13. "Replicators" : genes and memes ------------------------------------------ Previous - Next - Contents
In short, genes (assembled in strings of DNA) are the building instructions of all life on earth. So without genes there can be no life. But likewise without life forms to carry and protect genes, there can be no genes either. For most of the past however life has been all about the replication and propagation of genes with the life forms simply being convenient protective carriers which could be discarded (die) after they had completed their task of reproduction.
Like genes, some memes are good for us and contribute to a positive evolvement of our species. Others are bad, forms of indoctrination (like some politics and most religions, I believe) which are holding us back, even intent on destroying us. So there is (like in the "gene pool") fierce competion amongst memes in the "meme pool". Which ones will survive and which ones won't ? Therefore a form of natural selection exists too amongst our memes, the survival of the fittest, the stable.
We as humans have the ability to think
ahead into the future, what is best for us in the long term, raher than the
short term. This fills Dawkins with hope that we can turn the
selfish process of present evolution around to a more unselfish,
"altruistic" process, which in the long term will benefit the human race as a
Copyright © 2010 Michael Furstner