Evolutionary Theology and God–Memes: Explaining Everything or Nothing

Zygon 37 (4):775-788 (2002)
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Abstract

It is not uncommon for Darwinists and memeticists to speculate not only that god–memes (cultural units for belief in a god) evolved as maladaptive traits but also that these memes do not correspond to anything real. However, a counter–Darwinian argument exists that some god–memes evolved as adaptive traits and did so with a metaphysical correspondence to reality. Memeticists cannot disallow these positive claims, because the rules they would use to disallow them would also disallow their negative claims. One must either accept that positive Darwinian theological claims can fall within the bounds of science (and therefore be judged on their explanatory merits alone) or must disallow both sets of arguments, including any claims that god–memes fail to correspond to reality. Given that many Darwinists do not appear to accept a modest version of science that avoids negative metaphysical claims, precedence exists in memetic and Darwinian discourse for making positive metaphysical claims as well.

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