Teksty z Ulicy. Zeszyt memetyczny, 2016, nr 17, s. 11-34
The article presents the static and the dynamic models of relations between genes, memes and culture.
The static model reflects three phases of pre-scientific and scientific thinking about relations
between the components, showing that in Phase I (between 5th century BC and the beginning of
the 20th century) the influence was thought to be only in one direction, from genes to culture. An
extreme case of such thinking was the idea of eugenics. Phase II was a period of dominance of the
Standard Social Science Model which treats culture independently from biology. In this phase genes
and culture are disjoint sets. Development of Neo-Darwinism and the so-called New Synthesis
brought these two components together, outlining the third phase of their relations. Phase III brings
the discovery of meme and of another sphere of life evolving on Earth - infosphere. The author
distinguishes two kinds of information: genetic and non-genetic (protocultures, cultures and cybercultures).
The dynamic relations between them are presented through the analyses of Darwinian and
non-Darwinian theories of evolution (including Lamarckism, Epigenetics and the idea of the Morphic
Resonance developed by Rupert Sheldrake). The main thesis of the article is that understanding of
the relations between the components of the model requires chaos theory, emergence and phase
plane. It advocates a search for attractors of cultural and non-cultural information as recognizable
basins of attraction, generating the dynamics of the forces of evolution.