Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Darwinism and the Divine bashes memes

I looked through Alister McGrath's latest book today. It is:

  • Darwinism and the Divine: Evolutionary Thought and Natural Theology (2011)

    There is quite an extensive secction to do with bashing memes.

    I have mostly tried to avoid giving religious examples in my forthcoming book on Memetics - to ensure that the contents don't date too much - but others have not held back when it comes to using memetics to explain how crazy religious dogma persists into the modern world, when it is so obviously such nonsense.

    McGrath represents one attempt by theologians to fight back. He has written several previous books covering memes:

  • McGrath, Alister (2004) Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life.

  • McGrath, Alister and McGrath, Joanna Collicutt (2007) The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine.

    ...but the most recent coverage is some of the most extensive. He says memes are not scientific, don't exist, don't have a Journal any more, the editor of the ex-memetics journal give the topic a kick to the throat - and so on.

    Finally he concludes that - even if there was something to memetics - atheism would be a meme too - so that would just about makes things even.

    I usually just write off McGrath as a crazy christian. However, it occurs to me that perhaps something good might come of all this. If theologically-inclined types argue against memetics in their Dawkins / Dennett bashing, maybe that will make some atheist types come and defend it.

    Atheism - despite being a bit of a negative cause whose main activity seems to be bashing total nonsense - seems to have a fair amount of energy behind it.

    Perhaps some of that could be put to use promoting some of the real science behind cultural evolution.

  • No comments:

    Post a Comment