Tuesday, 31 July 2012

An inherited unit for Universal Darwinism

We need an "umbrella" term for bits of evolving information - to act as units in universal Darwinism.

Some of the main proposals have been:

  • Mneme - Richard Semon, 1921;
  • Gene - George Williams, 1966;
  • Replicator - Richard Dawkins, 1976;
  • Codex - George Williams, 1992;
  • Sign - Terrance Deacon, 1999;
  • Reproducer - Jim Griesemer, 2000;
  • Meme - Evan Louis Sheehan, 2006;
  • Rep - Tim Tyler, 2014;
"Replicator" is probably the most popular term - but isn't great terminology - and it has already been very widely misunderstood.

"Reproducer" is OK, but it seems a bit vague.

"Meme" and "gene" seem as though they are fighting with historical usage a little.

"Mneme" is too hard to pronounce.

The umbrella term is probably more important than any particular sub-category.

My vote goes to "gene", from G. C. Williams, 1966.

My vote for second place goes to my own term: "rep" - a proposed abbreviation for "replicator" / "reproducer" and part of the protoscience of repology. I've also proposed the term "reme" - which fits better within the existing domain of gene/meme terminology.

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