Friday, 21 November 2014

Meta memetics #fail

Religious folk fairly often disagree with memetics. Some of them write whole books about the topic - and so we have bizarre works like:

One of the tactics is to argue that, if religion is a plague of viral memes, then so is science - and so is memetics - hah! take that, science!

It looks as though the religious apologists just got some support for their "theory" from academia. Two new books (published this year) explicitly treat memetics as a religion. Here they are:

The blurb from the first book reads, in part:

This book presents an objective method for understanding and comparing belief systems, irrespective of their subject matter and of whether or not the investigator happens to agree with them. The method, descriptive logic, is illustrated through analyses of various phenomena, including Zoroastrianism, Dawkinsism, Fabianism, 9/11 Truth, 'alternative' Egyptology, Gnosticism, flying saucer sightings, and the hymns of Charles Wesley.
"Dawkinsism", eh! I can just imagine Saint Richard rolling his eyes towards the "heavens".

1 comment:

  1. The critics of memetic theory do have a point though...right now memetics is an intuitive leap. Though some studies demonstrate the value of memetic theory in certain topics, applying it across the board to all subjects of human culture is still an intuitive leap. Without the concrete data to support it, critics are able to dismiss it as philosophy and faith. This phase of theory development takes more faith than most other pursuits of science. Science is a memetic product, just like religions and literature and maths. Saying science is a memetic product is not always intended to be a disparagement of science, but rather a statement of awareness, a topic for investigation.