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3 Burnside Biology- Evolution

This title in other editions

The Meme Machine

by

The Meme Machine Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What is a meme? First coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene, a meme is any idea, behavior, or skill that can be transferred from one person to another by imitation: stories, fashions, inventions, recipes, songs, ways of plowing a field or throwing a baseball or making a sculpture. The meme is also one of the most important--and controversial--concepts to emerge since The Origin of the Species appeared nearly 150 years ago.

In The Meme Machine Susan Blackmore boldly asserts: "Just as the design of our bodies can be understood only in terms of natural selection, so the design of our minds can be understood only in terms of memetic selection." Indeed, Blackmore shows that once our distant ancestors acquired the crucial ability to imitate, a second kind of natural selection began, a survival of the fittest amongst competing ideas and behaviors. Ideas and behaviors that proved most adaptive--making tools, for example, or using language--survived and flourished, replicating themselves in as many minds as possible. These memes then passed themselves on from generation to generation by helping to ensure that the genes of those who acquired them also survived and reproduced. Applying this theory to many aspects of human life, Blackmore offers brilliant explanations for why we live in cities, why we talk so much, why we can't stop thinking, why we behave altruistically, how we choose our mates, and much more.

With controversial implications for our religious beliefs, our free will, our very sense of "self," The Meme Machine offers a provocative theory everyone will soon be talking about.

About the Author

Susan Blackmore is a Lecturer in the School of Psychology, University of the West of England. The author of Dying to Live: Science and the Near Death Experience, she resides in Bristol, UK.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard Dawkins

Preface

Strange creatures

Universal Darwinism

The evolution of culture

Taking the meme's eye view

Three problems with memes

The big brain

The origins of language

Meme-gene co-evolution

The limits of sociobiology

An orgasm saved my life

Sex in the modern world

A memetic theory of altruism

The altruism trick

Memes of the New Age

Religions as memeplexes

Into the Internet

The ultimate memeplex

Out of the meme race

References

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780192862129
Author:
Blackmore, Susan J.
Publisher:
Oxford Paperbacks
Foreword by:
Dawkins, Richard
Foreword:
Dawkins, Richard
Author:
null, Susan
Author:
Blackmore, Susan
Author:
null, Richard
Author:
Dawkins, Richard
Location:
Oxford
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Social Psychology
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Sociology - Social Theory
Subject:
Behavior evolution
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution - Human
Subject:
Life Sciences | Evolutionary Biology
Subject:
Sociology - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes index.Bibliography: p. 247-258.
Series:
Popular Science
Series Volume:
00-R12
Publication Date:
20000531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
5 x 7.7 x 0.8 in 0.469 lb

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
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Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

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