The term meme was coined by British biologist Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene to describe a "unit of culture" (p. 203). Examples given are "tunes, ideas, catch-phrases and … the idea of God." These entities might, he said, act independently as "replicators," like genes, thus determining the state of culture entirely by natural selection among themselves. Critics point out that, if taken seriously, this is a highly reductive and fatalistic doctrine, claiming that memes, rather than human beings, control cultural development. But the suggestion is obscure. Many would argue that elements of culture are not independent entities, nor are units the same as replicators.
See also Genetics; Sociobiology
dawkins, richard. the selfish gene. oxford: oxford university press, 1976.
More From encyclopedia.com
Selfish Dna , Evolutionary biologists increasingly accept that genes are selfish. But what does this mean? Clearly genes do not have personal motivations, and even… Pseudogenes , Pseudogenes are defective copies of functional genes. These may be partial or complete duplicates derived from polypeptide-encoding genes or RNA gene… controlling gene , controlling gene A gene that is involved in turning on or off the transcription of structural genes. Two types of genetic element exist in this proce… Regulator Gene , regulatory gene In the operon theory of gene regulation, a gene that is involved in switching on or off the transcription of structural genes. When t… Nomenclature , Like any other field in science, genetics has its own language. However, genetics is also a multidisciplinary field that encompasses expertise, and h… Genetics , genetics, scientific study of the mechanism of heredity. While Gregor Mendel first presented his findings on the statistical laws governing the trans…
About this article
Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article
You Might Also Like