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Missing from Dawkins's article is any use of the word "meme" or any mention
of evolutionary cultural replicator theory. His article therefore does not
give a sense of the foresight or explanatory power offered by evolutionary
cultural replicator theory.
However, in an earlier piece that pre-dated the September 11 attack by over a
year, I discussed religiously driven mass violence at a workshop on cultural
evolution. The following excerpt suggests that one can achieve some degree of
foresight by using evolutionary cultural replicator theory, which is
presumably better than explaining events in hindsight. The reference to the
"World Trade Center bombing" concerns the 1993 attack.
From "Human Destiny and the Evolutionary Epidemiology of Ideas"
a talk presented at the Foundation for the Future Workshop on Cultural
Evolution, May 18-19, 2000, Bellevue, Washington.
" ... In South Asia, the most intense versions of Islamic and Hindu faith
lead to more children for adherents. For Islam, it also leads to more
evangelical activity, giving a high fertility-high evangelism movement
similar to early Christianity. The evolutionary maintenance and growth of
religious fervor now contribute to the risk of nuclear war in India and
Pakistan. Belief in special afterlife treatment for martyrs heightens the
risk. If such a war happens, it could have devastating consequences not just
in the region, but also for financial markets and the world economy as
nations react by trying to create terrorist-proof boarders and curtailing
civil liberties. The World Trade Center bombing illustrates very clearly that
there are groups who would use a nuclear weapon on a large city if given a
chance. ... "
In a message dated 9/15/2001 7:42:15 PM Central Daylight Time,
> Subj: Dawkins View
> Date: 9/15/2001 7:42:15 PM Central Daylight Time
> From: email@example.com (Anne.)
> Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Reply-to: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Here is the link to the Dawkins piece!
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