Kheper Home | Memetics Home | Topics Index | New or updated | Search

The Meme - the Scientific Theory

Meme image from Journal of Memetics

The term "Meme" was coined by the Dawinist and popular science writer Richard Dawkins in 1976 in his book The Selfish Gene.  Basically, as Dawkins defined it, a meme is the cultural equivalent of a gene.  Just as genes are passed through generations and contribute to the fitness of the organism that has them, so memes is an idea that is passed on from one human generation to another.

As with genes, some memes are better at surviving then others.  They are the ones that are carried on.  Religion, or belief in an external God, constitutes a very successful meme, that - like the selfish gene of biology - survives and perpetuates itself (through indoctrination of each generation, conversion of infidels, etc), usually at the expense of rival memes.  Other memes might be the importance of the individual; or the belief that the environment can to be controlled and manipulated.  In fact, any idea that is carried on through generations and has an effect on society is a meme.  Including the idea of the meme itself.

An Occult Interpretation of the Meme
Memes page
Memes page

Page history

page uploaded 24 November 1998
modified 6 November 1999