Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Meme



Richard Dawkins coined the word meme (the behavioral equivalent of a gene) to describe how Darwinian principles might be extended to explain the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena.[51] This has spawned the field of memetics. Dawkins' memes refer to any cultural entity that an observer might consider a replicator of a certain idea or a complex of ideas. He hypothesised that people could view many cultural entities as capable of such replication, generally through exposure to humans, who have evolved as efficient (although not perfect) copiers of information and behaviour. Memes are not always copied perfectly, and might indeed become refined, combined or otherwise modified with other ideas, resulting in new memes, which may themselves prove more, or less, efficient replicators than their predecessors, thus providing a framework for a hypothesis of cultural evolution, analogous to the theory of biological evolution based on genes.[52] - Wikipedia

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