The editors at New Scientist have become completely incapable of distinguishing between science and things that pretend to be science. The latest evidence of this failing is an article by Susan Blackmore titled: Evolution's third replicator: Genes, memes, and now what?.
WE HUMANS have let loose something extraordinary on our planet - a third replicator - the consequences of which are unpredictable and possibly dangerous.But all is not lost. One of the benefits arising out of the self-destruction of New Scientist is that it gives us all a chance to watch a train wreck in action.
What do I mean by "third replicator"? The first replicator was the gene - the basis of biological evolution. The second was memes - the basis of cultural evolution. I believe that what we are now seeing, in a vast technological explosion, is the birth of a third evolutionary process. We are Earth's Pandoran species, yet we are blissfully oblivious to what we have let out of the box.
This might sound apocalyptic, but it is how the world looks when we realise that Darwin's principle of evolution by natural selection need not apply just to biology. Given some kind of copying machinery that makes lots of slightly different copies of the same information, and given that only a few of those copies survive to be copied again, an evolutionary process must occur and design will appear out of destruction.
[Photo Credit: Train Wreck at Gare Montparnasse, Paris, France, 1895 from Answers.com]