Two centuries ago, a wave of suicides swept across Europe as if the very act of suicide was somehow infectious. Shortly before their untimely deaths, many of the suicide victims had come into contact with Johann von Goethe’s tragic tale “The Sorrows of Young Werther,” in which the hero, Werther, himself commits suicide. In an attempt to stem what was seen as a rising tide of imitative suicides, anxious authorities banned the book in several regions in Europe (Phillips 1974, Marsden 1998.
During the two hundred years that have followed the publication and subsequent censorship of Goethe’s novel, social scientific research has largely confirmed the thesis that affect, attitudes, beliefs and behaviour can indeed spread through populations as if they were somehow infectious. Simple exposure sometimes appears to be a sufficient condition for social transmission to occur. This is the social contagion thesis; that sociocultural phenomena can spread through, and leap between, populations more like outbreaks of measles or chicken pox than through a process of rational choice.
Marsden, P. (1998). Memetics and Social Contagion: Two Sides of the Same Coin?
Journal of Memetics – Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission,2.
Threats of Extinction
As human beings, we face threats to our existence. The enumeration that follows below is intentionally incomplete and will be fleshed out in a forthcoming book. It is provided as to assist us all in getting a discussion started on the last item, Problem 6a, the most pressing threat we face.
- Cosmic Events
- Galaxy Level Events
- Solar System Events
- World Events
- Alien Events
- Human Events
- a. Brain Destructive Ideologies: Islam
Facing the Facts: Who are we?
Human life exists as a product of evolution. Our particular species is characterized by the development of brains. This development has created a new path for evolution: ideological evolution, and a field of study, memetics, that is in the process of developing the analogues to the extended phenotype observations in canonical genetic evolutionary theory. The recent rapid spread of Islamic violence across the EU provides the data and we can begin this discussion with an explanation of the biology underlying the problem of Islam.
The Biology of the Problem of Islam
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is an extremely long polymer which is itself a statistically stable chain of compounds. The physical metaphor of DNA is a twisted ladder. The rungs of the ladder are composed of an atomic pairing of two out of four different compounds. The rails are composed of phosphates and other compounds. A Gene is one or more sections of DNA that participates as code in processes occurring in the cells of our bodies. A Compound is an assembly of molecules which themselves are assemblies of atoms. A molecular assembly of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom is familiar to us as a molecule of water. DNA Code processing can be as simple as the visible resolution of a collision of DNA with another polymer. Over billions of years, intercellular code processing has become more highly defined and regulated than the odd accidental collision. A Phenotype is the outward, visible expression of the results of DNA processing. The classic example is the gene for eye color. Some phenotypes exist as a result of the processing of several genes at various locations in the DNA ladder. An Extended Phenotype is a visible expression of a gene that appears outside of the body of the organism that hosts the gene. For example, a beaver dam is a visible end result, outside of the beaver’s body, of gene processing that occurs in the living cells of developing beavers.
An Abiogenesis Theory is a study of natural processes by which “life” arises from “non-living” matter. The following thought experiment provides an example:
- The sun feeds energy into the earth in the form of photons.
- The photons have a physical impact on molecules near the earth’s surface, causing the molecules themselves to slightly change. These changed elements change again upon receipt of the next generations of photons. Thus, at each nanosecond, the energy of the sun meets a variety of changing photon processing receptacle-interfaces. The feedback from the earth to the sun is in the form of these changing interfaces.
- The compounds on the earth combine to form larger compounds and these compounds combine to form even larger compounds, eventually large enough to be visible to the human eye. This can take any amount of time: days, years, centuries, milleniums, etc.
- DNA is a compound, an extended chain of molecules trapped in cellular walls that react to the sun’s energy in gradually more statistically predictable ways because results are now filtered with predictable regularity to only such results as are possible within the walls of cells.
- An intercellular code processing end result can be classified as remarkable (something new) or non-remarkable (something seen before).
- A replication result can be seen as a non-remarkable change.
- The replications become more numerous in the soup-like photon processing interface of the earth. The unstable results disappear, their elements disintegrated and reassembled in the structures of the more visibly numerous, stable replications.
- We eventually see what we all observe today: a rush to the corner niches of existence by surviving, replicating entities we now call the diversity of life. See the forthcoming book for a complete elaboration of this theory.
Thus, we see that life is not magic. It requires no supervision. It is predicted by the laws of physics. Indeed, history shows that “life” is quite eager to ‘get going’ as soon as a planet reaches stability in a suitable zone. So we can expect the cosmos to be teeming with life wherever planets “enjoy” a score of billions of relatively quiet, collision-avoiding solar-orbits within distance zones enabling energy exchanging liquid and atmospheric environments such as our own planet’s environment. Brains are destined to evolve on such alien planets, their long-range planning capabilities yielding overwhelming advantages in the struggle to survive. And, as on earth, alien brains will become a new inter-planetary “space” for a second form of evolution, the remarkable ideological evolution that leads thinkers quickly to the technology enabling two such worlds to meet.
But, given this expectation of an existence teeming with life, we can find ourselves echoing the question asked decades ago by the physicist Enrico Fermi: Where is everybody? This question is known as the Fermi Paradox. In order to answer, we have to identify who we are looking for. As it turns out, we are looking for us, or rather, creatures much like ourselves, thinking beings on the cusp of galaxy-level-communication technologies, facing certain threats to our existence.
As brains, communication and language evolve on other planets to produce thinking, debating thinkers such as ourselves, they will naturally debate the origin of things and whether or not unseen thinking beings have made decisions in the past to produce their current states of existence. In short, the cosmos is predicted to be teeming with religions, most of them quite dangerous when taken seriously and blindly believed. We can surmise that evolving thinkers will encounter dangerous Islam-like memeplexes, mindless collections of extended phenotypes of meme replications in brains. On this planet we survived our earlier encounters with memeplexes that drove the Christian crusades. We also survived the earlier Judaic memeplex driven wars. We survived the Nazi memeplex marching across Europe. Will we survive today’s similar Islam march? A complicating factor is the rise of the internet, lending a speed quotient to the already rapid spread of Islam and creating conditions that are beginning to overwhelm thinking minds.
A Meme is defined by Richard Dawkins as a unit of cultural transmission. Examples are words, ideas, songs and fashions. Just as our bodies are vehicles for the cells housing genes, our brains are the vehicles that are housing our memes. Memes are a new phenomenon, recently burst upon the scene of natural selection with the advent of brains. A Memeplex is a symbiotic set of memes that support each other’s existence.
A Monotheism is a special case of a memeplex. The memes of a monotheism include concepts of a god, infallible books, holy men, and punishment for disbelief. Islam is a modern example of such a monotheism, setting itself apart from Christianity and Judaism in the extremity of violence carried out against objectors within the confines of Islam’s own membership.
A God in a monotheism is a single being that “creates” life and the rest of the universe and issues our expected rules of conduct. There are three major systems of monotheism: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Each system features its own versions of a certain fundamental untruth. (See the forth-coming book for evidence). This untruth is usually expressed as: “This book is the infallible word of God.” Sometimes a set of books is referenced under similar expressions of the same untruth: “These writings are inspired by God.” This untruth is stated or implied within the books themselves and/or by the “teachers” of the monotheism. Writings found underlying all of the three major monotheisms contain commands, to believers, to become the punishers and/or murderers of those who oppose the concept of the infallible book and/or the existence of a god.
There is some debate within the science and philosophy communities regarding what appears to us to be “free will.” As toddlers, we test the theory by throwing a tantrum now and then, to see if we can get future events to go “our way”. In this first draft writing, we will avoid this debate. For now, we will assume that we do indeed have free will, that we can make decisions and carry them out and change the course of evolution.
The reproductive life-cycle of the lancet fluke, a parasitic brain worm, provides an excellent case study for a quick understanding of both Genetic and Memetic evolution. Following below is a rough draft describing one such life cycle.
- The fluke lives and reproduces in the liver of a mammal like a sheep, a cow, or a goat.
- The fluke discharges its immature eggs in the liver.
- The eggs are released in the sheeps’s stool.
- A passing snail ingests the stool and become the new host for the eggs.
- The eggs develop and are coughed up in snail slime.
- An ant eats the snails slime and swallows the fluke egg that now reaches the larval stage.
- The larva parasitizes the ant’s brain and changes the ant’s behavior.
- The brain parasite drives the ant to commit suicide by climbing to the top of a blade of grass and wait in the sun to be eaten by a lamb and the life-cycle begins anew in the lamb’s liver.
The ant’s behavior is an extended phenotype, a visible end result of gene processing, enhancing the survival of the fluke, that appears outside of the body of the fluke.
Contrast this with the memeplex of Islam in the modern world:
- The spread of the meme to ‘help the refugees’, appearing outside of the documents of Islam, aid the spread of the Islam-replication-enforcing-violence currently marching across the EU and reaching into the USA.
- President Donald Trump is inclined to stop the migration of Islam until ‘we can figure out what’s going on.’
- For survival, Islam must oppose all efforts to find out ‘what’s going on.’
- This writing is but one attempt to identify ‘what’s going on.’
- Left wing media (LWM) is opposing Trump in every possible way, to the point of ignoring the concept of journalistic integrity. Opinions are openly published as facts and LWM pundits are growing quite used to simply retracting articles when they are caught red-handed.
- LWM operates as a numbers game. Their theory is that if they publish opinions every day as fact, such pseudo-fact will greatly outnumber the real facts and that the occasional retraction does little harm to the weight of the numbers game.
- LWM behavior is an extended phenotype of the Islam memeplex. Most LWM pundits and writers have no direct connection with Islam and are unaware that they are enhancing the spread of a memeplex that, the successful survival of which, requires their eventual destruction.
- In some cases, we can trace ownership of LWM organizations directly to Islam enforcing organizations.
The Threat of Islam
Here is a typical reproductive life-cycle of the Islamic monotheism memeplex:
- The totality of the memes is stored in a parent’s brain and taught to a child.
- The child is punished for any failure to believe. The child is exposed to endless streams of violent behavior acted out to punish the disbeliever, (women stoning, dismemberment, beheadings, September 11, Manchester, etc.)
- The child becomes mentally trapped by the monotheism, afraid to voice questions.
- A generation of children become mentally trapped by what is perceived to be each other’s unavoidable punishment for rejecting belief.
- The majority of the believers, although wishing to reject the violent prescriptions, dare utter no arguments.
- The monotheism thus begins to drive human behavior and, just as the liver fluke, drive its own reproduction within the brains of its helpless human captives, analogous to the ant metaphor in the genetic case. There is literally nothing they can do that is not immediately suicidal to themselves or homicidal to somebody they love.
Thus, Islam becomes an immediate threat of human extinction. Like many forms of extinction, it also drives mindlessly towards its own extinction. Its most ‘noble’ idea being suicide for the cause of ‘god’.
Freeing the Captives of Islam
It is important to note that this article, and this writer, declares and defends the fact that Muslims are not evil. Imagine a human being behaving like the ant that was infested with the lancet-fluke brain worm. Such a person is not evil at all and we would muster up all of society’s medical muscles to support the treatment and healing processes. To heal an estimated one hundred million Islam enforcers threatening us with extinction we are going to have to first diagnose the illness and create a treatment plan. Then we will treat and assist the patients during the healing processes. Eventually, we will demonstrate the courage required to accept the afflicted back into the mainstream of society where we should be well down the path to building a world of peace and in the process of making excursions to other planets. This is the natural course of human events and we should not allow Problem 6a to distract us from finally answering Fermi’s question. It is fully expected that mainstream Muslims, recognizing the need to correct the language in the documents of Islam that leads their children to such violent behavior, will be full participants in identifying the problem and proposing and carrying out the solution. Nobody is expected to give up beliefs in benevolent gods, but the principles of Liberty do expect that a religion that demands belief that a certain book or set of books are infallible will be strongly opposed by all rationally thinking human beings. Such a religion is tyranny. So, as siblings of a common ancestor, we should all recognize that many of our Muslim brothers and sisters are captives of ideologies of Islam that demand belief in infallible books. Some readers will not be at ease with this idea, feeling that if they reject the concept of the infallible book, they face the anger of a punishing god. Such readers are urged to read the book that will follow this article that will provide the rationale proving that the existence of such a god is impossible.
The Subversion of Language: Islamophobia
To plan the healing process, we must first label the illness. However, the name that leaps first to mind, “Islamophobia”, has already been subverted and captured for dishonest employment by the Muslim Brotherhood sect of Islam. The word is proposed to carry with it a connotation of “fear of, or hatred of Muslims” but this is not the truth. Both the prefix “islam” and the suffix “phobia” are being misused. “Islamophobia” is more precisely suited to mean “irrational fear to reject the ideas of Islam.” In other words, the only true “islamophobes” are the Islam enforcers themselves. They threaten to kill each other if they should voice objections to Islamic ideas like “death to apostates” and they live in fear of such a fate. This is a classic example of improper word coinage and usage. When encountering it in future debates, we can respond that such usage is no longer licensed and cite this and similar writings as references. This will place the onus to prove the validity of the coinage back where it belongs. And as we can see from the foregoing, that is a problem in definition that cannot be logically resolved. Here is a link that can be used to cite this paragraph:
Your usage of the word "Islamophobia" is dishonest: https://goo.gl/J3xyUh
For now, we can simply choose another name. Scriptophobia now leaps to mind and we will go with that for this article, defined as the fear to reject ancestral writings. There are about one hundred million Scriptophobes carrying out gruesome violence in obedience to commands given in ancestral writings identifiable under labels such as Hadith, Sira, Quran etc, together known as the documents of Islam.
Treatment Plan and Success
An effective treatment plan would recognize the biological connections and incorporate the following elements:
- Restraint: Scriptophobes preaching and carrying out the violence of Islam are interred in safe spaces.
- Quarantine: The violent must be separated from the violent to stop the cross-transmittal of irrational ideas driving the violence of Islam. Each patient is housed in a room where he is now free to learn and publish truth without fear of repercussion from neighbors. He or she has access to electronic delivery of information.
- Education: The patient is re-introduced to secular encyclopedias of information, unprejudiced by religious thought. Periodic testing occurs, measuring progress in the goal of loosening the grip of the ideological brain worms driving the violent behavior.
- Healing: The patient is invited to participate in discussions with the world community on man’s noble quests to
- Build a world of peace:
- What are the rational rules for a world of peace?
- Journey into the galaxies:
- How can we achieve the proper mindset establishing ourselves as worthy to visit worlds of thinkers such as ourselves?
- Build a world of peace:
- Rejoining society: Each patients progress is objectively measured. At the same time, regions of safety are prepared on the earth where the healed can now walk freely in complete enjoyment of the fruits of liberty and democracy without being bullied by self-proclaimed religion “leaders”.
Are we among the more advanced sets of thinkers in the cosmos? The unique set of circumstances that led to the establishment of the United States of America might suggest that we are. On every planet the thinkers will debate the proper form of government. Until 1776, tyranny, of one sort or another, was the only available form of government. Tyranny is the establishment of a central, heavily armed “authority” that makes and enforces the rules. While the concepts of liberty, freedom and democracy had been talking points in the “great discussion” of the generations of humanity over the centuries, the discovery and population of the new world at a time when speed of military travel was limited enabled thinkers to establish a government ruled by the principles of Liberty. The British empire was stretched too far and could not overcome the rebellion. Thus government of the people, by the people, and for the people was established on our planet and this could be quite rare in the cosmos. We are the posterity for whom our constitution was ordained, the inheritors of the blessings of Liberty.
Liberty does not exist by itself, it is carried forth from generation to generation by each generations labor, determination, courage and will. It is our duty to deliver it intact and strengthened and, most importantly, to offer it to the oppressed Peoples of the world, born to the misfortune of tyrannical rule. Theocracy, for example, cannot tolerate Liberty. It’s human leaders proclaim the ability to know the will of some god that they can never produce but that all citizens must obey. The tyrants propose books as infallible and that they are the only ones capable of their correct interpretation. They offer no evidence to support these claims, except for the point of a sword.
The documents of Islam are one such set of books proposed as infallible by tyrants of other lands, thereby creating governments as tyrannies of Islam, as such opposed to the concepts of Liberty. Thus, the battle of 1776 was rejoined by the events of September 11, 2001 and we must ask if we, the inheritors of Liberty, had been cajoled into a state of complacency by 225 years of success and if we reacted appropriately in the immediate aftermath. In any case, we can say for certain that, slowly or rapidly, we are indeed taking the reigns and this article is just one of many efforts participating in the resolution of the conflict.
This article is proposed as an identification of the cause of Islamic violence in our world and offers a proposal for a solution. As already indicated, a book based on these concepts is forthcoming and those interested are invited to revisit this site from time to time for announcements and to participate in any debates that might develop.
Professor Richard Dawkins, the first holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, who has published a dozen books explaining, clarifying and contributing to the science of evolution. This writing connects meme theory (memetics), published in The Selfish Gene (1976), with extended phenotype theory published in his later work The Extended Phenotype (1982).
The example of the lancet fluke is derived from a Ted Talk delivered by Daniel Dennett, PhD, Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University.