Propagating Genes VS Memes

I have been a bit negative about memes, but they have their cheerful side as well. When we die there are two things we can leave behind us: genes and memes. We were built as gene machines, created to pass on our genes. But that aspect of us will be forgotten in three generations. Your child, even your grandchild, may bear a resemblance to you, perhaps in facial features, in a talent for music, in the colour of her hair. But as each generation passes, the contribution of your genes is halved. It does not take long to reach negligible proportions. Our genes may be immortal but the collection of genes that is any one of us is bound to crumble away. Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of William the Conqueror. Yet it is quite probable that she bears not a single one of the old king's genes. We should not seek immortality in reproduction. But if you contribute to the world's culture, if you have a good idea, compose a tune, invent a sparking plug, write a poem, it may live on, intact, long after your genes have dissolved in the common pool. Socrates may or may not have a gene or two alive in the world today, as G. C. Williams has remarked, but who cares? The meme-complexes of Socrates, Leonardo, Copernicus and Marconi are still going strong.


Our genes will only last in recognizable form for three generations or so, being halved with each generation; our memes, however, have the potential to live far beyond our lifetimes and have greater influence.

Folksonomies: memetics memes genes legacy

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Gene (0.937932): dbpedia | freebase
Meme (0.890215): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
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Life (0.841117): dbpedia | freebase
Organism (0.812079): dbpedia | freebase
The Selfish Gene (0.777158): dbpedia | freebase | yago
2006 albums (0.744341): dbpedia
Creativity (0.726158): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 The Selfish Gene - First Edition
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Dawkins , Richad (1976), The Selfish Gene - First Edition, Oxford, Retrieved on 2007-01-09