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Darwinian Soup

W.G. Runciman: The Meme Machine by Susan Blackmore

10 June 1999
The Meme Machine 
by Susan Blackmore.
Oxford, 264 pp., £18.99, March 1999, 0 19 850365 2
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... the course of human sociocultural evolution, the issue is not whether to incorporate culture as such within neo-Darwinian theory, but how. The disanalogies with natural selection are obvious, and SusanBlackmore is well aware of them. There aren’t, literally speaking, lineages of memes as there are of genes, and memes, unlike genes, can be discarded by the people who carry them and replaced by ...

Cleaning up

Simon Schaffer

1 July 1982
Explaining the Unexplained: Mysteries of the Paranormal 
by Hans Eysenck and Carl Sargent.
Weidenfeld, 192 pp., £9.95, April 1982, 0 297 78068 9
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Appearances of the Dead: A Cultural History of Ghosts 
by R.C. Finucane.
Junction, 292 pp., £13.50, May 1982, 0 86245 043 8
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Hauntings and Apparitions 
by Andrew Mackenzie.
Heinemann, 240 pp., £8.50, June 1982, 0 434 44051 5
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Beyond the Body: An Investigation of Out-of-the-Body Experiences 
by Susan Blackmore.
Heinemann, 270 pp., £8.50, June 1982, 0 434 07470 5
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... physicists Oliver Lodge and Balfour Stewart. Since then the links between scientific heroes and psychical research have always been close. In his foreword to the two books, by Mackenzie and Blackmore, published to celebrate the Society’s centenary, Brian Inglis recalls the roll of honour among scientific converts: it includes Marie Curie and Sigmund Freud. But of course what these two books ...

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