+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 13 of 13
General Chat Thread, The Biomeme Hypothesis in General; The Biomeme Hypothesis . Interesting stuff - we already know cat owners are almost completely controlled by parasitic infections ;-), ...
  1. #1


    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,391
    Thank Post
    301
    Thanked 917 Times in 684 Posts
    Rep Power
    346

    The Biomeme Hypothesis

    The Biomeme Hypothesis. Interesting stuff - we already know cat owners are almost completely controlled by parasitic infections ;-), are religious rituals a result of similar infections?

    Presentation of the hypothesis: Some microorganisms would gain an evolutionary advantage by encouraging human hosts to perform certain rituals that favor microbial transmission. We hypothesize that certain aspects of religious behavior observed in the human society could be influenced by microbial host control and that the transmission of some religious rituals could be regarded as the simultaneous transmission of both ideas (memes) and parasitic organisms.

  2. #2
    CAM
    CAM is offline

    CAM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Reigate Area, Surrey
    Posts
    4,423
    Thank Post
    884
    Thanked 416 Times in 316 Posts
    Blog Entries
    61
    Rep Power
    328
    Most [Internet] memes are parasites....

  3. #3

    sonofsanta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Posts
    5,375
    Thank Post
    957
    Thanked 1,630 Times in 1,103 Posts
    Blog Entries
    47
    Rep Power
    711
    23 For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread;

    24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me.
    25 In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.
    26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord's death till he come.
    27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
    28 But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup.
    29 For he that eateth and drinketh, eateth and drinketh judgment unto himself, if he discern not the body.

    Corinthians 11:23-29

    See also: Toxoplasma gondii and no end of other creepy parasites in the animal kingdom. Cordyceps in ants is my favourite creepy parasite - controls the ant to climb to the highest point it can then lock its jaws into the plant so it can't fall off as a mushroom grows out of its head, so that - when said mushroom explodes in a puff of spores - the spores can spread as far as possible and infect more ants.

  4. #4
    spadam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dudley
    Posts
    157
    Thank Post
    23
    Thanked 41 Times in 31 Posts
    Rep Power
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Cordyceps in ants is my favourite creepy parasite
    Maybe a new thread is needed - 'What's your favourite parasite and why?'.

    I listened to a pretty good short story a while back inspired by Cordyceps - http://pseudopod.org/2011/10/21/pseudopod-252-the-cord/

  5. #5

    AMLightfoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hampshire, England
    Posts
    2,253
    Thank Post
    427
    Thanked 671 Times in 417 Posts
    Rep Power
    273
    I'd be more convinced by the argument that sexual deviance and 'fetishes' are influenced by microbes than 'religious' rituals. Ditto to SOME OCD behaviours (such as touching things a certain number of times etc). In the religions I'm familiar with (Christian ones) kissing of the feet of a cross, kissing of Bishops/Popes/Cardinal's rings etc and the sharing of a cup of wine are the only examples I can think of that favour microbial transmission (I can't speak for other religions) whereas the broad spectrum of sexual fetishes makes for a smorgasbord of microbial transit pathways. I can think of about 20 different 'kinks' off the top of my head that I would consider to be better microbial transmission behaviours than a once-a-week trip to Church...

  6. #6


    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,391
    Thank Post
    301
    Thanked 917 Times in 684 Posts
    Rep Power
    346
    Christian religion has many possible vectors, baptism (water), eating of blessed wafers things, washing feet. The whole gather lot's of people together in a church is good for any non-contact infection but pass round the collection plate so the bacteria which need a bit of a hug don't feel left out.

    If bacteria and viruses can modify behaviour to the extent of making ants get to a high point, freewill must be in for a bit of a squeeze.

  7. #7

    AMLightfoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hampshire, England
    Posts
    2,253
    Thank Post
    427
    Thanked 671 Times in 417 Posts
    Rep Power
    273
    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Christian religion has many possible vectors, baptism (water), eating of blessed wafers things, washing feet. The whole gather lot's of people together in a church is good for any non-contact infection but pass round the collection plate so the bacteria which need a bit of a hug don't feel left out.

    If bacteria and viruses can modify behaviour to the extent of making ants get to a high point, freewill must be in for a bit of a squeeze.
    I'm still not sure 'religious fervour' is a convincing vector. Modifying sexual behaviour would be less difficult than affecting free will because it's down to brain chemistry, nerve endings and hormones. Realistically it could be possible for a microbe to manipulate sexual behaviours by 'rewarding' the behaviour with endorphins (which, without reading the article might be what they're suggesting for the religious behaviours). Who knows. I'm not a biologist, I just think the pretext under which they propose to 'prove' behaviours is a bit flimsy.

  8. #8
    Galway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    1,463
    Thank Post
    9
    Thanked 345 Times in 238 Posts
    Rep Power
    107
    I think the parasites in this instance are the priests, rabbi, bishops or basically all the nut job speakers of religion.
    Thinking about it seriously, if you got rid of all these then the world would be a better place.

  9. Thanks to Galway from:

    AMLightfoot (17th July 2014)

  10. #9

    Seb1780's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    321
    Thank Post
    135
    Thanked 126 Times in 98 Posts
    Rep Power
    106
    Quote Originally Posted by AMLightfoot View Post
    I can think of about 20 different 'kinks' off the top of my head that I would consider to be better than a once-a-week trip to Church...
    FTFY

  11. 2 Thanks to Seb1780:

    AMLightfoot (17th July 2014), Garacesh (17th July 2014)

  12. #10

    sonofsanta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Posts
    5,375
    Thank Post
    957
    Thanked 1,630 Times in 1,103 Posts
    Blog Entries
    47
    Rep Power
    711
    Quote Originally Posted by Galway View Post
    I think the parasites in this instance are the priests, rabbi, bishops or basically all the nut job speakers of religion.
    Thinking about it seriously, if you got rid of all these then the world would be a better place.
    I've often said that I have no problem with belief; my problem is with religion specifically, the structure and the organisation and the politics behind it. I mean, C of E vicars and the like are generally, without fail, the loveliest and most well-meaning of people; but the Church as a whole is built around concentrating power and enforcing pre-medieval societal norms. The Catholic Church was born into the void of power left behind by the collapsing Roman Empire, after all, and the King James translation was heavily swayed by the desire to keep the peasantry peaceful (the meek shall inherit the earth etc.).

    The world would be a much nicer place if those who followed God had their conversations with Him* in private instead of going through layers of intermediaries that would twist words toward more earthly concerns.

    *her, it, etc.

  13. #11

    AMLightfoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hampshire, England
    Posts
    2,253
    Thank Post
    427
    Thanked 671 Times in 417 Posts
    Rep Power
    273
    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    I've often said that I have no problem with belief; my problem is with religion specifically, the structure and the organisation and the politics behind it. I mean, C of E vicars and the like are generally, without fail, the loveliest and most well-meaning of people; but the Church as a whole is built around concentrating power and enforcing pre-medieval societal norms. The Catholic Church was born into the void of power left behind by the collapsing Roman Empire, after all, and the King James translation was heavily swayed by the desire to keep the peasantry peaceful (the meek shall inherit the earth etc.).

    The world would be a much nicer place if those who followed God had their conversations with Him* in private instead of going through layers of intermediaries that would twist words toward more earthly concerns.

    *her, it, etc.
    The Church of England specifically (not non-catholic Christian sects, just the C of E) was created literally so that Henry VIII could marry Anne Boleyn after he was denied a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. So the C of E specifically is built entirely on the need for an obsessive King to sire a legitimate son.

  14. #12

    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    In the Calamatorium.
    Posts
    2,085
    Thank Post
    123
    Thanked 533 Times in 357 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    336
    The hypothesis would have to show that the carrier would have a transmission vector in all religions, not just current major religions. The vectors themselves need not be common (e.g. shared cups, as not all religion share vessels), but they need to be present. Otherwise, you'll be cherry picking if you didn't include all religions. What rituals do seventh day adventists have in common with those who followed Odin? I don't know, I picked them at random.

  15. #13

    AMLightfoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hampshire, England
    Posts
    2,253
    Thank Post
    427
    Thanked 671 Times in 417 Posts
    Rep Power
    273
    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx View Post
    The hypothesis would have to show that the carrier would have a transmission vector in all religions, not just current major religions. The vectors themselves need not be common (e.g. shared cups, as not all religion share vessels), but they need to be present. Otherwise, you'll be cherry picking if you didn't include all religions. What rituals do seventh day adventists have in common with those who followed Odin? I don't know, I picked them at random.
    Exactly my point about the flimsy pretext. Sexual kinks on the other hand transcend racial/social and religious boundaries and would make a considerably more reliable transmission vector. IMO that article is based on male-cow-excrement.



SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Anyone use the Bromcom system?
    By tarquel in forum MIS Systems
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 25th May 2007, 05:11 PM
  2. How are the rest of your schools connected?
    By Dos_Box in forum General Chat
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 8th August 2005, 11:42 AM
  3. Parental Consent to use the internet at school
    By mark in forum School ICT Policies
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 24th June 2005, 12:18 PM
  4. The KiXtart free-format scripting language
    By ninjabeaver in forum Downloads
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 16th June 2005, 01:11 PM
  5. Adding you links to the downloads section.
    By edugeekadmin in forum Downloads
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 14th June 2005, 08:44 AM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •