Why did memetics fail?

In the 70s, two scientific approaches to the evolutionary study of culture emerged – memetics and the gene-culture coevolutionary theory. While the gene-culture coevolutionary theory still thrives, memetics appears to be a dead scientific discipline. Why?

13 Aug 2020

Radim’s paper, which focuses on diachronic development of memetics rather than its logical inconsistencies, claims that while the field of gene-culture coevolution focused on testing hypotheses, memetics got preoccupied with the ontology of the meme as a discrete unit of selection, strictly applying the gene-centered approach to culture, and differentiating between biological and memetic fitness. Thus, memetics was unable to study the adaptive function of culture, an approach that proved fruitful in the gene-culture coevolutionary theory.

You can find the article here: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/posc_a_00350

More articles

All articles