Hi all. Sorry for a long absence.
The best argument against memetics is Dennet himself, in *Darwin’s Dangerous Idea* in the chapter on memetics. Recall the original thrust of it: ideas will spread *just like* genes do in genetics, and that the process is very much akin to evolution. Hence the very words ‘meme’ and ‘memetics’. In the relevant chapter, Dennett discovers that ideas don’t spread much like like genes do. And there seem not to be ‘basic’ memes like there are basic genetic material, and *therefore* the spread of ideas aren’t very well explained by an evolutionary, gene-like theory.
At best, IMHO, evolutionary ‘memetics’ explains unimportant and ‘surface’ ideas like clothing styles. In other words, the ideas we dont’ care much about, and drop quickly.
Now don’t me misled by Dennett’s phrasing in the chapter. As one of the first posts pointed out, Dennett is quite smitten with memetics as an analog of evolutionary change in genes, and so at the end of the chapter he still predicts great things for memetics. But in fact he himself, it’s most intelligent advocate, admits the hypothesis just doesn’t work.
But i urge you to read the chapter for yourself.
Cheers, and happy to be back and with a little more vinegar than i’ve had in months.