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2. Pattern propagation in nature and culture

2.1. The significant structural equivalence of the sex act and writing

I will exemplify the aspects of pattern propagation in nature and culture with a little imaginary quiz. Here is the prize question: Dear reader, I ask you now to go back in your memory to a time when you were full with the well-spring of youth, and imagine yourself being again about 16 to 20 years old, in your full bloom, just having completed your first (hopefully successful) forays into the adventure game of sexual experiences. Imagine yourself back in college, and poring over a term paper. The assignment is:

Describe in three sentences the significant structural equivalence between the sex act and writing.

??? ... ??? ... ??? ...

I hope that wasn't too much of a strain on your brain! I give you a hint: Review the passage from Flusser above and read Schopenhauer's "Metaphysik der Geschlechterliebe" as introduction. (Schopenhauer 1995). You have it now? Good! Let's see it:

The significant structural equivalence between the sex act and writing. Schopenhauer explicates that the sexual love and infatuation, called romantic love [17], that affects young people the strongest, is a delusion planted into the human being by a genetic program [18] that induces humans to behave against any sane reason to engage in procreative behavior for the best purpose of the continuation of the human species. This means, the sex act fulfils the same purpose for the continuation of the genetic patterns of humanity as the act of writing serves for the memetic patterns of human culture.

For further explanation, let us review a statement of one of the best known protagonists of memetic science, Daniel Dennett [19]:

Dennett (1990): "the units are the smallest elements that replicate themselves with reliability and fecundity. Dawkins coins a term for such units: memes-- a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. 'Mimeme' comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like 'gene' . . . it could alternatively be thought of as being related to 'memory' or to the French word même. . . .
Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperm or eggs, so memes propagage themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation. If a scientist hears, or reads about, a good idea, he passes it on to his colleagues and students. He mentions it in his articles and his lectures. If the idea catches on, it can be said to propagate itself, spreading from brain to brain.

On the most general, most abstract level, we can describe both the biological nature and culture by one common denominator:
the propagation of patterns.

These come in two kinds: genetic patterns, and cultural patterns [20]. All the business of biological nature, is the propagation of genetic patterns, and all the business of culture, is the propagation of idea or behavior patterns [21]. The significant structural difference between the sex act and writing is that in writing, there is no direct meeting of communicating persons necessary for the act of pattern propagation to take place [22]. A written message can be transmitted indirectly over a large spatial or temporal distance. But this is not confined to writing: when I paint something, or form some material into a shape, you can receive that as well, without having ever seen me, and if nothing else, you can duplicate that painting or that shape with your own materials. But, even if the message itself does not need direct personal contact, there must always be a person-to-person contact for the initial infrastructure cultural pattern to be established: the common (mother) language (called primary socialization), and the formal schooling for learning the writing system.

2.2. Pattern propagation and immortality complexes

Dennett points out one essential property of genetic and cultural patterns: they are potentially immortal.

Dennett (1990): Memes, like genes, are potentially immortal, but, like genes, they depend on the existence of a continuous chain of physical vehicles, persisting in the face of the Second Law of Thermodynamics [23]. [material carriers]... tend to dissolve in time. As with genes, immortality is more a matter of replication than of the longevity of individual vehicles... Brute physical replication of vehicles is not enough to ensure meme longevity... for the time being, memes still depend at least indirectly on one or more of their vehicles... a human mind.

(Wright 1994: 157): The only potentially immortal inorganic entity is a gene (or, strictly speaking, the pattern of information encoded in the gene, since the physical gene itself will pass away after conveying the pattern through replication).

Natural and cultural patterns are immortality complexes. Cultural patterns share this property with the genetic patterns of the DNA molecules, to which Dawkins (1976) had therefore awarded the attribute "The Selfish Gene" [24]. The observation is indeed, that the patterns of life forms have enjoyed a fairly good constancy as long as our cultural memory will attest to (the rhinocerosses, antelopes, bisons and horses in Altamira and other caves look pretty much the same as they do now) (Anati 1991), and what comparisons of fossil bones with those of presently living species can tell us.

Within the cultural memory of humanity, we can also conclude, that certain cultural patterns have endured for a very long time indeed: The Australian Aboriginal rituals, which are, to the claim of the Aboriginals themselves, tens of thousands of years old (Strehlow 1971), and the rites of the major religions of the world that are one to several thousand years old, the Vedic and Parsee: Staal (1982), (1986), (1989), the Jewish: Assmann (1992: 196-255) and the Christian (Encarta : Christianity), and Islam (Encarta : Islam, Muhammad). And, as we see from the example of ritual, these patterns depend in their transmission from the past into the future on the humans to perform (enlive) them. So the central aspect of cultural memory could be characterized as: CM is that of the personal memories which doesn't die with the person who is dying. Since cultural patterns are also the cultural memory, we thus come to a pact or bargain (pistis) that is being struck between the mortal humans as living agents in the transmission of the (potentially) immortal patterns: the humans can gain a piece of that immortality for themselves. In this way, we can re-interpret the significance of those very old and venerable rituals that the most long-lived traditions of humanity have upheld during all those millennia. To be a carrier of cultural patterns is an equivalent of an "Alternative to the immortality of the Soul". Writing is an immortality device, and that is its transcendent function.

2.3. Structural equivalences of male mythologies of in-saemination

The androcentrism that is so apparent in the Abrahamitic religions, can also be found in science. The Christian dogma of virgin birth is a version of the immaterial impregnator principle, driven ad extremis, to pure spirit. Credo quia consequentum.

2.4. The ovum-sperm fallacy

I will now pick up again from the "Vilem Flusser, Adamah" paragraph, on the male mythologies of in-saemination, that are the underlying theme in Darwinist genetics and in-formation theories. The most common of these is written in all textbooks on biology. It is called the ovum-sperm fallacy. This is described in detail in Eisler (1995: 288-291), and Kohl (1995: 88-89). They expose the kind of fallacies that can result when the male-centered viewpoint is translated unreflectedly into scientific paradigms: "the classic sexist story of sperm and egg" and "that classic male-skewed tale of a sperm finding its egg!" (Kohl 1995: 88, 89). The actual process happening in the fallopian tubes is quite the opposite: the sperm thrash around furiously but more sideways than forward, and would never come near the ovum, if this were not sending out chemical trails on which the sperm are guided, and finally, the ovum pulls in one of the undecidedly hovering sperm that have finally assembled around the ovum, and initiates the fertilization (p. 89-91). Not quite documented fully by scientific methods, but easily imaginable, is the possibility that through a chemical message-exchange, the ovum examines the genetic potential of each sperm and allows the one to mate, which is the most closely fiting [25]. This would be a striking example of "female choice" on the cellular level.

2.5. Critique of the phallogokrator replicator principle and the "selfish gene" figment

Kohl (1995: 102-103): Today, the idea of genes as beads on a string automatically controlling our biology and environment as an independent force... is nonsense.

This is the problem with the by now classic image of the "selfish gene" figment that Dawkins has fashioned. A famous dictum in this vein says: A chicken is the means of an egg to create another egg. The fallacy of this view that has been most visibly proposed by Dawkins lies in the interpretation of the replicator [26]. It states that the genes encoded in the DNA are replicators. This term implies in its grammatical structure first, maleness, and second, activity. It fits directly in the abovementioned fallacious pattern of the ovum-sperm mythology. What is self-replicating, is the cell that uses the DNA as program tape to build its proteins. The cell-body is inherently female, as is exemplified by the entirely disjunct genetic lineage of mitochondria which are transmitted in the female line only. Dawkin's phallogokrator description treats the cell body as an entirely passive and subservient (female) machinery. So, closer to the actual workings of life, we don't have a replicator but a replicata. This is the first fallacy. The second fallacy is that the DNA strands cannot do very much by themselves. They are quite passive, so they may be the replicatee, but not replicator. The DNA is an entirely un-replicative and not very stable molecule. If left by itself, it will just wither away, if it doesn't find a hugely complicated cell body, that does the replicating for the DNA. Dawkins describes the cells and organisms as "huge lumbering robots" controlled by the gene mechanism embedded in the DNA strands, which is yet another application of the time honored method: the exorcism of the substrate or female element as "irrelevant". The conceptual problem is subtle, because the gene is an entirely hypothetical construct. No one has ever seen a gene, and only since X-ray crystallography are we able to "see" DNA, but genes are entirely hypothetical constructs that we project onto these DNA patterns. It is well established, that there is no simple one-to-one correspondence between a DNA pattern and a physical trait of an organism, that is presumably controlled by a gene. So the gene is an entirely observer-dependent figment, a (holy) ghost, that belongs in that very pantheon, from where the christian holy ghost originates [27]. Credo quia absurdum. It may be a very useful, and therefore necessary imaginary construct, but that should not mislead us into investing it with any tangible reality. It is a ghost of the neo-darwinist imagination [28], and should always be treated like that.

Kohl (1995: 103): Human genes can only function and produce a human when they interact with the living environment of a human egg cell. Woolly mammouth genes will not function properly, unless they are in an egg cell with the amino acids that form the protein structures of a woolly mammouth.

The DNA mechanism that is at the very core of Darwinistic evolution, eternally necessitates an existing cell body that "understands" this specific DNA. Any and all evolution must strictly proceed by the french dictum: le plus ça change, le plus ça reste le même (pun intended). It is a fundamental problem to show a plausible way how a jump from a pre-DNA / proto-cell system to the modern condition could have been done. The analogy to a computer program tape is suggestive, even if present day computers and program tapes have in no way the capability to self-replicate. The tape alone will not do anything, and will be of no use to anyone. Only when fed into the right kind of computer that is constructed to understand the code [29] , will it do any useful work. Analogously, the cell body's machinery is primed to the DNA molecule. To understand another molecular "program tape", it needs to have a different "tape reader mechanism". For a proto- non-DNA system, there would be an efficiency (and therefore competetive selectivity) problem in the switch to DNA because of this double load of the additional machinery for both types.

2.6. Of Pro-metheans and Epi-metheans

To connect the present issue to the above scenario of "sexuality and culture theories", let us conduct another Gedanken-Experiment. I will use the abbreviations CM, CMA, and CMT, defined in the last paragraph. Instead of a assuming a "dominator factor" of male dominance and brutality, that is somehow inevitably connected to the male sex, as the gyn-xyz theorists propose [30], let us assume a world in which two related sub-species of homo sapiens live, the ones we call the Pro-metheans, the others the Epi-metheans.

The first are those who possess the genetic potential of a hypothetical "faculty X" [31] (whom we call the "real" sapiens, or the Pro-metheans [32]) which is positively correlated with people's ability to maintain their CM without recurse to an exterior CMT, using a cultural memory art or CMA. The Pro-metheans are able to maintain CM over long periods of time, meaning over hundreds of generations. By this, the Pro-metheans would necessarily be extremely ecologically conscious, because they knew exactly what the carrying capacity of their environment was for how many people to live in prosperity and comfort. This would especially mean effective methods of population control, and natural resource management.

Now let us assume another strain of humans, lacking "faculty X" (the not-so-sapiens, or the Epi-metheans [33]). Because of this lack of "faculty X", and consequent lack of long-term cultural memory, these humans would not be able to understand the natural limits of their environment, and would engage in uncontrolled population expansion whenever the occasion arrived. Their motto for life would be something like the biblical injunctions: "Be fruitful and breed as hard as your women are able to bear [34]" and "Subjugate the earth for your sweet short-sighted wishes and inclinations" and this may be the outlook on nature that those people may entertain, consciously or unconsciously. These people live in a world governed by boom-bust cycles. As a consequence of the lack of "faculty X", the Epi-metheans will experience serious population crashes whenever they had depleted their environment, and a consequent social disruption when the fight over the last remaining resources broke out. This forces the Epi-metheans to perpetually move on, to new territories to ravage and plunder, deplete, and desertify [35]. If these territories are not empty, they will most likely be occupied by Pro-metheans who have been managing well for millennia.

A confrontation between Epi-metheans and Pro-metheans will have a very likely outcome: Since Epi-metheans are more numerous and also used to social disruption, they will be very apt at violence, and defeat the Pro-metheans in most cases [36]. This can now go on for thousands of years until the Epi-metheans have displaced the Pro-metheans [37], and with them, their genetic potential, almost everywhere. The historical examples of cultural "displacement" and "succession", like the accounts given by Jared Diamond , or the great waves of destruction wrought in the Mongol conquests, or the Arab Jihad that witnessed wanton destructions such as the cremation of the library of Alexandria (Canfora 1988) and the Islamic destruction of Buddhist India (Campbell 1996,II: 419-423), or the Spanish conquest of Meso- and South America, (Engl 1991), may give ample indication of the destructive energy and the ruthlessness with which the traces of the vanquished culture are erased.

The case of the hypothetical cultures of Old Europe in the hypothesis brought forth by DeMeo , Eisler , Gimbutas , and Mellaart could five a good case for such a cultural conflict in the ancient world. And we could re-interpret the allusion from Platon's record in Timaios of the sunken continent Atlantis, that this was not a land, but a state of mind, that submerged. Platon (1988). That means: if faculty X has gone lost through a societal process that must remain unknown (just because the CM of that prior epoch has been lost), then the facility to maintain a variance of types of CMA has also been lost. One would have to call this a case of social amnesia on a global scale. And if faculty X occurs in some individuals today, in any society, it is considered a deviation and not the norm. (See the discussion of cultural "misfits" in Benedict (1934: ix, 254-276) [38] . The discussion in Daniels (1996: 21-22) deals with the controversy over the para-writing system of Old Europe. For whatever it was, it was most likely not phonographic writing, and if it was more than ornament, then it was based on a different principle than ours.

Since the succeeding societies of Epi-metheans all have a genetic defect, they are in no position to understand the memory system of the Pro-metheans, and it will be next to impossible to detect these traces in the cultural records, except perhaps in very old and unrecognizable mythologies stemming from the most archaic times. [39] To discover if such a faculty X existed, is the issue of the present work.

Present-day science is based on a thought pattern that is rigourously selected out from the general mental potential of present-day humanity. The scientific subsection of humanity has created a self-selection and self-reproduction mechanism based on the academic procedures that ensures the group pattern replication of this cultural subgroup, even if there is no possibility of genetic inheritance. For present-day scientific thinking, the hypothesis of two distinct human subspecies of Pro-metheans and Epi-metheans lies outside the admissible conceptual framework, as the citation EISELEY, p. 17, exemplifies. In terms of Cultural Anthropology, this is a Taboo [40], a culturally maintained intellectual no-trespassing zone, that certain ideas may neither be considered nor expressed. Any transgressors are subjected to the "cold Giordano Bruno treatment" that is not as conspicuous as the methods of the inquisition, but quite as effective.

2.7. An alternative hypothesis on the origin of the phallogokrator syndrome

This possible slow displacement of Pro-metheans by Epi-metheans could have continued forever, without decisive outcome, since the Epi-metheans would have experienced regular population crashes and therefore could have never displaced the Pro-metheans completely [41]. But there occurred a decisive historical accident: the invention of agriculture and pastoralism in the famous Neolithic revolution. This, itself a perfectly Epi-methean achievement, acted as a slowly-fused time-bomb. The fuse was ignited about 10000 to 8000 years ago, but reached critical mass only about 5000 years ago. The interesting aspect of this time-bomb is that apparently the present day is the historical moment when the fuse has finally burned itself to the main powder charge, and the planetary ecosphere is about to explode from the exponential resource consumption stress of the accumulated human biomass.

Daly (1983: 328): The advent of agriculture changed the game. We have already noted that new kinds of material wealth provided a new medium of male-male competition, greatly exacerbating male fitness variance, extreme poygyny, and the treatment of women as commodities. Domestic animals also made it possible to wean babies sooner and therefore to squeeze more into a reproductive life span. Foragers like the San manage just 4 to 5 live birth. Horticulturists, lacking domestic animals, are seldom much more fertile; Yanomamö women who survive to forty, for example, report a meain of 3.8 live births... and though there is assuredly an underreporting of infanticides, the figure is impressively low.
Pastoralists and settled agriculturalists, by contrast, experienced a fertility boom...
In Western cultures prior to the "demographic transition" from high to low fertility, the mean number of children born per female reproductive lifetime was commonly 6 to 8.

To continue this discussion in depth, we would need to take a deeper look into the matter of the evolution of sex roles, and sexual selection, as has been described in the works of Daly (1983), Ridley (1995), and Neunhöffer (1995). For the present version of this paper, I have to cut this short, and I will just outline what kind of reasoning we could take. Daly and Ridley represent the scientific consensus view on these matters, whereas Neunhöffer presents a femist view that obviously differs from the others, and seems to also have received the "cold Giordano Bruno treatment" by scientific circles. I will not go into the details of why and what for. Let us assume for the moment that Neunhöffer's scheme had worked for the Old Europe civilizations and that they had been the result of a female choice breeding program as indicated in that book. Since for the necessary insemination, a few men are entirely sufficient to "serve" a large number of women, the inseminators are determined by the "female choice" of the women. Whom do they chose as preferred lovers? I can only make some educated guesses from some pictures that are remaining from the ancient Cretan and Thera civilizations (Doumas 1978, 1992), and from contemporary anthropological data and personal experiences with social situations where the female selection principle is most prominent [42]. My impression is that the "female choice" gravitates to men as they are depicted on the Creta and Thera murals, slender and gracile figures, men who were probably good at dancing, singing, at entertaining. These men would probably a little less efficient at handling the sword, or building fortifications, or devising weapons. If we would instantiate a controlled breeding program guided by female choice alone, there may be a civilization that could have culturally suppressed these latter traits [43]. Now what would happen with those "superfluous" men that don't fit the "female choice" pattern? The range of options, with ascending likelihood, would be: infanticide, castration, or relegation to menial tasks. We have many hints for this from the ancient mythologies. Like Herakles who was sent to many ordeals. And why was it that the mythologies always depicted their smith gods as ugly, hunchbacks, hobbling, and otherwise deformed men [44]? The accounts of Gimbutas may be read in a totally different way: The Kurgans, whom she depicts as invaders from a different region, may have been bands of men that were living at the fringes of these civilizations.

We must connect all these smith mythologies with the actual technological progress of the late Neolithic. The strategic material for weapon prodcution of that age was arsenic bronze, an amalgamate of copper [45] and arsenic [46]. The latter serves to harden the copper, and convert it to a weapons grade material, for which copper by itself is too soft. And, to add, arsenic is a dangerous poison. In the long term, it debilitates and kills, but in small dosages, it creates hallucinations. Perhaps such dangerous hallucinations as those of a male thunder god in a high pantheon, and the like. Together with the newly forged metal weapons, those dangerous hallucinations, and with all their consequences, could have caused the end of that golden age of Old Europe. I refer to the Roman mythology of the rape of the Sabine women by the first all-male band of Romans, as paradigmatic parable. We remember that the Roman founding fathers, Romulus and Remus, were as infants suckled by a wolf, perhaps because they were abandoned in the wild for "birth defects" that made them unfit for the standards of the societies that they were born into. From the descendants of these two, comes the sage advice: si vis pacem, para bellum [47].

[17] See also: Johnson (1987)
[18] Further material: Dawkins (1976), "The selfish gene"
[19] Dennett (1990), (URL)
[20] Ruth Benedict: "The patterns of culture" (1934)
[21] called memes in the memetics discourse.
[22] As exemplified in the old joke: what is the difference between wanking and fucking? - You meet more people in the second case.
[23] See the passage by Vilem Flusser, above.
[24] Whether such a sinister character trait can at all be attributed to some otherwise quite harmless strings of nucleotic acid, will be discussed further down.
[25] aka "survival of the fittest".
[26] that also underlies the meme concept.
[27] Against which Dawkins nevertheless polemizes in many of his writings. (For example his Ars Electronica contributions).
[28] a meme, just like the holy transsubstantiation is in the imagination of the Christian believers
[29] And this is a very subtle interrelation, as has been found out to the detriment of many data processing shops that didn't have the right tape machines any more to read their precious data, after the original suppliers went bankrupt or simply discontinued the production. Rothenberg (1995: 66-71)
[30] The phallogokrat camp also proposes that, but says, that this is inevitably so because humans are rigged this way by nature.
[31] Which may even be conveniently located on the X-chromosome, thus indeed and effectifely giving a higher incidence of its occurrence in females. Also, this can account for a genetic transmission in the female line, which is unaffected by phallogokrator breeding tactics.
[32] Connecting to Greek mythology, they are called the Pro-metheans, or before-thinkers, because from the wisdom of their long-lasting CM, they could also be very circumspect about anything that might have consequences in the future, far as that may be.
[33] Connecting again to Greek mythology, they are the Epi-metheans, or after-thinkers, because they learned only from failures, and even forgot that little learning as soon as the next generation was reaching maturity. Any similarity with present-day election period thinking of popular politicians is, of course, purely coincidental, and not part of the Gedankenexperiment.
[34] An appropriate English slang expression for this type of breeding behavior: wham bham, thank you ma'am.
[35] A good description of the ecological interdependencies of this is in: Diamond (1992), (1997), Eisler (1995: 88-102), citing DeMeo (1986).
[36] This is the exact pattern how for example the Bible recounts the conquest of "the promised land".
[37] One trace of the existence of such a people that I could find, were the Kogi Indians in Colombia. (Reichel-Dolmatoff, and Esotera (5/95: 25-29). There is a film on them, describing their position as virtually the ultimate and very last survivors of all the Pro-metheans of humanity whose survival is now doomed through the ecological destruction. (This is a more realistic and more thought provoking version of that proverbial last-resisting Gallic village of the Asterix comics). Also the account of Morgan (1995) gives a similar projection onto a proverbial "last remaining Aborigine tribe that has held out among the general cultural destruction to transmit their message to Marlo Morgan before the last of their number also died because of the ecological destruction.
[38] Benedict (1934: ix): [Mary Catherine Bateson]: Ruth Benedict was aware all of her life of being a misfit, someone whom her culture did not offer a satisfying role; but she was also aware of the relationship between diviance and creativity.
Benedict (1934: 260): ... the attitude in our civilization toward a man who does not succeed in regarding personal possessions as supremely important. Our hobo population is constantly fed by those to whom the accumulation of property is not a sufficient motivation.
Benedict (1934: 273): Tradition is as neurotic as any patient;... Eccentricity is more feared than parasitism... no one in the family may have any taint of nonconformity attached to him... The fear of being different is the dominating motivation recorded in Middletown... the staggering burden of psychopathic tragedies in America at the present time...
[39] See Dechend (1993), Campbell (1996). What the academic majority thinks of such material: "fumbling myth and fable". (See: below: Eiseley).
[40] Popper (1962) made a remark in this direction, about the systrems of the "totems and taboos of the natives of the western white races".
[41] The {extermination / extinction} of the Neanderthal human subspecies may be a variance of this scenario. Other {exterminations / extinctions} of animal species, like the ancient pleistocene fauna of the Americas and of Australia are amply described by Jared Diamond. The references of this section are mainly from the books of Jared Diamond.
[42] Some African societies celebrate an exclusive "female choice" male beauty contest, where the girls choose their preferred partners.
[43] I am not saying that these are genetically eliminated, because there is no straignt gene for technological ability.
[44] Like Hephaistos, the Greek smith god. But the Olympic crew had at least the good sense of marrying to him the most beautiful of all women, the Goddess of Love, Aphroditae. They certainly valued his skills. But this is another story of which I have written in a different work.
[45] Copper was abundant in the ancient world on the island of Cyprus (cuprus) which was also the home base of the love goddess Aphroditae (see below).
[46] A few thousand years later, this was phased out in favor of tin-copper bronze. The strategic problem of this material was that the tin deposits were usually far away from the
[47] Thanks for this to Heiner Mühlmann (1996).

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