The Selfish Text: The Bible and Memetics

Hugh S. Pyper

My tentative suggestion is that the bible instils a meme in its readers which aligns its own survival with that of the reader and his or her community. 'Your survival depends on mine' is the message that the bible gives. If the primary evolutionary drive is for survival, then a virus or a meme that 'persuades' its host that it is necessary to the host's own survival and therefore conveys a reproductive advantage will have an instant welcome into the replicatory machine. The virus becomes a symbiont, an organism which co-operates to mutual benefit with its host, rather than a parasite.
The Bible also reinforces the memes of family and community, surrounding the new reader with carriers with whom the reader has personal relationships. The host must carry the biblical meme, because the family of the host carries the meme. "Your survival depends on mine, and mine on yours."