Meme competition

The individual variants of genes (alleles) compete together in biological evolution as to which
will be successfully transmitted to further generations. In cultural evolution, the individual meme variants compete similarly. However, in this case, the competition is not limited only to transmission to the next generation, but also includes effective spreading within a single generation. The meme that is copied (imitated) most often by the members of the population or the members of other species will be most successful. There are various reasons why some memes are imitated more frequently than other memes. Frequently, those memes that are advantageous for their host, bring it some benefit, are copied. However, this is far from being the only reason. Some memes spread because they are easier to copy than other memes, and others because their carriers frequently have a dominant position in the group and the behavior of dominant individuals is usually preferentially copied (Benskin et al. 2002)(Fig. XVII.6). Some memes preferentially spread because they enforce their spreading by some specific mechanisms. For example, the meme for destruction of heathens, either through physical liquidation or conversion to the faith will probably spread faster than the meme for religious tolerance. Analogously, the meme prohibiting the believers of some religions to use contraception will also be successful (Kirk et al. 2001). In the latter case, the effectiveness of the spreading of the particular religion is ensured by cooperation between memes and genes. The carriers of the relevant meme have more children than the carrier of other memes and these children will, with great probability, also inherit the relevant meme from their parents.s

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The classical Darwinian theory of evolution can explain the evolution of adaptive traits only in asexual organisms. The frozen plasticity theory is much more general: It can also explain the origin and evolution of adaptive traits in both asexual and sexual organisms Read more