[ExI] Really? and EP

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Tue Apr 21 15:02:00 UTC 2009

On Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 3:59 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/4/21 Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 1:45 AM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
>> snip
>>> Humans don't need a reason to fight.
>>> They are the best fighters yet developed by evolution.
>>> Humans fight just for fun. Read the news.
>> This demonstrates an appalling misunderstanding of evolution.
>> Humans who fought when the net advantage of fighting to their genes
>> (including copies in relatives) was negative did not (statistically)
>> become out ancestors.
> Please excuse this very basic question, but how do you avoid coming to
> conclusions in EP about behaviours that don't have a heritable basis?
> Or do you simply assume that there aren't any such behaviours?

Natural behaviors are observed only in organisms.  These organisms
exist because of genes which are the elements of heredity.  Underlying
meme based behavior is a genetic layer for learning (being infected
with) memes.  Basic evolutionary principles lead to the conclusion
that resistance to damaging or genetically fatal memes will evolve.
For example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakers#Communal_spiritual_family
"The Shakers did not believe in procreation . . . "

I would be most interested in examples of behaviors that don't have a
heritable basis.


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