17 Jan 2009

Memetics, Memes and Universal Darwinism

Posted by jofr

Susan Backmore talks in a TED video about memes. She says about evolution: evolution takes place if you have information copied with variation and selection. If you have variation (creatures that vary), selection (a struggle for live) and heredity
(survivors that pass on genes to their offspring), i.e. dissemination of information with variation and selection, then you must get evolution. In this sense, evolution is an emergent property of the evolutionary algorithm.

In her talk, she describes selfish replicators and their survival machines, and argues that we are result of different replicators: If a gene is a quantum of life, then a meme is a quantum of culture. All animals are mere gene machines. We alone are gene machines and meme machines as well. Gene machines are the survival objects of the first-level replicator, meme machines the survival objects of the second-level replicator. She also invented the term temes for technological memes.

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