Re: virus: Memes and Genes

ken sartor (
Wed, 16 Oct 1996 09:29:00 -0500

At 09:35 PM 10/15/96 -0400, Reed Konsler wrote:
>>#3) I have yet to see a simplistic version of "atheism". I propose that we
>>don't see slow-minded atheists because those with slow minds have problems
>>supporting the concept, regardless of their knowledge base.
>I assert: For the vast majority of people (95%) genetics plays little or
>no role in memetic development.

I assert: for the majority of people genetics plays a very important
role in memetic development. Furthermore, this can be seen in the
genetic component of intelligence.

Analagy - if a large number of individuals all do exactly the same
physical exercise for a period of time, large differences will be
seen in there physical development. Inquiry - why would we expect
mental exercise to have different outcomes?

(Furthermore - some people are tall and thin, others short and
stocky. Why should our brains not be molded by the same bell
curve that determines the rest of our bodies?)

>It is very possible that there are narrow windows within childhood
>development in which we have the capacity to aquire language, priciples of
>mathematics, abstract spatial thinking and other memes ascribed to the
>"intelligent". Since many concepts and abilities build and extend from
>those already in place missing one of these windows may handicap an
>individuals development for life. Should such neglect link (as it might)
>with socio-economic situation one might erroneously conclude that there was
>some genetically determining factor.

I think the above windows you speak of (at least for vision and
language are well established.

>Wake up. If you are well fed, clothed, loved, educated and attendend to as
>a child then you will be more intelligent as a result, presuming you are
>not handicapped by significant menal defects. Childeren are resillient,
>and all of us have developed in less than ideal circumstances. We are
>testaments to the ability of the developing mind to overcome violence and
>deprivation of many sorts. The intitial stages of mental and physical
>development (say 0 to 8) are more consistent determiners of "intelligence"
>than any hackneyed genetic argument.

The point is that intelligence, like body type or hair color is
extremely variable. While you can modify within limits, there are
extremely strong predisposions. They cover artistic capability,
conitive skills, etc. Rolled into this is the additional effect of
what preferences the individual has (i.e., i may be a whiz at
music, be awful at writing poetry, but still prefer poetry to