Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Waggle Dance of Bees

Individual bee brains network through chemical signals, but that's not the only communication they use. The waggle dance, first documented by Karl von Frisch in 1973, helps individuals tell others where sources of nectar and pollen are.  Though the waggle dance does not have grammar or a set of symbols and may not be considered true language, it is the expression and reception of data important to the survival of the bee colony.  These memes, like chemical memes, are strictly tied to genetic interests.  So, like chemical memes, these are not the type of meme that play the key role in shaping human cultures.  Nevertheless, they are memes, transmitting information and encouraging copies of that information (in behavior, data storage, etc). 


[We can call this waggle dance a "posture meme" for now, if we must name it, though let's not get distracted with labels...I'm thinking out loud here. ]


Continue to  An Alien Intelligence: Turkeys

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