Re: virus: FAQ: v1.0 (o) -- Off-topics

Tim Rhodes (
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 23:49:51 -0700

(o) What topics are 'off topic' and why?

Eric wrote:

>Christian apologetics and *biological* evolution are off topic,
>because past experience has revealed that debate on these topics is
>useless and distracts Virus from making further progress. The purpose
>of Virus is to create a new religion based on memetics and
>freethought -- we will debate other religions only to the extent that
>we feel it helps our cause.
>"[So] long as the proponents of our best theories... have their
>attention turned defensively backwards, and expend their intellectual
>energies in futile refutation and re-refutation of theories long known
>to be false, the state of our deepest knowledge cannot improve." --
>David Deutsch, *The Fabric of Reality*

I think this needs work. I have two problems with it:

  1. Most of the people who want to argue Christian apologetics on CoV don't even know what that term means. You need to define it. (And I would define it very specificly, since I can also see great value for us in being able to address topics like Christian mythology or religious beliefs, provided they are dealt with from a memetic perspective.)
  2. Biological evolution is "off topic"?!? I assume you must mean the question of whether evolution is "true" or not. Since so much of memetics is currently based on comparision to biological evolution, to call the whole subject off topic would seem quite daft. That can't be what you mean.

-Prof. Tim