You should tread lightly because you have been reading on my funny memes
Dawkins in his famous research The God Delusion prepares us for an introduction to his meme theory through the repeated observation of an earlier one:
“Because Darwinian natural selection abhors waste, any ubiquitous feature of a species – such as religion – must have conferred some advantage or it wouldn’t have survived.”
The reason I say that Dawkins is preparing us is that Dawkins is about to send us on a trip of a completely unsubstantiated pie that is in the air. It is essential to ensure to be prepared to believe in something on the basis of trust and faith alone, namely that the reason for the continued existence of religions are only found within the framework that are inherent to natural selection. The value does not have to be tied to the longevity of an individual. For instance, Dawkins points out the advantages of genetics in this cold-related virus the reason for its prevalence among our species. He also introduces us the concept of replicators that are not genes, and more specifically, memes that we could call the units that carry cultural heritage.
To comprehend the nature of memes Dawkins believes that we need to have a deeper look at how natural selection functions. It is generally said that natural selection needs to select between different replicators (described as “pieces of coded data that create identical copies to themselves’). If a replicator has a ‘high probability at being copied it will be copied, at the expense of replicators that aren’t so adept at being copied. The archetypal replicator can be described as an individual gene, a piece of DNA that has been duplicated. Dawkins applies this concept to memes and states:
“The central question for meme theory is whether there are units of cultural imitation which behave as true replicators.”
Genes are able to survive due to their value to the body within which they are placed. Wouldn’t that be the case for memes?
However, memes do not have a physical characteristics. There is a lack of consensus on what is a meme, the place they are located and how effectively they reproduce. Dawkins claims that the problems are exaggerated. Dawkins draws an analogy between memes and the origami process to create an Chinese junk. The essence of his argument is that he claims that any method that is divided into smaller parts can be reproduced with accuracy through the word of mouth. In this way, they’re self-normalising. In this manner it is said that memes are those that self-normalize and are able to replicate in high-fidelity.
Susan Blackmore in The Meme Machine recommends that we think of memes as a swarm of rivals in a sea of brains. The memes that reproduce best are those that excel at being copied and are a direct hit for people, like immortality meme. Other memes are more likely to reproduce efficiently when they’re in competition with different memes (this is also true for genes).
When it comes to religion, certain ideas can be replicated as a whole, other ideas must be mixed with specific others. This is why there is a distinct characteristics of various religions. Dawkins declares:
“In this model, Roman Catholicism and Islam, say, were not necessarily designed by individual people, but evolved separately as alternative collections of memes that flourish in the presence of other members of the same memeplex*.” *(Memeplex means a combination of memes from the memepool).
In this manner it is possible to see religions as a result of unconscious evolution, rather than due to the intentional development of people. It is not a result of natural selection – which allows the physical tools to determine biases and predilections, rather, by the process of memetic selection.
You might already be aware that, even if you do not, you won’t be shocked to learn that Dawkins meme theory is considered as his Achilles point. Before we look at the reasons that many people do not accept the concept of memes Let us place it into the context proposed by Dawkins. The Selfish Gene The Selfish Gene, he states:
“Will there ever be a universal principle that holds true for all living things I don’t know however, if I were to gamble, I’d place my bet on one fundamental principle. It is the rule that all life is shaped by the distinct existence of the replicating entities. Genes, also known as the DNA molecule happens to be the one that reproduces on the planet we live on. There could be other. If they exist and other conditions are met, they’ll eventually form the basis of an evolution.
Do we need to travel to other worlds to locate other types of replicators, and consequently forms of evolution? I believe that a brand new type of replicator just emerged on our planet. It is staring us right in the face. It’s still fumbling through its primordial the soup (the soup of human society) however, it is experiencing evolutionary change with a speed that leaves the old gene in the dust.”
Some examples of memes are tunes, concepts, catchy words fashions for clothes, methods for making pits religion , etc. The first thing we should note in this case is that the analogy between memes and genes isn’t true. The gene acts as an instruction (not the one being instructed) that leads to the manifestation (the behaviors we see). The meme, however according to Dawkins is the of the phenotype. According to Alistair McGrath in Dawkins’ God and Memes; Genes Memes, The Meaning of Memes and Life: