Micah Redding — faith in humanity's future

Christianity is a set of memes

V a   raphael  the miraculous draught of fishes  1515

I’m a Christian. That means that I think that a certain set of memes — memes which started in first-century Israel, and very quickly spread out into the rest of the world — are very significant.

As time went on, those memes profoundly reshaped the world we live in. Some of the people who proclaimed those memes did terrible, horrific things. Some of the people who proclaimed those memes did incredible, beautiful things.

I suspect that the incredible, beautiful things have outweighed the terrible, horrific things. But much more significantly, I suspect that the memes themselves have impacted us more positively than negatively. I suspect that many of the amazing things we take for granted in the world today, owe their existence to those memes.

When I talk about the value of Christianity, I am referring to the impact of those memes. That impact extends far beyond the bounds of organized religion and Christian proclamation. In fact, it’s possible that organized Christianity might be a minuscule part of their ultimate impact.

I’m a Christian, and that means that I think that a certain set of memes are very significant, have changed our world for the better, and will most likely continue to impact our world in new and surprising and profound ways.



Memetics has always bugged with its focus on infection and contagion. In genetics, you deal with heredity and ancestry. In memetics, it is more akin to epidemiology - memes go "viral", like ideological Ebola. There's a certain menace and hostility there, which naturally encourages memetic infection control and quarantine.