18 April 2021 - 11:00 am
What are memes and why are they important? British Humanist, author, and skeptic, Susan Blackmore, wrote “The Meme Machine” in 1999. Her book laid a foundation for the study of memetics. She provides thought-provoking perspectives, including an interesting explanation of the nature of “self”, discusses the challenges and benefits of memes and shows how they influence us. In applying the concept to religion, she said: “All kinds of infectious memes thrive in religions, in spite of being false, such as the idea of a creator god, virgin births, the subservience of women, transubstantiation, and many more. In the major religions, they are backed up by admonitions to have faith not doubt, and by untestable but ferocious rewards and punishments.”
The term “meme” was coined by Richard Dawkins in “The Selfish Gene”. He suggested that, similar to genes, memes replicate by competing to get copied into as many brains as possible and cited as examples tunes, catch-phrases and fashions. With the proliferation of the internet, memes have evolved to include media that “go viral”.
Even if you haven’t read Blackmore’s book, you can still join the informal brunch chat on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 11:00 am.
We will be meeting on Zoom, courtesy of Secular Connexion Séculière. Details about how to connect with your browser will be posted here closer to the date.