Friday, February 03, 2006
memetics, genes and evolution
I have writen thís small paper after having seen a BBC program on genes and their ability to remeber what has happened to the body
here one link to the professor Skinner
and another link
Memetics, genetics, epigenetics and evolution
Already many years ago I came to the idea that certain life experiences of my parents were given to me in their genes. This idea involves the logic of genes storing the environmental information, information of the own body and situations of the body, such as hunger, stress happiness etc, mostly stored in a way which I would cold emotional, spite the possibility that I will be criticized for imprecise terminology.
What brought my attention to this phenomenon was a small story told by my mother about myself. She said that once, being about three years old, I fabulized about living somewhere in the north and wandering for long distances and once meeting a tribe which was attacked by a monster, I stayed there and fought the monster and killed that beast. Then, I was supposed to say that the monster was an ice bear. My mother was shocked because as she says I had not seen any ice bears before and even had not heard the word.
Many years later I experienced and also heard that many other people experienced the situation where they believe to have been at a certain place before, showing knowledge of the locality, but in reality they had never been there before.
Another type of observation comes again from my mother, she says that my handwriting is the same as the one of my father, but I have never seen his handwriting, as he left us when I was about one year old.
More than 2 years ago I started to study memetics, then semiotics, linguistics, evolution, evolutionary psychology and sociology and many other related sciences. Based upon these studies I came to the conclusion that memetics and semiotics must be two colleagues in evolution. There would have been no evolution, or, completely a different one, if it had been not for this cooperation between genes and memes.
To this topic I have addressed two famous British professors, Derek Gatherer and Susan Blackmore. Derek Gatherer admitted in one of his two emails to me that he also wanted to implement semiotics into the problems of memetics but his suggestion was not accepted by majority of other scientists. Susan Blackmore completely drove my suggestion about cooperation of memes and genes down as nonsense.
My idea was quite simple, at a certain, but really early stage of development of first beings, be it one cell beings or maybe even before that, there must have been a way how the environment did signaled some simple information to the being and the being learned to understand the signal and behave accordingly. If it had not been for this broadcasting of signals to the being and understanding of these signals, we would not be here.
Just imagine that the environment of the early days on our planet was extremely hostile, and, if the first “beings” were unable to “read” the signals of the environment, they would most probably end their lives in a pond of some kind of acid. The fact that we are here shows that they did not proceed to the pond of acid. Well, a question must be allowed: how is that possible. At that time of hostile environment there must have been a system which told the “beings” how to behave and they understood these signals.
So taking all of the above together and trying to explain these phenomena I came to the conclusion that genes have created memes as a means of understanding their own environment, and they have been doing that during the whole last 4,5 billion years.
As memes can be taken as an “understanding” of a signal, then we must admit that semiotics in its broadest sense of the word must be studied together with memetics, and vice versa. There is no memetics without semiotics, and semiotics itself without memetics is a study of envelope instead of a letter.
The problem is the coding. Signals, signs are only codes. Everybody agrees that linguistics is a part of semiotics. But linguistics is only a study about how we code certain ideas when we want that the other human being understand that idea. Typically we can observe this at school. While one teacher is considered a good one, many others are not, spite the fact that they say the same. So the only difference while explaining one plus one can be the way of explaining. And if the way of explaining is that what makes the difference then it is the different “gestalt” of the fact.
We do not have only words as signals but also our nonverbal communication, the facial expression e.g., importance of which Susan Blackmore completely denied in her email to me.
When we ask teenagers which politician they like, mostly they give you as an answer the name of the youngest politician in the respective country. It is clear they believe to be able to understand his or her facial expressions as well as his way of verbalizing his or her ideas. Its emotional, it is beyond our conscious logic, it is in our subconsciousness. And out subconsciousness is the place where genes and memes meet without us knowing that or being able to influence that.
Because of not too much positive response from Derek Gatherer and also from Susan Blackmore which I got, I studied even more; any reasonable source of information to this topic is always good for me. Once, late in the evening one German TV program brought a BBC program to exactly this topic. They spoke of two professors making their research exactly at this field. One of them was Skinner, the name of the other one I did not understand, unfortunately.
These two professors have proven above any reasonable doubt that genes do “remember” certain notions of the body, like stress, being caused by huge sorrow, or physical stress caused by hunger. The state of the body will be coded into genes and passed over to the children and as far as in the 4th generation.
The research of the two professors shows clearly that there is a link between genes and memes. Actually there is a science called epigenetics, as a science which goes beyond ordinary genetics.
Other states of body which will be remembered by genes might be state during pregnancy, it might be found in children of surviving KZ prisoners, it was also proved in people who suffered a loss on September 1st, 2001, and in people who suffer severely of hunger.
Especially be those who suffered of hunger a certain change in genes was observed and the result is that the children and grandchildren die of diabetes.
The whole system is extremely complex and according to the present knowledge it does not work constantly, but only in certain time periods. There are certain times in which certain changes in genes will occur under stress. And there is even difference in these times between men and women. According to the studies of Skinner and the other professor.