Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What is a meme?

Wikipedia has an interesting article that explores the idea of memes as cultural analogs to viruses. In brief, a meme can be thought of as a sort of a self-propagating unit of cultural evolution, resembling the physical gene, that is passed from one mind to another either verbally or by action. Examples of memes are thoughts, theories, practices, habits, songs, dances, moods, and concepts such as race and god. Wikepedia article on Memes.

Columnist George Claassen incorporates the idea of memes in his discussion of religion as a virus. Apparently he received some very negative feedback on his thoughts about this issue. I expect that I will get some of the same if anyone ever reads my blog. Religion as a virus.