Memes spreding by enhancing fitness and reducing quality of life
- The meme for divorce is an example of a meme that can be spread in an interesting way by biological evolution. It is known that the children of divorced parents have a greater probability of being divorced in adulthood than the children of complete families (Corak 2001). The meme for divorce can spread not only by simple imitation of the behavior of the parents, but its spread can be further strengthened by the fact that, in a series of consecutive marriages, the divorcing parents will finally have more children than persons living in a harmonic life-long marriage, especially in modern societies with developed social networks and 1-2 children in a family. Thus, this meme can increase the fitness of its bearer while not being transmitted genetically but only through children imitating the behavior of their parents. It is understandably possible that not only memes, but also genes capable of increasing the probability of an unsuccessful marriage ending in divorce could theoretically positively affect the fitness of their bearers through a quite similar mechanism. For example, a gene that would increase the probability of emergence of hysterical behavior in its bearer could be maintained in the population because its bearer would produce more offspring in a series of unsuccessful marriages and thus “enrich” the gene pool of future generations by more copies of his hysterical gene.