Re: [asa] The Science = Atheism Meme

From: PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
Date: Wed Jul 30 2008 - 13:09:00 EDT

I am not sure that this is the case. Remember that there are good
reason to accept that societal learning and evolution may have led
people to better understand religion and have been searching for
explanations. Just replace inventing God with finding God and it seems
that Dawkins may indeed have a point. There are some very good
explanations for religion as an outcome of evolutionary processes at
various levels.

Religious beliefs seem to be quite pervasive across cultures and in
fact seem to share often common ancestry in beliefs and stories.

I personally would not discount the relevance of evolution at society
levels for instance as the source for religious faith.

---http://www.memecentral.com/mu/mu0018.htm---
Although the bulk of his presentation was about the digital nature of
genetic information, a straightforward topic well covered in his two
most recent books, there were several questions asked about cultural
evolution and memes. Dawkins, as he has done each time I've heard him
speak, modestly indicated that while he coined the word "meme", he
certainly didn't invent the idea of Darwinian evolution applying to
culture, and he really wasn't qualified to go much further into the
topic than simply suggesting that there may be a replicator similar to
the gene at work in culture or in the mind. That being said, he went
on to speculate that interesting findings in memetics may center
around the way sets of memes cooperate with each other. How well does
the meme for, say, male circumcision replicate in a culture with memes
for strong religious tradition versus one with memes for innovation?
And what sets of memes form a "viral shell" that allows the rapid
spread of the memes attached to that shell? These are themes explored
in my own book Virus of the Mind, themes which could benefit from
disciplined scientific research.

---
On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 8:50 AM, Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com> wrote:
> Burgy said:
> " The word "meme" seems to have value as descriptive of
> something real. The fact that Dawkins invented it does not make it of
> no value."
>
> I agree Burgy.  "Meme" may be controversial, but the fact that society learns and evolves seems to be agreed by all.  Some are afraid of the word because Dawkins says that memes are responsible for religion and inventing God... going too far.
>
> ,,,Bernie
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of j burg
> Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 7:21 AM
> To: Nucacids
> Cc: asa@calvin.edu
> Subject: Re: [asa] The Science = Atheism Meme
>
> I am puzzled. The word "meme" seems to have value as descriptive of
> something real. The fact that Dawkins invented it does not make it of
> no value.
>
> Or amybe the argument is that "meme" does not refer to something real.
> Of course it is not real in the sense of a physical thing. But it
> seems (to me) to be real in the sense of a concept/influence or
> whatever. As such, it is a useful term; I'm not sure what to use in
> its place to refer to what dawkins is writing about..
>
> Burgy
>
> On 7/30/08, Nucacids <nucacids@wowway.com> wrote:
>> Hi PvM,
>>
>>
>>
>> "The confusion that science is atheism is unfortunate but not surprising
>> given the state of education and religious indoctrination in this country."
>>
>>
>>
>> Indeed.  And what also adds to the confusion is the manner in which vocal,
>> atheistic scientists preach about science leading to atheism.  Ken Miller
>> nicely explained this in his first book, Finding Darwin's God.
>>
>>
>>
>> "However, we should not oversimplify the issue as science is atheism, and
>> certainly not by pointing at an atheist who also happens to be a scientist.
>> Of course, for some, the idea that science is atheism is comforting."
>>
>>
>>
>> I'm not oversimplifying any issue when I note that Myers publicity stunt has
>> worked to entrench the confusion.  Thanks to Myers, thousands of Catholics
>> now know one thing - the man who deceptively obtained a Eucharist wafer in
>> order to publicly desecrate it is a scientist who hosts the #1 "science
>> blog."  Are you under the impression that Myers stunt has helped people to
>> see the error in the science=atheism equation?
>>
>>
>>
>> - Mike
>>
>>
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>>
>
>
> --
> Burgy
>
> www.burgy.50megs.com
>
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>
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Received on Wed Jul 30 13:09:17 2008

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