Creation: “ME ME” or Serve Others?
A Sunday guest post by my brilliant husband, Gregg.
Every Sunday, my clever husband offers me a “day of rest” by taking over the homemaker duties. His primary topic, the Biblical Truth of Creation vs. Darwinism, is a subject that has broad reaching scientific, social, and metaphysical implications and is gaining more and more attention in our modern culture. For believers and non-believers alike, the primary purpose is to present scientific, historical, logical, and/or sociological data in an empirical and defensible fashion, as much as possible written in layman’s terms, and in a format suitable for supplementing any homeschool curriculum whether you choose to believe the Biblical account — or secular guesses — about the origins of human life on earth.
ME ME! Selfishness Non-Science
“The only kind of evolutionary change we’re likely to see very much of is not genetic information at all, it’s cultural evolution. And if we put a Darwinian spin on that, then we’re going to be talking about the differential survival of memes, as opposed to genes.” Richard Dawkins, PBS-TV 7-part series ‘Evolution,’ Episode 6: The Mind’s Big Bang
If you have been following this blog for a while, you might have noticed that there are no “MEMEs” and that we abstain from participating in so-called memes on other blogs. This Sunday, I thought I would explain why.
Famous evangelical atheist and Darwinist apologist, Richard Dawkins proposed the “meme” idea in his book The Selfish Gene in 1976. He shortened the Greek word mimeme, thus combining the English words “me+me,” to create the word meme. He said he wanted a word that sounded similar to gene. He describes a meme as an offshoot of evolutionary biology that has its observable effects in culture as transmission of ideas or beliefs.
Dawkins defines a meme as a unit of social information. He says that memes identify ideas or beliefs that are transmitted from one person (or group of people) to another. The concept comes from his analogy: as genes transmit biological information, memes can be said to transmit idea and belief information. Darwinist apologist Richard Dawkins coined the term as a concept for discussion of social evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. This is the framework for his argument for a “selfish” gene that makes living things follow the survival of the fittest paradigm.
The term meme has since been embraced by Social Darwinists for the last 30 years or more. Malcolm Gladwell wrote, “A meme is an idea that behaves like a virus–that moves through a population, taking hold in each person it infects.” Think of that. A virus, an infection, is something to be admired as virtuous and an engine of positive change.
Psychologist Sue Blackmore of the University of West of England has been a recent champion of memes.
“Memes can replicate vertically or horizontally within a single biological generation. They may also lie dormant for long periods of time. Memes spread by the behaviors that they generate in their hosts.” Sue Blackmore (1998), Imitation and the definition of a meme, Journal of Memetics – Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
The idea is that information can be transmitted both vertically (from parent to child, via replication of genes) and horizontally (through viruses and other means).
Aaron Lynch hypothesized seven general patterns of meme transmission, which he likened to the transmission of disease, or “thought contagion”: Quantity of parenthood, Efficiency of parenthood, Proselytic, Preservational, Adversative, Cognitive and Motivational.
John S. Wilkins defined a meme as a kernel of cultural imitation while emphasizing the meme’s evolutionary aspect.
“[A meme is] the least unit of sociocultural information relative to a selection process that has favourable or unfavourable selection bias that exceeds its endogenous tendency to change.” Wilkins, John S. (1998), “What’s in a Meme? Reflections from the perspective of the history and philosophy of evolutionary biology”, Journal of Memetics
Luis Benitez-Bribiesca M.D., a critic of memetics, calls the meme theory a “pseudoscientific dogma” and “a dangerous idea that poses a threat to the serious study of consciousness and cultural [change]”.
This stands in opposition to Blackmore’s views and those of other advocates.
“Memes are ideas, habits, skills, gestures, stories, songs–anything which we pass from person to person by imitation. We copy them … just as the competition between genes shapes all of biological evolution, so it’s the competition between memes that shapes our minds and cultures.
Nowadays I would say that memetic evolution is going faster and faster, and it has almost entirely taken over from biological evolution … .
The more educated you are, the less children you have. That is memes fighting against genes.” Sue Blackmore , PBS-TV 7-part series “Evolution,” Episode 6: The Mind’s Big Bang
Polluted Thought from the “ME ME” crowd
Blackmore states that even the idea of the “self” is an illusion produced by competing memes in the human brain. The lack of cogency is self evident. Under her own system, I would have to ask her, “Well, Sue, exactly WHO is proposing this notion if a self does not exist?”
“Perhaps materialism was a liberating philosophy when the need was to escape from dogmas of religion, but today materialism itself is the dogma from which the mind needs to escape.” Phillip E. Johnson, Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Darwin on Trial and Reason in the Balance
Darwinists have a history of making up pretend words to describe created things and these pretend words comprise a large part of the Darwinist dogma. They define things that are impossible, things that have never been observed, or created things that Darwinists are attempting to co-opt. The more authoritative and scientific sounding those words are, the better such as: panspermia, abiogenesis, biopeosis, onotology, and designoid. Like so many of Dawkins’ made up words (such as designoid) the word “meme” and the concept he and his supplicants apply to it are ultimately without proof or even substance, and depend almost entirely upon a Darwinian philosophical bias for any validity.
It is utter nonsense (non-science) when things such as the internet, birth control, insulin, or absolutely any invention, are all labeled “memes.” The truth is that a made-up term that can successfully describe anything or everything ultimately describes nothing. All that Darwinist apologists have done is apply a pretend word to just about anything their bias can allow the word to describe in culture. In the end, this adds nothing to human knowledge.
Empirical, operational, real science — as opposed to non-science (nonsense) — can be validated. That is, it can be proved or disproved to show that it is valid or invalid. The entire meme concept is not science. It is merely more empty Darwinist intellectualizing, philosophizing really, that amounts to little more than clap-trap.
Furthermore, the meme concept never addresses where the original information that is being transmitted originated. It only describes the transmission of information and then equivocates information transmission with originality of information. Do you find it somewhat ironic that Darwinism, a truth claim about origins, ultimately never addresses origins? Ever?
I observe just how pervasive Darwinism has become in the Christian culture. So many Christian blogs host MEMES without even knowing the origin of the word or understanding the concept MEMEs represent, a concept that advocates materialism in opposition to the Biblical God.
Darwinists admire mutation, contagion, disease, reduction, and death and prop them up as a means by which life “evolves” into more and more perfect beings. They admire selfishness, the “me me,” desire to come out on top at any cost, and the survival of the “fittest” paradigm. They advocate disrespect to any but the materialistic word view. These are the Darwinist virtues.
Believers in the Biblical account of creation understand that God created everything perfect, and that it was man’s error that introduced error (mutation, etc.) and death into that once perfect creation. We realize that we are losing information, and that there is nothing good or virtuous about selfishness, the “me me” paradigm, disease, mutation, or death. We respect the beliefs of those who disagree, though we know that their beliefs stand opposed to truth. We help the helpless, feed the hungry, clothe the needy — help and selflessly serve our fellow man despite their lack of so-called fitness, even when such service calls for personal sacrifice. These are Christian virtues.
With an understanding that the universe and all life in it was created by a personal God who created everything for a purpose. On that basis, it is logical to conclude that we were put here on earth to serve others, not ourselves. Without a Darwinian evolutionary bias, there is no basis for a so-called “Selfish Gene” and it is understood that selfishness is not a virtue. We come to know that none of the virtues Darwinists hold dear are anything Christians should admire — or imitate — including memes.
I commit to you that I will publish every single comment that meets this blog’s commenting criteria. You may want to review that criteria before adding your opinion here.
God Bless you and yours.
Additional Posts dealing with Creation and DarwinismPin It
….”Darwinists admire mutation, contagion, disease, reduction, and death and prop them up as a means by which life “evolves” into more and more perfect beings. They admire selfishness, the “me me,” desire to come out on top at any cost, and the survival of the “fittest” paradigm. They advocate disrespect to any but the materialistic word view. These are the Darwinist virtues.”
If you are using the word ‘Darwinist’ to refer to a tiny group of people known only to you, then perhaps this could possibly be accurate.
If you are talking about the very large group of people who accept the ideas of biological evolution, or the subset of those people who are atheists, nonbelievers, nonChristians, or non-Bible literalists, what you have said about them here is just ridiculous uninformed insulting untrue nonsense.
I respect your opinion. I am sorry you do not, or cannot, respect mine.
I think you’re misunderstanding – the above commenter isn’t objecting to your ideas or opinions. They’re objecting to your characterization of the “Darwinists”. You’re factually incorrect. Pointing that out isn’t disrespectful to your views, as far as I can tell.
No misunderstanding on my part. The Darwinists quoted above specifically honor the things I specifically list. E.g.: Malcolm Gladwell praising virus–like movement; Sue Blackmore comparing ideas to parasites; Aaron Lynch describing transmission of ideas as “thought contagion.”
So, neither misunderstood nor factually incorrect it would seem. Merely disrespected though correct.
Thank you for your comment and God Bless,
beatrice ‘s description of what I meant was just right.
I’ve been puzzling about the phrase about respecting opions’ and I don’t really know what it means, what you meant by the phrase, what is meant by respect and what is meant by opinion, how it would be shown or not shown in comments and posts.
What I reacted to was in the section I quoted above. The words in that section were not about memes. They were about life evolving and they were about social behavior – admiring selfishness. You use the term ‘Darwinists a lot and for the most part you don’t qualify it or define the group of people you’re talking about. I think a casual reader – or even a longtime – reader would get the impression that ‘Darwinists’ refers to people who accept evolution, or maybe people who are research biologists.
I think it would be useful if you would clarify what people you’re talking about when you use the phrase ‘Darwinists’, and maybe add some qualifiers. You are talking about real living humans here, and to make such sweeping statements about people whom you don’t know seems wrong to me.
in that section I assumed you were referring to all people you consider ‘Darwinists’, not the few people quoted in your essay. You have also called people responding to your essays ‘Darwinists’, so I assume this also includes me. So when you say that Darwinists admire disease and contagion etc, I assume I am included in that group, as are my scientists friends and relatives. That does not make me feel as if my opinions are being respected.
I also think it is not logical to jump from a quotes in which people compare memes with viruses etc to the idea that those people ADMIRE contagion and disease.
I also reacted to this phrase:
“…and prop them up as a means by which life “evolves” into more and more perfect beings”
I am sure I have pointed out in comments that evolutionary biology does not say that life evolves into more perfect beings. If you respected my opinions, I would have thought you would have had noticed that and at least taken it into consideration.
Never really thought of you as a Darwinist, honestly.