GUESTS: SUSAN BLACKMORE Author, The Meme Machine (Oxford University Press, 1999) Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of the West of England, Bristol, England ROBERT WRIGHT Author, The Moral Animal: Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life (Vintage, l995) RICHARD DAWKINS Author, "The Selfish Gene" (Oxford University Press, 1976) Professor of the Public Understanding of Science, Oxford University Author, Unweaving the Rainbow (Houghton-Mifflin, 1998) A meme is a idea or behavior one person can pass on to another. Some scientists claim that memes act like genes, with the fittest surviving and interacting to produce the peculiarities of human behavior. Can memetics help us understand complex aspects of human nature and culture, or is it, as some have complained, "cocktail-party science"? Join Ray Suarez and guests for a look at the controversy over memes.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.