From: Chris Taylor (email@example.com)
Date: Tue 26 Apr 2005 - 12:13:32 GMT
I'd suggest that the persistence of many cultural thingies in the US is
as a result of the slower pace of cultural evolution for the exact same
reasons that genetic evolution occurs more slowly (on average) in large
interbreeding populations. Inertia essentially; cf. the persistence of
words like 'gotten', which have died out in British English -- a much
smaller population in which stochastic effects are more pronounced and
change more straightforward.
So that is what I'd offer as an explanation of why the US still claims
high church attendance etc. As to why christianity is dying all over in
the first place; look to the Catholics who seek to reinterpret 'the
word' to keep it alive (the reason to have a priest act as the bridge
from codified [once Latin] 'genotype' to GxE 'phenotype' -- the
interpretive principle even survivied the translation out of Latin for
Catholics, not hard as biblical scholarship shows you can usually find
conflicting guidance in the bible, so which to apply -- cue the
Leviticus++ based jokes that I'll send separately); they have little
problem with evolution which is rather different to the much more
literal readings of 'the word' in some of the more extreme protestant
flavours. It's dead already, it just hasn't realised; and it still
provides some comfort a la Marx so we keep it around.
> Seems that the US is now experiencing the same rapid drop in
> Christianity "market share" as happened in W Europe & Canada c 10 years
> ago....prods some questions in my mind:
> (i) Why is the Western world starting to abandon the "Christainity"
> memeset so rapidly now
> (ii) Why is the US noticeably later than the rest
> (iii)Why, as the US is dropping the religion, is the impact of the
> evangelical right (who apparently have stayed a constant c 9% of
> population over last 20 years odd) rising so rapidly?
> I have no firm answers, but I think understanding the issues for this
> memeset would be educational. My initial hypothesis would be that:
> (i) Overall, Christianity has not made the leap to our post Industrial
> society (if anything, the fastest rise appears to be from resurrected,
> pre-agricultural, nature religions). I think Luther et al managed to
> move it into the Age of Reason, but as yet there has been no real
> movement now - unless evangelicals/fundamentalists are the response (I
> suspect not, I think its a a reaction to the falloff in numbers)?
> (ii) The US by implication is a more rigid society memetically than
> Europe, in terms of social memes anyway....or maybe US Christianity
> memes attached themselves more tightly to the industrial/capitalist
> memes in the US and it has taken longer to prize them apart?
> (iii) As mentioned above, as the overall religion loses ground the
> fundamentalists become more active, to the extent (in my perception) of
> seizing political power - maybe its a major meme's attempt at survival
> when long term decline beckons - iirc quite frequently political power
> is fairly often seized by groups who are losing overall market share?
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
-- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chris Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org) HUPO PSI: GPS -- psidev.sf.net ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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