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Is memetics a branch of sociobiology? If so, why list memetics along with sociobiology here? Moreover, The fact that sociobiology can be applied to human populations surely doesn't make sociobiology a social science. More argument than that would be needed, anyway. (You can apply physics to human beings, but that doesn't make physics a branch of anthropology.) --LMS


While memetics was created by sociobiologists, and its first application was sociobiology, it's unfair to say its a branch. It can be as well used to non-social behavior.

And sociobiology is social science. It's strictly opposing the way some people are doing social science, so it seems to be something different from others, but its just social science with solid mathematical and biological basis. --Taw


I don't know enough about sociobiology to debate with you, even if I wanted to. :-)

But you say that memetics can be applied to non-social behavior. But when applied to social behavior, it is always a branch of sociobiology--right? If so, we can remove it from the list, because the relevant (social scientific) part of sociobiology will include the relevant (social scientific) part of sociobiology. So, please debate the point more with me, or I'll remove the memetics link and you'll be unhappy. :-) --LMS


Uhm, you're right here. I merged both entries. --Taw


Memetics is a separate field from sociobiology. In sociobiology the evolving entities are genes, while in memetics they are memes. Sociobiology attempts to reduce human behaviour to biology; while memetics treats humans as products not only of biological evolution, but of cultural evolution also. Read Blackmore, The Meme Machine, for a more detailed discussion of how memetics and sociobiology are different. -- Simon J Kissane


Memes are not completely different from genes, rather special type of genes. Their effect is similar, but they spread in different way. Wilson (On Human Nature) said that for sociobiology it is no difference, whether human behavior is gene based or culture (read: meme) based. So it's wrong to say that there's only genetic sociobiology. --Taw


Okay, well that's very different from what Blackmore says in her book; she argues they are distinct. She argues that while sociobiology may have made some room for cultural elements, the work of Wilson, etc., ensures the genes were always in control, and does not allow for any truly independent cultural evolution; while memetics allow culture to be truly independent of genes, and even allows culture to change the genes. She distinguishes memetics and sociobiology as such. -- Simon J Kissane