NEMO RAMJET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NEMO RAMJET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Memetic organism. Artwork of a 'fear' meme illustrated as a life-form. Memes are units of cultural information that are spread from person to person. Examples include songs, catch- phrases, beliefs, clothing fashions, jokes and religions. This memetic organism represents fear. Fear can be used to propagate a meme, for example, the idea of hell and the devil behind many religions. The study of memes is known as memetics. Memes can replicate and evolve in a manner analogous to genes or viruses. Memetics proposes that human minds and cultures are designed by natural selection acting on memes. Memes were first proposed by the biologist and writer, Richard Dawkins, in his book, The Selfish Gene.
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