by Robert E. Rogoff
Religions are cultural constructs, and hence qualify as being memes. Memes, for those unfamiliar with the term, are the cultural equivalent of the biological genes. They behave like viruses, and are subject to the same laws of Darwinian winnowing as biological organisms.
A religion will survive as long as it is the best-adapted meme to occupy its memetic niche. At some point there may be only one religion left, having overtaken all others in what would be equivalent to what I've decided to call the religionsphere.
What is the connection between religion and mental disorder? Most religions seem to have some association with people who were psychotic or hallucinating on drugs. St. Joan of Arc, after all, had "visions."
And all those miracles in the Bible. God spoke to Moses in the form of a burning bush. And so on.
Copyright © 1994-2008 Robert E. Rogoff. All rights reserved.