Wolves on our Premises


During wintertime, especially if it is cold, wolves venture nearer to settlements. I have seen tracks of a pack of wolves hunting a hare only few days ago in a nearby forest. This morning I found these footprints on our premises. I’m not sure whether they were made by a wolf or by a straying dog as the thaw this morning enlarged the size of that footprint. It was larger than a wolf’s foot. Also, it was only one animal that visited our premises. Wolves usually come in packs.


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

The Migration of the Most Gifted Brains

I admit I’m a great fan of English and American history, and that’s not because Diana, Prince Charles and all the fuss about the royals, which I rather detest. No, my admiration is rooted in the shared history of the people. While the culture of these countries is substantially influenced by west-bound emigrants, my ancestors took the opposite direction. Though I don’t know why they didn’t follow the main stream of migration, they fled their home country for the same reason, I’m convinced.

The Island rule states that species on a separated island get smaller or bigger depending on the lack of evolutionary pressure. We can easily extend this rule to social fauceirs too, as a rapidly shrinking brain size in isolated human societies demonstrates.

Why didn’t this happen in England? Why England evolved against this rule? The answer is simple because England was never isolated but experienced several waves of immigration that brought Europe’s most ambitious people to the island, the Danes, the Saxons, and the Normans. Of the Saxons we know that they almost replaced the original population. While the Normans certainly also distributed their genetic material, their main input was rather cultural and technological.

This mass immigration of favorable biological (genes) and social fauceirs (culture, education) accounts for great social and economical progress: logic and rationality being a main subject in clerical education, parting from the Roman Church, prohibition of torture and evolution of juristiction by judges instead, enacting the Magna Carta, parliamentary democracy, and, of course, the industrial revolution. All this was possible because at least till the middle of the 19th century the most intelligent people ruled the country. And I agree with Thomas Babington Macaulay that the English people “were by far the best governed people in Europe.”

What changed in the 19th century.

  1. The Island Rule took England in its grip.
  2. The most ambitious people went further westwards to found America.

Not only from England but from all over the world the ousted people found a new home in America. And ousted they were and reckless and intelligent. As a rule intelligent people are ousted by the societies they live in. For centuries England was home to the most prestigious human brains then for a century or so America took this place. I wonder where the brains will gather next.


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

The Evolution of Christianity

It might be understood as a sequel to the meme post yesterday, but actually I planned this topic long before, and I felt Christmas suites best for it.

The evolution of Christianity is a typical example of the evolution of a non-biological fauceir. Christianity is one of the most successful religions in the world. Its followers not only outnumber all the other religions, but also Christian societies are leading in social and technological progress. So we may say that Christianity is dominating this world. It was not always that way. In ancient Rome, Christians were rather a fringe group of no importance at all. If we want to understand what changed this religion to become the most successful in the World, we have to step down the staircase to the catacombs of Rome where the earliest Christian relics can be found.

staircase to the catacombs of Rome

The catacombs of Rome are ancient burial places. In a time when Rome was overcrowded burial places were rare and expensive. The ancient Christians were no affluent people rather craftsmen who soon discovered while working in quarries that the rock underneath Rome composed of tuff is a fantastic material to excavate long cellars, so they finally found a place to escape the troublesome world and to hide dead loved ones in peace.

Of course, as other religions often do, Christians started decorating the tombs, and these paintings now are the only clues to ancient Christian believes still preserved today.

If at Christmas Eve people flock in churches to listen that Jesus was born to suffer for our sins, we may guess it was not always the story of a Jesus leading an life full of privations that fascinated Christian believers. At least pictures of a crucified Jesus so common in medieval churches are absent in these catacombs. Jesus is rather depicted as a scholar, a wise man who is instructing his followers.

Jesus teaching his followers

These people seemed to strongly believe in miracles as it is depicted by the Jonas story.

Jonas' story

Jonas fell overboard, became devoured by a dragon who disgorged him, and finally he lived in heaven. (Please remember reading this picture from the right to the left.)

What made the ancient Christians change their attitude and to celebrate a suffering Jesus instead of all this miracle stuff? The answer is an evolutionary process that closely resembles some kinds of evolution by natural selection so obvious in biology.

Ancient Rome was virtually a dictatorship and people suffered from cruelties and injustice. Concerning religion Rome was rather pluralistic many religions coexisted. Among others also Jews lived there, but only Christianity made it to the top becoming the domination religion of the Roman empire after several centuries of suffering.

As we know today, the most effective way to resist a dictatorship is to ignore hardship and intimidation. Certainly, this is not good for the one who has to suffer, it is definitely advantageous for the whole social group. So the group of Christians in ancient Rome became so resistant to Cesar’s dictatorship by encouraging members to self-sacrifice. (For a vivid illustration please read Quo Vadis) They taught Jesus’ life history as a model of an successful life though in fact he was a looser. He was a looser in respect to his own life and his family, but he made some valuable social contribution, and therefore Christian clerics maintain his life was useful.

If a compound of fauceirs succeeds in controlling its members so strongly that these members neglect individual interests and pursue the compound’s interests only, the compound, a fauceir himself, is more successful. A biological example is the worker bee in a bee hive or cells in a tissue that get specialized. As an other social example take soldiers in an army. If you appreciate this argument you will easily understand why Cromwell’s army was so successful.

Amazingly, the same ideology that made Christianity so successful to resist Roman dictatorship helped people in medieval times to resist oppression exerted by the Christian church itself, and ironically it often is the basis of atheism, at least in those people who are able to discriminate between ethics and faith. In the Christmas church the priest will remember were our ethics derived from, even those of most atheist.

Merry Christmas!


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

Memes, Genes and Others are Fauceirs

This is actually a comment on a podcast. The second part of this podcast is not listenable to me because of so much lingual titubation. Lets stick to the main points in the first part.

The problem of similarities. Memes like genes are fauceirs and they behave as such. They share common properties as they belong to the same class, but it is pointless to expect they were identical. In fact, if you analyze fauceirs cladistically, you will find that memes and genes are closely related. That is why memes were so readily identified as mental cousins of genes.

The problem with the definition of genes and memes. Now that we know both belong to the same class we can define them by a genus–differentia definition: They are fauceirs characterized by some specific properties. This prevents from being vague, such as stretch of DNA or cultural item etc.

The problem of competition for resources. The claim that memes fight for memory and social awareness the same way as computer programs compete for CPU time is an oversimplification. Genes don’t compete for storage space on a stretch of DNA, at least they don’t do so in eukaryotes. We know gene compete by the phenotypes they define, and these phenotypes compete for resources such as food and mating partners.

What meme are and what not remains obscure to me too. From fauceir perspective, I feel two concepts are mingled in the theory of memes:

  1. Memes are fauceirs. That’s quite clear to me.
  2. Memes have an evolutionary history. Genes came first. Memes evolved in organisms that are controlled by genes. Therefore it is legitimate to say memes evolved from genes. Is it surprising than that memes retain some features of their ancestors.

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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

Epistemology of Evolutionary Theory – The Fauceir Stance

This is actually a comment to a comment. Because it became so extensive, I decided to post it separately.

Still trapped in the classical evolutionary theory, you believe that selection is the only mechanism that controls evolution. It was a great discovery by Wallace, not by Darwin as a matter of fact, that a stochastical process, such as natural selection, is capable to control evolution, but now we know there exist other stochastical processes, too. And it can be even proved that natural selection is not a homogeneous process. This paper provides some idea.

Distinguishing two classes, selective and non-selective (neutral) processes in case of evolutionary theory, is a crucial step, but it is merely the first step towards a more comprehensive theory of evolution. The advancement of the evolutionary theory is an epistomological process, and epistemology, in more general terms, can be understood as an evolutionary process itself to which Fauceir Theory is applicable, so please allow to explain the development of the evolutionary theory in fauceir terms.

Lets start with some analogies that illustrate that the first step in comprehending the worlds complexity is to construct a black-and-white discrimination:

  1. A child learning to comprehend the world by dividing things in bad and good.
  2. Marx starting to analyze social processes by describing two classes exploiter and worker.
  3. The trial and error experiment.
  4. Bit set or not set in computer science.

Well, and if you want a more plausible biological example, take the faculty of seeing. The most primitive visual organs can distinguish between light on and off. More sophisticated organisms can discriminate light intensities, colors (wave lengths), or even, with the help of some memory, motions.

In analogy, the epistemological process that happens to evolutionary theory now is that differentiation between selectively neutral and non-neutral control processes. But appreciating fauceir theory adds the whole spectrum of intensities.

I hope I found some colleagues to discuss this topic seriously and to publish it eventually.


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

Irremediable Complexity – The Fauceir Perspective

This article published in Science is a remakable step towards general acceptance of fauceir theory.

What are the points of intersection and were fauceir theory extends the concept.

  1. Yes, ratchets whether on the level of organelles or macromolecular complexes as mentioned by this paper are in fact fauceirs that evolve as such.
  2. Yes, natural selection happens, but only at the level of a particulat fauceir.

BUT

  1. No, these changes are not neutral. They are stochastical but still directional. That can be proved.
  2. No, these observations are not limited to evolution of cellular complexity, but also tissues, organs, populations, even societies.

Creative Commons License

This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.