Memes are not metaphors.
Are genes metaphors?
Were genes metaphors before we had concrete evidence of the DNA molecule?
What about before we had other, less conclusive evidence?
Memes are replicators.
Like genes, they follow an algorithmic trajectory of adaptation and replication or destruction.
They accumulate information (complexity).
They alter their environment.
So, if you can't suspend a conviction that memetics is simply metaphor to express poetic sentiments about human culture, quit reading while you're ahead. It will only get worse from here.
To say that memes are exactly like phage or bacteria is wrong.
Phage and bacteria are products of genes.
Memeplexes are unique replicators. Their outcomes, their artifacts, are unique to memes.
As such, they deserve their own examination.
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