Thursday, February 28, 2008

Susan Blackmore and memes

We're nearing the midpoint and I think I'm finally beginning to understand memes. Memes actually means copying. Susan is a psychologist who has demonstrated that evolution is not purely a result of genetic evolution but a combination of humanities unique (amongst animal life) ability to copy AND genetics. In fact she indicates that the two actually are in constant conflict. Genetic evolution, from Darwinian theory, attempts to deal with evolution as a function of adaptation requiring less thought and therefore a smaller brain. Memes push us the other way and force our brains to grow in order to be able to be able to copy memes. As an example she talks about how genetic evolution has nothing to do with things like language, music and art. She's essentially redefining evolution.

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