why is this one here…? Well, you know what an awful atheist Dawkins is, and what a load of shite atheist arguements are… So I thought hell, let’s unclutter the arena of evolution, and see if there is still room for a little supernature…

It’s long, but I’ve kept the jargon to a minimum.

Dawkin’s Legacy:

The first thing to remember about evolution is that it doesn’t exist. It’s a none-independent term, like calling a place where two roads meet “the corner of 5th and main” or whatever. The road is only the fifth counting from some arbitrary starting place, the other is the main one because for some reason it’s wider, the name would be meaningless without the roads, the roads undistinguished without a name and everything meaningless without cars or people to drive them. Nothing stands alone, it’s all a bunch of dominoes piled one against the other.

The same with evolution. Evolution is the name we give to the point where life and death meet the enviroment and what happens there. It is a neutral term, it is not positive, or negative. It has no direction, it can go forward, or backward, or sideways. It does not care about sentience, TV or twinkies. Evolution loves the merest speck of shit-eating scum on the ring of a whale’s ass just as much as it loves Shakira. Evolution is not God. It is not an it.

Ooh-ooh, I forgot mutation. That good ol’ supposedly random mutation. Did you know that after heavy sunspot activity there is usually a flu epidemic somewhere in the world…? That’s right, all those little flu viruses learning new genetic tricks after getting their brains knocked out by heavy radiation. But hang on, a reliance on purely random mutation to solve your problems would require a whole lot of patience - tapping your fins while you wait for them to turn into feet. You’d have to be some kind of scaley ichthian saint. However, following evolutionary ‘logic’, a random mutation that then allowed life to generate its own ‘purposeful’ mutation would imediately become wildly successful, wouldn’t it…? It would. Mutation, on a day to day basis, ain’t random anymore. It’s endogenous, a reaction of a species to enviromental conditions and change.

Your enviroment btw, is not just the green and brown bits: the trees and mountains. Nor just the moving bits like the mosquitos and pigeons and bears. Or the weather. Nope. It is also your neighbor, your mother, your lover, your dog, your toothbrush. Everything that is not you, including the bacteria that live in and on you, is your enviroment. Some of it you choose, most of it you do not, or at least you can’t be bothered going to the effort that that choosing would require to implement.

The real enviroment starts from the gene up. In the big scheme of things I am single lily-pad on a very, very big pond which just happens to be the one that the frog of life is sitting on at the moment. When froggy hops to the next, I will sink from view, never to return. Only our genes move on in any physical sense, even then in the ‘new blade, new haft - is it the same axe…?’ sense of the word. Lonely little string of nucleotides in the big bad world. And the biggest threat from the enviroment is not so much the lions and tigers and bears, nor falling rocks or sudden ice-ages or drunken drivers. Just as in the modern macro-world the only real threat to man, is man - the biggest threat to our genes in the micro-world has always been other genes.

The gene. We’ve got lots and lot of them. Not just ‘one-gene-one-job’ either, but a web of inter-connections and inter-dependent functions that we are only beginning to percieve. Nothing wasted, nothing redundant. Diabetes is an adaptation to the last ice-age, still used by Eskimos. Sickle-cell anaemia protects against malaria, high cholesterol is an adaptation to increase high pigmentation vitamin D production. Nothing is black and white. Western Europeans are genetically adapted to beer. A gene for cystic fibrosis protects against tuberculosis. Nothing we contain is without use. Evolution allows no flab.

But if evolution allows no free lunches - why then is our genome is 97% shit…? Only about 3% builds and maintains our bodies. The rest rides for free down the eons, coding for nothing.

Well, so the theory went anyway. We didn’t adapt to many diseases, we integrated with them. We have married a whole bunch of viral and bacterial DNA on our way down the eons and now we have our own little genetic laboratory in every cell of our bodies. How else would we ever be able to produce the right antigen for every new bug that shuffles off the production line…? We have set thieves to catch thieves and now we cut and paste elements from this vast amount of stored genetic material to combat everything nature throws at us. Transposons - jumping genes - sample and remix the genome like frantic genetic DJs, trying desperately to find the newest groove.

It is more efficient this way. More robust. For example - You can chemically or radiolojically ‘knockout’ many of what were thought to be vital genes and absolutely nothing happens. You don’t die. Why…? Because your genome treats this KO as a disease, as a ‘problem’ thrown at it by nature and works around it. Other genes borrow material from the 97% and utilize it to make up for the loss in protein production caused by the KO’d gene.

This oldest of methods of tweaking the production line is mirrored in our social reality: The business ‘philosophy’ of kaizen aims to eliminate waste (defined as “activities that add cost but do not add value”). It is often the case that this means “to take it apart and put back together in a better way.” This is then followed by standardization of this ‘better way’ with others, through standardized work. ie - don’t throw out the whole production line when a problem is encountered, tweak it till it works then make the tweaked version the new standard. Sound familliar…?

This internal panic button, that kicks your genome into hyper-mutation-mode, is pressed by stress. Which is good if you’ve got the latest strain of flu, or a glacier just moved in next door, but totally shit if it’s just your boss bustin’ your balls - because in the first case, mutation is necessary therefore potentially beneficial, and in the second unnecessary and potentially malignant: hello Mr. Cancer.

So - The human genome isn’t really human. It incorporates bits and pieces from every virus and bug we ever conquered and/or got friendly with down the ages. HERVs - human endogenous retro viruses - able even, it is thought, to breach the barrier between germ cells - sperm and egg - and body cells. ie. Able to pass on changes aquired within the parental lifetime to the next generation. We are not one pure thing but an alloy of the multitude.

But what of the macro-world, the world we can see…? Cells, bodies - these must be discrete…? Separately evolved…? Mustn’t they…?

Say on one area there are a couple of individuals who are just fucking great at one thing, but pretty mediocre at everything else: Joe can build a wall that’ll stand for a thousand years with his eyes closed, but he couldn’t put a roof on for toffee. Fred does great plumbing but electricity turns his head round in knots. Tony roofs and wires like an artist but builds walls like a drunken sailor.

On their own, they are doomed to live in half-finished houses, together, they would build works of art. The trick is to get them to co-operate. To trust.

Capitalism is much the same on a much bigger scale - Governments use the peaceful atmosphere the protection of an army and police-force to provide a system of commerce which allows networks of specialists to take something approaching mutual advantage of eachother, rather than all of them having to do everything for themselves. Would Picasso have had the time and energy to paint such nice pictures if he’d had to spend his days ankledeep in sheepshit growing all his own food…?

But capitalism goes all the way back. Let us imagine the first cell. Let’s call him Donald.

[i]"Back in the day, when I was just a snot-nosed kid, I was a single cell with a floppy cell-wall and a really crappy generator. Luckily in the bit of sea next to me there was this little guy who did almost nothing but suck in the crap floating about and churn out exactly the kind of fuel I needed too. He got so good at it he made far more than he needed, and just excreted the rest. What was his name now…? Mito-Something, ah yes… Mitochondria. I stuck close by, siphoned what I needed, and put my feet up. Well - If I’d had feet, I’d have put them up anyway - I was a thinker. I had plans.

Lazy days. I took to a bit of DIY. Tried to fix up my cell-wall. I found I just sucked at building. As luck would have it in the pond around the corner there was this funny chap, foreign sounding name - Spirochaete I think - Greek maybe. Anyway - He looked like a frightened hedgehog - All spines made out of microscopic tubules. Sturdy. Rugged. Hirstute. I took to sticking to him like glue. I dragged him over to where Mitochondria and his family hung out and I was sorted. Lazy days under the veranda."[/i]

Note though, at this point, they are not a unified structure, they are three separate genomes, three separate entities who simply prosper better if they happen, at random, to be in close proximity to one another. One provides energy, one cover, one structure. Each supports the other.

But if one divides then there is one too many, if one dies, there is one too few. Either way, it disrupts the pattern of symbiocy. The only answer is for then to begin to divide synchroniously. The easiest way for this to happen is for their genomes to fuse, become one, rather than three.

A mutation that achieved this would soon dominate the resources in the area. And so from three individuals with inadequacies, one supercell is formed. Good societies work under exactly the same principle.

Now we have cells, why build bodies…? The same principle. Arms race. Speed-trials. Diversification of appetite.

Say in one area three distinct species of single cell creature exist: One cell type is better at propelling itself. One better at digesting nutrients, different nutrients. One has a supertough cell wall, or produces chemicals that hinder rival cells.

Again, these cells would do better, thrive, if they exist in close proximity to one another. If they synchronize division, they do even better, if they clump together, adhere and eventually fuse genomes using special homeobox genes to regulate the number and location of cell types produced… They become kings of the castle.

Co-operation always makes sound evolutionary sense, wether or not the participants are sentient, or even communicative, it doesn’t matter.

Of course direct fusion of genomes also derails any uncooperative behaviour.

Imagine if we only had 7 huge cells: Right leg, left leg, right arm, left arm, head, torso, and balls, all containing the exact same genome, though the individual genes of each are expressed and supressed in a slightly different manner to produce the relevant properties specific to each part.

Each body ‘cell’ works together in harmony to support the ‘balls’ to eventually produce a child with exactly the same genetic relatedness to each ‘cell’ - 50% if they reproduce sexually, a 100% if they simply clone. Each does exactly 1/7th of the work involved.

Now - Let us imagine a cell goes rogue. While the rest are sleeping, the left arm strangles the body and knuckles off into the blue. Then it grows some balls and finds a mate. Almost certainly a pity-shag. Produces a child. What has it done…? It has achieved exactly the same result as it would have if it had just been a good little arm and stayed attached, but - For a vastly increased expenditure of energy. It did all the work, rather than only 1/7th.

Duh. Was it a good idea…?

The co-operation of all the cells in our bodies, is not altruistic. They aren’t doing eachother a favour. They are saving energy. Selfish little bastards.

So - basically the rule is: However many members you have in your body-colony, as long as all are 100% genetically related to the others, and each gene within that genome has an equal chance of being transmitted into the next generation, there will be no problems with cohesion of purpose.

You can grow as big as you can, it doesn’t matter. The biggest ‘wins’. Only gravity and the strength of your skeleton limit you. And resources/appetite/digestion - an army has always fought on its stomach. The reason why the dinosaurs were so damn big is the same reason old American cars were so damn big - there was enough fuel lying around to render ‘economy-size’ pointless. Our genes learnt the economy lesson the hard way, via a meteor and an iceage. Looks like we’ll do the same. We’re stupid you see, shortsighted, as genes, as their products. Live now, pay later, just so long as we live.

So, the clash of the Titans cannot go on for ever. A huge body is a great energy expenditure on the part of the lifeform in question’s genome for the same result - offspring. It’s a trade off - huge equals longevity and long fertile period, but a slow turnover of the generations, and a less dense population. A huge bodied species is slow to adapt to gross enviromental change - weather, drought etc. - but big bodies are strong and heavily defenced if the enviromental threat is another lifeform. Conversely - Small body = less biomass = quick turnover = high adaptability to gross enviromental change. So small bodies can be built in more diverse enviroments, allow higher population densities, but they are weak, easily killed by predators.

Simple, like stone/scissors/paper: Big beats small. Meteor beats big. Small beats Meteor.

Did I say small was weak…? I did. But only weak on their own.

Rather than have one giga-organism, co-operating through shared-reproduction-cohesion, ‘all your eggs in one basket’ so to speak - better to have a lot of ‘separate bodies’ acting in unison - a society - all your eggs with little legs of their own running about the place - that way, if some get stepped on, it don’t matter too much.

The problem with a colony of truly separate bodies is recreating this unity of purpose that in a single bodied creature is policed through energy conservation and homogenuity. This is the problem evolution had to crack.

ie: Any species ‘wanting’ dominate all others, must find a way to produce a large-scale cohesive society. This is a rule of life and evolution just like any rule of chess or of mathematics. That man is a social animal, indeed the most social of animals, the most cohesive of social animals, and that man dominates the earth is no coincidence.

Insects in eusocietes manage to maintain a ‘one-body’ level of cooperation by concentrating the colony’s means of reproduction into a single individual - the queen.

Human societies achieve the same end by setting themselves up so that it is easier to have children under the umbrella of that society than outside of it. All else, including technology, is on-going fine tuning to support, protect and secure resources for an ever growing population, the blessing and curse of societical success. This is why politicians kiss babies, because babies are the root of all society.

This ultimately makes social structures and abstract belief-sets as critical an adaption to the living portion of the enviroment as gills or lungs or legs were to the unliving enviroment.

ie: after a certain point, the ‘fitness’ of a society’s infrastructure inevitably becomes more important than physical genomic fitness, more important than individual physical adaptations.

ie: Evolution does not need to remain solely in the physical realm to produce physical effect.

ie: Memes. Social concepts. Have real material effect by proxy of their living hosts, even if they are not alive themselves.

The gene is dead, long live the meme.

“Err Tab, that’s just a soundbyte isn’t it. ie bollocks.” You say.

And Tab just smiles and says one word… “Methylation.”

To cut a long and overly-acronym’d story short, epigenesis allows maternal and paternal body chemistry to effect foetal development by fine-tuning the way the feotal genome expresses itself - this can be dramatic - poor fast-food nutrition on the part of the mother produces children tweaked for starvation diet - which ironically means they will hoard the calories from their diet of chips and burgers and bloat up like whales. Just like 40% of American children are doing right now. Smoking, even by the grandmother, can express itself as asthma in the child. These are just the tips of the iceberg. Exercise, diet, stress levels, happiness - everything has effect.

And just what governs this elusive ‘everything’… Lifestyle. And what governs our lifestyles…?

You got it, the vox populi - the media. The home of the soundbyte, the sexy image, the meme.

jon.

Except for the fact that the meme is a suppositionary, and has no empirical basis.

Did you read it Mas…?

Read it again, the last part. Shall we say the concept of vegetarianism could be construed as a meme…?

Under the process of methylization, mother with standard Essex-girl diet of crisps and alco-pops has obese variant child, endomorphic, the vegetarian has ecto or meso.

I’d say that’s good enough evidence to say a non-material meme can express its effect phenotypically.

These are my memes, not Dawkins’s. Let us call them 'adaptive-belief-constructs" - ABCs - if you feel the stigma of “meme” overhangs the issue.

So how are you, you old bastard…? I got your e-mail, but my modem went screwy that week, then I saw you’d used your idiom already in a thread.

The Turkish varient of one foot in the saddle is

“Doğru soyleyen dokuz koyden kovular”

translated as

“They will drive the truthspeaker from 9 villages.”

Still in love with Niccolo I see. :wink: What was “the Prince” save a complex memetic mutagen…? Adapting a society into a lean mean fightin’ machine…? It seems to have survived well, wouldn’t you say…?

No empirical basis? How do you figure? Any knowledge or belief that can be passed on (i.e. all/most knowledge or beliefs) is empirical evidence for memes. Memes are just a name for the way its passed on, and one designed to draw parallels between biology and culture.

Tab, few brief points, nitpicks really.

This isn’t entirely true. Communication is imperative for any colony of cells. The communication doesn’t need to be conscious, but chemical signals must be exchanged. You mentioned that the balance of the particular cells is important to allow the colony to thrive, and that balance can’t be maintained without signaling.

You say “maternal and paternal body chemistry” affect the way that genes are expressed, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I might be wrong, but it seems that the foetal environment, i.e. solely (mostly?) the maternal body chemistry, contributes to methylation.

I guess that’s it. Well done.

Thanks Carleas,

Yes - I meant ‘communicative’ in the more woofing/tweeting/talking meaning of the word, I should have been more specific. Plasmids are as good as a Valentines for a streptococci. :laughing:

You say ‘foetal enviroment’ equates to ‘maternal body chemistry’ and I’ll agree, but if you imagine MBC simply as a ‘middleman’ between the foetus and the gross external enviroment, then perhaps it becomes not too much of a leap to see maternal body chemistry as a sort of cypher for the enviroment the foetus will be born into, a tour guide the foetus ‘reads’ and packs its suitcase for prior to being born.

As for Paternal body chemistry. A little different - the male Y chromosome comes with some genes marked. These markings override the usual business of dominant/recessive and ‘force’ expression of the gene in question. It is these patterns of markings that change in the male according to his lifestyle, later expressing themselves in his offspring.

Well you’ve explained why in your cohesion-dominated scenario the more socially cohesive insects have not dominated and the less socially cohesive man has, but why not the lowly cow or the much maligned sheep?

Intelligence, seems like an anti-cohesive element.
Why go through the roundabout way of first evolving intelligence and then
making it dumb or censoring it?

What we call ‘intelligence’ is, to me, but another way of saying ‘imagination’.
Imagination first comes in as a mutation that is so effective that it takes everything over, but then it turns on itself becoming self-destructive, self-questioning and resulting in nihilism.
There’s a balance that must be struck between being talented enough to contribute to the whole, but not so much as to become disruptive or alien.

This dumbing-down, or domesticating or - I love returning this to my own thesis - feminization, appears to be part of this process or self-correcting mechanism.

I agree with the rest.

Hey Satyr, thanks for stopping by - How’s married bliss treating you…?

Yeah, it does seem to be a bit of an evolutionary detour doesn’t it, to create genius dog-soldiers.

The trouble is, both are useful, the dog and the fox.

Unless a society is under stress, it need not be overly cohesive. The networks of social-task-specialization would be impaired if everyone was constantly looking over their shoulders to see what their neighbor was doing. No-one would ever make a better pot. In-group competiton drives quailty and creativity, what is good for the one, will become good for all over time.

We are intelligent individuals until our heart-rates go over a threshold at about 140 bpm. Ever talked to anyone who’s really really psyched…? It’s like talking to a wall. A one track mind jerking along like a broken record. If they’ve a gun, and a truck backfires nearby, they’ll start shooting.

Heightened suggestability, lowered cognition and individuality coupled with varying levels of euphoria. Coherence as required.

There is a dog in all of us.

To continue in light of your edit, Two things: One, we have less well defined, especially less geographically well defined social circles to ever experience strong group identity. And two: We today lack the imediacy of clear and present physical threat from outside of these groups for many of us to have ever experienced spontaneous mob-cohesion.

Our fears these days are always a thousand miles away, or too small or too large to see. Thus we have not been formally introduced to our beasts, so we do not believe in them.

It is not “Fight ye not with monsters lest ye become a monster.” so much as “Fight ye not with monsters lest ye be forced to acknowledge ye were naught but a monster ye’self all along.”

Bedtime, definitely bedtime. :wink:

Ahhh . . . but it is a very useful concept. Now, I think we all know that utility and truth are more in a fuck-buddy relationship, I mean, it ain’t like they are getting married anytime soon, but they do spend a lot of time together.

What does this have to do with memetics? Well, Mendel figured out the basics of genetics some 60-odd years before Morgan rolled around. And it wasn’t until some 40-odd years after Mendel that Watson and Crick dropped their bombshell.

Right now, memetics is very much at a “Mendel” stage. It may be right, it may be wrong, but if we limit it to the arena of utility divorced from actual truth, we can most certainly say that it is damned useful. Maybe it is truth’s baby, like genetics way. Maybe it isn’t. Utility is one skanky bitch, we know that. But it has truth’s eyes and until Montel says otherwise, I’ll believe that.

Tab,

I’ll take umbrage at your insinuation that I didn’t read your post, or comprehend it properly. I never miss a chance to read your work, and you know better than that unadulterated bunk.

The meme borders on metaphysicality. It is not empirical. As per Carleas and the fallacious assertion that “a thought” can be passed on, sorry, human biochemistry just doesn’t work that way. Thought itself, does not exist within biochemistry, but rather as an antecedent property in waveform.

We can become as hypothetical as we want, but then, that isn’t empiricism, now is it? No, summarily not. There is zero evidence in support of memes.

Mirror neurons, microtubulin and protein tektins on the other hand … all empirically based, and far superior in explanation to the wish and the prayer of memes, in my “not Tabula in any way, shape or form” opinion.

And you are still the man.

P.S. Thanks for the translation, but I know you didn’t answer cause I’m not on the favored list. :frowning:

P.P.S. I actually prefer The Discourses and the history of Florence, but as for their social sustainability … it would appear that the noble Niccolo has left both history and political science, almost as if by abrogation. But I’m a moron, so I’m just guessing that’s the case.

It’s an adjustment, to say the least.
Especially for a born loner, as I am.

Now I have to make excuses and find clever ways to be left alone for an hour or two, when I used to spend a day or two, never speaking with anyone, and perfectly content, before.

But things are good.
I bought a new house and I’m expecting… a boy, they say, - what else could it have been, right - in November. It might surprise everyone to know that I was hoping for a girl.
you see I have a theory - I always have theories - and from observation I’ve noticed that most of the time, the first born takes after the parent of the same sex and the second born takes after the parent of the opposite sex.

I hope intelligence is not like the bald gene, and it skips a generation.

If the child is still in utero Satyr, converse with the child and read to the child. (Not it isn’t a joke, and there is no jest in it. I didn’t do this with my first two, and the latter two received benefit from it … empirically, one might say.)

Intelligence is a factor of environment as much or more than genetic inclination.

Except in the case of most American’s, whereby “the Stupid” can be seen to be crawling over any individual in the populace …

you don’t beleive that, do you?
I mean, sure, conversing with the child, after its birth contributes to tis intellectual growth, but in utero?
I’ll feel like an idiot talking to the wife’s stomach. Besides talking to her, would then affect the baby, in the same way.

I would say, as I do, that natures provides the potential and nurture how much of this potential is realized.

Here we see how prolonged nurture creates a new nature.

Okay, I’m not going to belabor the point, believe what you will.

I definitely used to rock out to Bumblebee and Ludwig Van’s Second in utero.

And, I mean, I’m totally a genius, right? :wink:

Edit: I was unresponsive to Brahms though. But, then again, aside from his Adagio in D, who isn’t?

Oh, you traditional old thing you. I’ll bet you live in the suburbs and drive an SUV. You’ll be a soccer daddy. =D>

Despite your theories, I’m delighted that it’s a boy. I have boys (by choice) and now can’t imagine a life without their energy.

Yeah, well it’s not about you any longer, so just shut up and talk to the stomach. Man, are you in for a rude awakening. I can’t wait, lol.

Excellent essay.

Question: each of us is the product of an evolving culture… likewise, our actions, thoughts and feelings are reprocessed by culture for its refinement. This practically destroys any importance placed on individuality. We are cogs in a wheel.

You see Satyr, no matter how clever you may be, no matter how many scintillating theories you wrench into the sunlight, sooner or later it becomes all about a couple of pounds of squawking piss-stained infant.

Pff.

You think I’d have learned my lesson after one, but now we have two. Boy, girl. Boy is a genius; girl, the jury is still out on that one. Who cares as long as she’s pretty. And I say that from a socially aware POV, rather than pure sexism.

Regarding tummy talking: Dunno 'bout humans but in rats attentive behaviour from the mother towards her young inhibits the methylation of areas of the genome responsible for brain growth, resulting in greater intelligence and confidence. Apparantly. So going on principle of ‘too much is better than not enough’ I’d say tummy-talk, or pay someone to tummy-talk for you.

This is what pisses me off. 50 years ago, nobody knew dick about foetal/infantile development and Mothers could get knocked up and then, blissfully ignorant of the consequences, go about their normal crack and coffee lifestyle. Not today though, oh no, we know too much and suspect even more. It’s like a crime if pregnant women don’t go around with a hi-fi strapped to their gut.

I wonder when the first court-cases will crop up. Smith jnr. vs. Smith - “My parents knew about foetal-conversational-therapy but didn’t comply and now I’m as stupid as fuck” prenatal-neglect charges…?

It’ll happen I’m sure.

I’m interested Ingenium, what is the division of labour like in your household…? Do you have any tasks or responsibilities that are solely your own beyond the absolute dictates of your biology…? Does your partner…? :wink:

Anyway. Bitter, hen-pecked whinge over.

Hey Mas, Okay, sorry for the low-blow.

I dunno. Is a thought a thought unless it is in some way manifested as part of behaviour…? Is a thought ever new, and not based, however loosely, upon some preforged set of beliefs…? Is a thought a thought unless it has some emotional conotation bundled up with it…? And emotional states have absolute biological and socio-behavioural consequences.

How can a thought become something other than a fleeting metaphysic instant…? Same way a single movement of my arm, if repeated a thousand, a hundred thousand fold leads to muscles of steel and a contract to make the next Conan the Barbarian Movie. Thought becomes movement, movement becomes muscle, muscle becomes work, work becomes ego and ego leads thought. Or something like that perhaps.

A thought carves a channel in the wake of its passing, and after million such, a valley; tectonic shifts of long-held opinion and faith throw up mountain-ranges in the mind. A single thought becomes the death of a nation or the saviour of all men.

Thought becomes Prosperity. Thought becomes war. The world around us is thought made concrete. You only need to look around, and wherever your eyes come to rest, there is the compound thought of millenia.

Can I stop singing now…? My pen is hoarse.

The morés of society effect what I can put in my body, and largely the levels of day to day stress I am under; they also dictate or at least heavily bias the ages at which I can have children. These effect my biochemistry. My biochemistry, if I am a male, especially if I am a pre-pubescent male, effect the patterns of germ-cell gene-marking which will in turn directly effect the phenotypic expression of my child’s genome. If I am female, the condition of my biochemistry at the time of conception, and the continuing state during gestation and early post-natal will directly effect the phenotypic expression of my child’s genome.

Memes sure perhaps have little effect when held solely at an individual level, but we’re not talking individual levels are we…? In a species that derives its principle power from social and cooperative traits, the individual isn’t worth shit. We never wish to face this truth. It is anathema.

Memes battle eachother across the divides of group minds, through economies of peace, economies of war. Memes alter the infants in our wombs almost to much the degree they would have if they’d fucked our mothers. The avergage man is meme made flesh. A biological cypher of group-think.

Hmm. I may be singing again.

And yes - pardicat - we have always been cogs in the machine. Some better forged than others, but all the same shape. Thanks for reading.

Tabula, it seems that you have your following here, and because you all know each other I feel like an outsider. I would love to understand your first post better. Could you paraphrase it for the layman??? Otherwise, your wonderful description of life and how it works will be limited by those who understand your terminology. Maybe that is all you want, but wouldn’t you want to include others, or are you just trying to look smart? :frowning: This is a problem in the philosophical world because ego (I am not accusing of this; I am just describing what I see in the majority of cases) wins out.

It seems to me that what he is doing is taking Evolution (a non-debatable point, IMHO), and its relation to genetics (also non-debatable) and glossing that to memetics and from that, social evolution.

So, A is explained by B, so given B’ we can arrive at A’.

LOL, what a character, what a mind …

It wasn’t really a low blow, I just like to take issue … mostly tongue in cheek, but I let it intentionally hang like that for effect … you’re right, I am a bastard …

After many long discussions here, and elsewhere, with a number of impressive minds far greater than my own, I have succumbed, in part, to the social perspective of the hominid. But, in all honesty, I think there must needs be a separation, or perhaps a refinement of that view.

You can take an individual like Satyr, Kriswest or myself, (my bet is that you fit the mold as well, but would never allow yourself to think such), where tantamount conditions of personality appear to exist. None of us fit the mold as defined by you and others, often times, not even in a quasi-definitional sense. Myself, I meander through many days without barely passing a glance at another human being. Satyr and Kriswest have stated likewise numerous times. It would appear that in all objectivity, it could be stated, for at least Satyr and myself, that “anti-social” is our ‘meme’ of choice ~ our poison against the systemisation of the self as part of the colony. (Quite honestly, fuck the Queen, she can go breed with someone else.)

No assertion can be made within an absolute framework, but much like the paganistic ideographic device on the U.S. dollar, there is more than a society as a “single” entity, and this has been forever recognized.

Could it not be stated, with a certain apprehension, that there is a social force to conform, but also we have to recognise, at least in this Universe, that if there is a force in one direction, there must also be an opposing force? Is this not how the fundamental mechanics of the Universe are staged for our perceptions?

We, quite obviously, have some very fundamental differences in how we view “thought”. Yours, not as an unfair criticism mind you, just as an observation, seems rather archaic.

There are two things that should be addressed concerning “thought”:

Firstly, there is no evidence towards thought being algorithmic, to the contrary, and in light of certain advances in quantum processing, it is being shown, (in my opinion, not too far removed from being proven), that thought is most certainly non-algorithmic, it will not fit a binary/serial model. It is parallel, and not fitting into a predictable mathematical model. Quantum processing has discovered, first from a team from Austria/Belgium and in the same week confirmed by an Australian research team, it comes in “loops”, and although currently presented with some minor difficulty, (thought is a little peckerhead to recreate outside the hominid mind), if they can sustain a third loop in unison with the first two already achieved, a proper model for decoherence will likely be achieved, as a parallel, and opposing loop, model.

Secondly, here’s the problem that my mostly uninformed, non-academic, barely knowledgeable person sees with your perspective. There is no such thing in the hominid mind as “a thought”. Doesn’t work that way. We have wave upon wave of thought, all cresting and descending, collapsing one another and making a complete clusterfuck of focus and concentration. As from a discussion with Satyr, where he was certainly correct, the hominid brain is the highest level ordering device known to exist in biological mush, (executive function).

When you sit at your desk, is it really like this:

“Manager Dick demands I return this report to him by the end of the day” …

I don’t know your mind “intimately”, but considering your impressive wealth of knowledge and an obvious “need” to express such, it doesn’t seem likely.

My bet, is your mind is no different from mine in standard function:

“Manager Dick demands I return this report to him by the end of the day”
“Did I lock the back door when I left?”
“I could sleep better at night if that frigging female would put out”
“What food did that asshole bring to work today that reeks of ass?”
“I hope the girl has the sense to pick a decent profession.”
“Why’s my foot itching again?”
“She has a nice ass, round, but not too round”
“Did I bring the key to my desk, I’d really like a mint from that top drawer”
“For the love of … there she goes again, running her mouth about someone”
“I’m never going to be able to retire”
“I’m hungry, when is lunch?”

All this in the space of a few seconds. Then those executive functions kick in and the “observer of the observer” knocks on the cerebral door.

“Post has arrived mate, time to get to work you fuckwit, else Manager Dick is going to reach up your ass and jerk out your larynx, in front of everyone … again.”

Then you try to refocus on the work at hand, and even though you may achieve such, in small measure, the thoughts keep coming. It’s a game of “never ending process vs. quantum entanglement”. Biological chess for the order of the Universe, that never comes to completion or equilibrium until you just drop dead.

Again, on the social aspect, whereby you chose the vaunted ‘meme’, I’ll leave it at this for now: