Information and Meaning in Evolutionary Processes by William F. Harms

By William F. Harms

William Harms develops the conceptual foundations and instruments for a technology of data in the course of the program of evolutionary idea, therefore permitting us to recognize the legacy of skepticism whereas denying its relativistic offspring. the main major legacy of philosophical skepticism is the conclusion that our strategies, ideals and theories are social constructs. This trust has ended in epistemological relativism, or the thesis that, when you consider that there's no final fact concerning the international, thought personal tastes are just an issue of opinion.

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Lastly, replicators must pass the “test of mutilation,” errors in their generation or accidental damage must be passed on to future generations. This chapter is not specifically concerned with the genetic replicators with which Dawkins is concerned, but it is important to be as clear as possible about what kinds of things replicators are before venturing to discuss the main question of this chapter: whether there are cultural replicators. It is to this that we now turn. Memes: The Cultural Replicators Dawkins believes that DNA molecules are not necessarily the only active germ-line replicators, even though they may be the only ones involved in biological evolution per se.

It had to offer an image that would stick in the mind. This is where the “vision” comes in. It goes something like this. The replicators that survived were the ones that built survival machines for themselves to live in. The first survival machines probably consisted of nothing more than a protective coat. But making a living got steadily harder as new rivals arose with better and more effective survival machines. . Four thousand million years on, what was to be the fate of the ancient replicators?

0521815142c01 P2: FCH/FFX QC: FCH/FFX T1: FCH CB634-Harms-v1 December 24, 2003 Information and Meaning in Evolutionary Processes the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms and eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation. (1976, 192) So here we see the idea in which we are interested, the idea that cultural evolution may be a Darwinian process. For Dawkins, this means that there must be cultural replicators, or “memes” – discrete units of cultural transmission or “imitation” that are differentially replicated within culture.

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