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On meme-gene coevolution

Bull, Larry and Holland, Owen and Blackmore, Susan (2000) On meme-gene coevolution. Artificial Life, 6 (3). pp. 227-235. ISSN 1064-5462. doi:10.1162/106454600568852.

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In this article we examine the effects of the emergence of a new replicator, memes, on the evolution of a pre-existing replicator, genes. Using a version of the NKCS model we examine the effects of increasing the rate of meme evolution in relation to the rate of gene evolution, for various degrees of interdependence between the two replicators. That is, the effects of memes' (suggested) more rapid rate of evolution in comparison to that of genes is investigated using a tunable model of coevolution. It is found that, for almost any degree of interdependence between the two replicators, as the rate of meme evolution increases, a phase transition-like dynamic occurs under which memes have a significantly detrimental effect on the evolution of genes, quickly resulting in the cessation of effective gene evolution. Conversely, the memes experience a sharp increase in benefit from increasing their rate of evolution. We then examine the effects of enabling genes to reduce the percentage of gene-detrimental evolutionary steps taken by memes. Here a critical region emerges as the comparative rate of meme evolution increases, such that if genes cannot effectively select memes a high percentage of the time, they suffer from meme evolution as if they had almost no selective capability.

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Additional Information:© 2000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Posted Online March 11, 2006.
Subject Keywords:memes; genes; coevolution; NKCS model
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BULal00
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13252
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:31 Mar 2009 18:08
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:36

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