The memetic nature of religion

I want it to be known that I come not to bury religion, but to praise it.  Religions are interesting. They are the stickiest memeplexes yet observed, and many of the tricks that religions use to propagate themselves pop up in other sections of the site when we ask how we can improve change management, leadership and advertising.

Religions are a superb example of a durable memeplex created by accidental and/or directed evolution, so durable that some have lasted for thousands of years.  They dominate many peoples' lives, but that is all they are.

Before you bombard me with angry emails or prime your letterbombs, this is not a debate about the existence of a particular god, goddess or multiples thereof: that topic has no place on this site - but on the nature of religion in general, which I take to mean structured systems of reverence for supernatural beings.

Now read: Let's start a religion!

How religions work

Homo Habilis would doubtless be delighted by our fake religion based on genus Hymenoptra, because it answers those big questions about origin and death. Although my newly constructed religion is risible and the doctrines are frankly ridiculous, in an unmemed society Antism would probably pick up a billion or so adherents in not time at all. How can I be so sure?

Read more: How religions work

The evolution of faith

This article will look at the evolution of several religious memeplexes and identify the point at which accidental or directed evolution occurred. 

To be published

Let's start a religion!

We have evidence for ritual burials dating back to the late Palaeolithic, so we can say that for the past one hundred thousand years at least, people have been running one of a set of rich memeplexes that we can class as ‘religions’. Curiosity is natural for a foraging species like ours, and even Homo Habilis must have wondered about big questions like ‘where did we come from?’, ‘what are those lights in the sky?’ and ‘what happens when we die?’

Read more: Let's start a religion!