[ExI] Group Selection Advances

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Fri May 1 22:43:12 UTC 2009

At 03:14 PM 5/1/2009 -0700, Keith wrote:
>>Isn't this disproved by the falling birth rates in first world societies?
>No.  The only thing this shows is a temporary mismatch between the 
>environment (including culture as environmental element) and the genes.
>>Surely it isn't in the self interest of the genes to reduce reproduction?
>Never.  By definition.

And hence, by definition, an appeal to the "self interest" of genes 
alone is insufficient. Keith, you're a meme guy. Calling culture an 
"environmental element" is dangerously simplistic. Culture is a 
turbulent memetic structure instantiated inside the phenotypes that 
are the cutting surface of selection, and distributed across mutually 
reachable phenotypes. So a gene-set builds a brain that hosts and 
expresses a mishmash of memes at various levels of abstraction and 
power and persistence, and that creates a Baldwin effect that helps 
shape the genomes of subsequent generations, so we're always talking 
about *co*-evolutionary elements and sets. I wouldn't be surprised if 
something like Benford's datavores and kenes (see THE SPIKE) already 
traverse the computational cloud of contiguous minds that can 
communicate and manipulate and reward each other. "National 
character" might be a first crude approximation at identifying such 
hypermind entities, and scientific paradigms and warrior faiths might 
be two more classes.

Just musing...

Damien Broderick

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