Do humans today evolve more from memetics than genetics?
Updated: Nov 23, 2021
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"I've identified what I think is the most shocking development in human history in the last 200, 300, 500 years. It's that the human being today, evolves more from memetics, from mind viruses, than they do from genetics, from DNA, from genetic disposition.” — Randy Gage
Memetics and mind viruses? Yep.
Memetics is the study of memes and their social impact. While some think a “meme” is simply an online image with text overlaid oon it, Merriam-Webster Dictionary also defines a meme as “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from one person to another in a culture.”
In this interview, Randy Gage explains to Curt Mercadante why he thinks humans today evolve more from memetics than genetics.
Gage is a thought-provoking critical thinker who will make you approach your business — and your life — in a whole new way. Randy is the author of 14 books translated into 25 languages, including his recent worldwide best seller, Radical Rebirth.
As he writes in this book, the word “meme” comes from Richard Dawkin’s book, “The Selfish Gene”, in which Dawkins shortened the Greek word “mimeme” to “meme.”
“A meme is a mind virus–an idea that is also a replicator. Think of a meme as something that causes people to think a certain way, believe a particular thing, or take a specific action–much like genes do,” writes Gage. “A catchy jingle or slogan is a meme. You hear it, you play it in your head, and then you “infect” other minds by sharing it. ‘Just do it’ and ‘Yes we can’ are memes as are the “Baby Shark” theme song and the idea that rich people are evil. A meme complex (or memeplex) is a condition of mutually supporting memes that form a belief system.”
“When we watch America’s Got Talent or American Idol and all of the judges have their Dunkin Donuts cups on their desks, that’s a meme,” said Gage. “Dunkin Donuts is spending a lot of money to create that meme, so we say, ‘I love Blake Shelton and Blake Shelton is drinking Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.”
So, how do these memes impact the evolution of human beings?
“We have thousands of years of survival-of-the-fittest evolution,” Gage told me, “but then, if you look at — pick any political or government figure today — you say, ‘this is the result of that evolution?
“Because it’s not. What you see now is the result of fifty years of amplifying mind viruses.”
He said that, while in 1940, it might take a meme six months to travel around the world, today we could amplify a meme around the globe in 48 hours.
Thanks to modern media, he said, we can infect millions with memes in the matter of. Hours, something we couldn’t do in humanity’s recent past because we didn’t have the platforms to “weaponize” these memes.
Those memes are just one type of programming that gets stored in our brains.
This is an excerpt from Mercadante's full conversation with Randy about "the weaponization of fear," which you can view here: