Infectious Memes

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And these words which I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them thoroughly to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign upon your arm, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.

—excerpt from the Shema, a prayer that all observant Jews are required to recite twice daily

It is with some justice that philosophers such as Daniel Dennett have labeled Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection the best idea a human being has ever had. In a single brilliant stroke, Darwin explained all of life’s vast diversity and subtle adaptation in a set of orderly, simple principles that define the means by which living things evolve to suit their environments. Few other ideas have so effectively shown the power of science’s reductionist viewpoint toward studying the world.

However, as with most important scientific ideas, evolution has undergone many modifications and extensions since it was first proposed. One implication of Darwin’s ideas which did not occur to him is that evolution is not limited to acting solely on living things and their genes. Any unit of information that is reproduced imperfectly and faces competition to survive and spread can undergo, and will undergo, an analogous process of evolution. And though it may be hard to see initially what other informational unit could participate in such a process, there are indeed other replicators out there, whizzing around us by the hundreds every day, multiplying invisibly in great swarms, and struggling against each other, often violently, for dominance. They are known as memes.

Just as the gene is the fundamental unit of biology, the meme is the fundamental unit of culture. A meme can be a word, a song, a phrase, a parable, an invention, an idea, a technique – anything that tends to be passed on as a single, cohesive unit. A single musical note is probably not a meme, but the sequence of four famous notes that make up the opening to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony undoubtedly is. But while genes assume a relatively limited repertoire of forms – DNA, RNA, protein – memes by comparison are promiscuous in the diversity of encodings they take on. A meme can be expressed as a set of marks on paper, a set of speech patterns in the air, a set of neural firings in a brain, a set of bits in the memory of a computer, or any of the vast number of ways in which human beings communicate and express ideas.

And just as living things are ultimately made of genes, our society is largely made of memes. A human being with no memes whatsoever would be little different, intellectually, from other animals; such a person would have no language, no skills, no knowledge about the world. It is the vast pool of memes circulating in human society, independent of any single mind – what some authors refer to as “extelligence” – that has boosted humanity’s collective intellectual capacity beyond the outputs of isolated geniuses and that has made it possible for us to exert the degree of control and understanding we do over the external world. Our society is like a boiling, turbulent cauldron of memes, with some rising and some falling, some spreading as rapidly as wildfire and others fading away, as different ideas vie for available mind space.

I wrote in my essay “Thoughts in Captivity” that memes also differ from genes in that a single meme can reproduce and spread through human minds all by itself, whereas a gene must usually cooperate with other genes to build functioning organisms in order to be passed on. This is true as far as it goes, but an important point is that memes often do not travel in isolation either. Just as the selective environment that determines a gene’s success or failure is composed principally of the other genes that interact with it, so too do memes expressing similar or related concepts, memes that reinforce each other, often band together into memeplexes that reproduce more successfully than any of those memes could do on their own.

There is another subtle point that is well worth grasping. It is true that many memes have spread because they are beneficial for us, because they provide the person that possesses them with an advantage over a person who does not. Memes such as the wheel, the scientific method, or E = mc2 have thrived because they increase our knowledge of the environment and our ability to alter it to our benefit. But it does not follow that every meme behaves in this way. As per the principles of evolution, a meme cannot spread unless it confers some replicative advantage, but that advantage need not be to the meme’s carriers. On the contrary, a meme can flourish because the instructions it carries are good for the meme itself, not for the human being whose mind contains it.

For example, consider the meme of killing oneself and others in an explosive orgy of violence – a meme put into effect by school shooters and suicide terrorists alike. This meme is, sadly, replicating quite well (as recent news headlines show), despite its lethal effect on its carriers. It succeeds because the vivid media attention given to these shocking events helps it reach other troubled minds in which to take root, just as a virulent plague can afford to kill its hosts rapidly as long as it is contagious enough to jump to new ones in time.

Another example, indeed the paramount example, of memeplexes that replicate because it is advantageous to themselves to do so is, of course, religion. Religious memes have been fantastically successful at spreading through human minds, but it is not necessarily because they confer any advantage on their hosts. If anything, the vast amount of elaborate, repetitive behavior and ritual demanded by many religions, not to mention the huge investments of time and financial resources, often make religion a net drain on the people who practice it. Although religions do provide some social services to their members, that is not the only or the most important reason why they persist. Rather, religious memes persist because they contain a variety of ways to ensure their own propagation.

One of the most common is the instructions contained in religious memeplexes that say, “Teach me to your children while they are very young.” In a species that needs as much post-natal mental development as humans, there are sound evolutionary reasons why children must be willing to believe anything their parents tell them: this is how we absorb the vast quantities of information needed to survive. But religious memes, like parasites free-loading on the efforts of others, have hijacked this and turned it to their advantage. A child’s entire worldview, their most basic beliefs about what is plausible and what is not, is usually learned from their parents. Furthermore, relatively few people ever throw off the beliefs taught to them in their childhood, making the indoctrination of children a particularly effective and insidious way for religions to make converts. It is not that any individual planned this deliberately, but rather that religions which only targeted adults would probably be crowded out by religions which encourage the indoctrination of children. By the time someone becomes a potential convert to the “adult” religion, they will probably already have a religion of their own and will be much less likely to convert.

Similarly, it is no coincidence that religious memes discourage doubt and teach their followers to shun sources of information which conflict with their beliefs. Once they have gained a lock on a person’s mind, religious memes naturally will thrive by suppressing all competition. Their “aim”, in the non-anthropomorphic sense, is to convince a person who is in their power to believe in them alone and to fiercely reject all other sources of information and ways of knowing. This excerpt from an e-mail sent to me by a Christian correspondent makes this explicit:

Prior to finding the truth, which is Christ, I was open to hearing opposing views, but now having found the truth it would be pointless to waste my time. …I am absolutely 100% convinced that I have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth… I heartily echo what the Apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 2:2: For I [am] determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

In this respect, religious memes show striking similarities to the way parasites in nature subvert and control their host’s behavior. In his book Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer writes about an especially bizarre species of parasitic barnacle, Sacculina carcini, which infects crabs. Once it has penetrated a crab’s exoskeleton, Sacculina begins a new life inside the crab’s body, sprouting a web of fleshy tendrils which infiltrate its host’s viscera and draw nutrients from its blood. An infected crab ceases growing, ceases molting, and ceases mating, as the parasite redirects all the crab’s energy towards nutrition for itself. In effect, infected crabs become zombified eating machines, consuming food only to nourish the parasite inside them.

The Christian quoted above is very much the memetic analogue of this. This person originally e-mailed me to respond to my article “Foundation of Sand“, writing that she had something she wanted me to consider. The rest of her e-mail consisted of a long list of verses cut and pasted from the Bible. When I wrote back to ask this person if she had a response to any of my actual reasons for being an atheist, she responded that she had no intention of disputing my arguments, but only felt compelled to “proclaim the gospel” to me. Following this was another list of cut-and-pasted biblical quotes, interspersed with arrogant declarations of total certainty like the above. She also declared that Jesus Christ, by which she really meant the Christian memes controlling her, was “my life, my all in all”. Like a crab controlled by Sacculina, this individual has lost all capacity for independent thought, becoming nothing more than a mindless vehicle of repetition for the memes dwelling in her head. Admittedly, this is an extreme case, but by no means a rare one.

When we see Christians mindlessly reciting Bible verses, or Jews teaching the Shema to their children on the Shema’s instructions, or Muslims blowing themselves up in suicide terrorism, we are witnessing infectious memes at work. Some of these memes are relatively slow-spreading and benign, while others have all the urgency and rapid spread of an epidemic. All of these ideas, however, are vying for space in human minds, using whatever tricks they can to shoulder aside the many others that are doing the same thing. But in this war of the memes, the one thing that every one of them is lacking is any evidence at all that they originally came from, or are sustained by, anything outside the efforts of human minds.

Fortunately, there is an antidote to all these infectious religious memes. We atheists have the antidote – in fact, we are the antidote. And we have made great strides in spreading our own message and setting many people free from the tyranny of warring memes, but not nearly enough. The only question is whether we can organize and focus our efforts effectively enough to truly bring enlightenment to humanity and sweep away the otherwise endless battles of faith and superstition.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • CalUWxBill

    I think your idea here is very thoughtful. I’d have to think about it alot more though. I see what your saying about the memes to a degree. I don’t believe memes have a desire any more than human genes do, they simply are fit to spread and hold. Granted the human mind is quite vulnerable to parisitic ideas.

  • stillwaters

    I have recently become very interested in memes, what they are and how they work. I have been trying to discover a way to combat this religious meme, like introducing an atheist meme, but have been unsuccessful so far. I realize just saying the atheist message over and over again probably helps, but I keep thinking I’ll find something bigger than that.

    I just saw the movie, “The US vs. John Lennon”, in which a powerful meme was created by John. It is a verse of a song which I think will be familiar to most readers.

    “All we are saying. . .
    Is give peace a chance.”

    He sang this during a bed-in. Then it was sung by about a million protesters in Washington, DC, during a rally there. All I kept thinking was, “Wow, what a powerful meme.”

    That’s what atheists need. Some kind of little ditty, or a jingle of some sort. Something “catchy” and repetitive. And gets stuck in your head. Yeah.

  • Infophile

    Hmm, how about, “Forget about the next one, give this life a chance”?

  • Mikidu

    The brief excerpt from your intransigent Christian correspondent reminds me of that most quotable quote from Isaac Asimov.

    It is religion that recruits their squadrons. Tens of millions of Americans, who neither know nor understand the actual arguments for – of even against – evolution, march in the army of the night, their Bibles held high. And they are a strong and frightening force, impervious to, and immunized against, the feeble lance of mere reason.

    How true!

  • http://secularplanet.blogspot.com Secular Planet

    Excellent entry as usual. I do want to comment on the final paragraph:

    Fortunately, there is an antidote to all these infectious religious memes. We atheists have the antidote – in fact, we are the antidote. And we have made great strides in spreading our own message and setting many people free from the tyranny of warring memes, but not nearly enough. The only question is whether we can organize and focus our efforts effectively enough to truly bring enlightenment to humanity and sweep away the otherwise endless battles of faith and superstition.

    This sounds disturbingly like you are intent on spreading the meme that there are no gods. I certainly believe this proposition is true, but your wording here just sounds as though it’s just one more meme doing battle with other memes. Do you care to comment and clarify?

  • Archi Medez

    Ebonmuse,

    Another thoughtful, worthwhile essay. Also, ‘Thoughts in Captivity’ looks interesting and I hope read it when I get a chance.

    A few observations:

    A meme is just a concept of some kind (belief, scheme, procedure, icon, etc.); that the word meme is often now used for concept in discussions about evolution, things being passed on, spread, replicated, etc.

    Religious vs non-religious meme:

    Memes that are subsumed in memeplexes known as religions are not necessarily worse from (moral, scientific, and health standpoints) than non-religious memes. Stalinism, Maoism, etc., are worse than most religious memeplexes.

    Memes that are subsumed in an ostensibly religious memeplex are not necessarily religious (e.g., “thou shalt not kill” is not particularly religious; whereas “kill (1) idolators, (2) apostates, (3) blasphemers” are religious memes. [Though, even there, one could argue that the latter 3 memes are political memes disguised as religious memes. I suppose a more purely religious meme would be the belief in an afterlife, though even that is politicized by making one's assignment to heaven or hell contingent upon corresponding patterns of behaviour and expression in real life, i.e., it's just a deceptive scheme to control others in the real world].

    An important point about the latter 3 memes in the above example is that they are overtly oriented toward self-preservation of the meme in the face of competing memes and threats to the meme’s viability in potential hosts. Another important aspect of those three memes is that they all involve response to some form of public expression or behaviour (idolatry, apostasy, and blasphemy are not punished if they are not detected by other people; nor will they spread if they are not detected). Humans spread the meme, and the meme will be successful to the extent that it (alone or in combination with other memes) can regulate human behaviour and expression in its service. Killing someone who spreads competing memes is one way to perpetuate and spread a meme.

    Memes can involve camouflage or mimicry effects. For example, the 3 memes above could be political memes disguised as religious memes. At times, there may be some selective advantage for disguising a political meme as a religious one (or vice versa). Disguise may be achieved by attaching one meme to another more prominent one, or by embedding a meme within a larger successful memeplex.

    These ideas are probably familiar, though phrased in other terms, to those who study the use of persuasion and propaganda, brainwashing, cult deprogramming, etc.

    The environment

    You write:

    that memes also differ from genes in that a single meme can reproduce and spread through human minds all by itself, whereas a gene must usually cooperate with other genes to build functioning organisms in order to be passed on. This is true as far as it goes, but an important point is that memes often do not travel in isolation either. Just as the selective environment that determines a gene’s success or failure is composed principally of the other genes that interact with it, so too do memes expressing similar or related concepts, memes that reinforce each other, often band together into memeplexes that reproduce more successfully than any of those memes could do on their own.

    “Environment” could mean the brain/mind of the individual person, the person’s social group (with which he/she interacts directly), the society, or the civilization.

    Let’s suppose the environment is the person. For meme X-belief to establish itself in the person, the person must at least have been exposed to X-belief, possibly known to the person (i.e., the belief is known but not necessarily believed/endorsed), and possibly believed by the person. If the person self-identifies and indeed cherishes X-belief, this creates a situation where (a) an attack on the person may be interpreted as an attack on the X-belief, and (b) an attack on X-belief is interpreted as an attack on the person’s self-identity. Obviously, when a person perceives that they are being attacked, they will defend themself and all that “themself” entails including X-belief.

    What we (at least, probably the majority of posters here) would call good memes make the brain/mind of the user relatively immune to infection from bad memes (i.e., those that are irrational, immoral, unsupported).

    Inoculation can be helpful if the person has first acquired some of the rational scientific moral memes we’ve discussed here, and then is exposed to a manageable dose of the bad meme. This could occur in the course of giving a discussion on logical fallacies, and then pointing out an example of a fallacious argument. This may boost later immune response as the neural organizations have been pre-configured to reject the bad meme in a targetted way.

    Extensive learning of the more general principles of science and of ethical analysis should naturally build up immunity to a whole host of bad memes, without having to inoculate individually against each and everyone. Pursuit of scientific and moral investigations requires freedom of expression, particularly when we attempt to study and discuss the sensitive areas of religion and politics.

    I recall seeing one time a critical reasoning text that somewhere had the phrase “A guide to responsible management of beliefs” or something like that. The world needs such a guide.

  • Archi Medez

    “Killing someone who spreads competing memes is one way to perpetuate and spread a meme.”

    …just to be pre-emptively clear, I am describing, not advocating that!

  • Christopher

    So, to fight the religious memes, we must use secular ones… But then what? Once the religious memes are gone, what will the secularist memes compete against to stay relavent?

    As much as I hate religion, it does make a powerful competitor for us. If we destroy the religious memes, our memes will have to look elsewhere for competition.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    This sounds disturbingly like you are intent on spreading the meme that there are no gods. I certainly believe this proposition is true, but your wording here just sounds as though it’s just one more meme doing battle with other memes. Do you care to comment and clarify?

    Yes, atheism is a meme also. Nothing wrong with that; every idea that is passed from person to person is a meme. The term itself is neutral. The problem is with memeplexes that spread not because they are true, or because they are useful or beneficial to the people who possess them, but because they are designed to spread and reproduce for their own benefit, as religion does. The struggle is between good memes and bad memes, not between memes and no memes.

    Once the religious memes are gone, what will the secularist memes compete against to stay relavent?

    I don’t accept the idea that memes require continual competition to remain in existence. If atheism is more beneficial to humanity than religion, as I believe it is, then if it becomes the dominant meme it will remain dominant and that will be that. The meme that the earth revolves around the sun does not require continual competition from geocentrist memes to remain in existence; it is simply part of conventional wisdom.

    There is one sense in which this is accurate, namely that in a world where everyone was an atheist, there would be no need for anyone to call themselves an atheist – it would be superfluous. But that doesn’t mean the concept itself will cease to exist, only that it will no longer be a category that marks off a distinct segment of humanity.

  • http://www.dogsonacid.com KlokWyze

    Never heard of the term “meme” before. Interesting/funny article…

    HILARIOUS ——> “In this respect, religious memes show striking similarities to the way parasites in nature subvert and control their host’s behavior. In his book Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer writes about an especially bizarre species of parasitic barnacle, Sacculina carcini, which infects crabs. Once it has penetrated a crab’s exoskeleton, Sacculina begins a new life inside the crab’s body, sprouting a web of fleshy tendrils which infiltrate its host’s viscera and draw nutrients from its blood. An infected crab ceases growing, ceases molting, and ceases mating, as the parasite redirects all the crab’s energy towards nutrition for itself. In effect, infected crabs become zombified eating machines, consuming food only to nourish the parasite inside them.”

    More meme complexes are the arms industry/”services”, concepts of private ownership and banking. Corporate giants/big government are doing FAR more damage to humanity than religon @ the moment. But what all these “meme complexes” seem to have in common is that people that carry them seem to have their understanding of reality based on faith/beliefs rather than experiences/evidence.

    Thank you The Observatory for the article. =)

  • lpetrich

    A good analogy for memes might be a chain letter. Some chain letters get passed along simply because they seem interesting or worthy to their readers. And some chain letters promise that Good Things will happen to those who pass them along, and that Bad Things will happen to those who don’t.

  • Alex Weaver

    As far as religions go, I think the labels and their associations may be more infectious than the actual religious beliefs. It occurs to me that many people I know have a relationship to their religious denomination more or less like this woman’s relationship to the Republican party.

  • Joe Hardwick

    When these “memeplexes” were crafted, there was no distinction. A “political memeplex” should be identical to a religous one…they’ve been coextensive, as far as the eye can see into history. “Doctors of the law” = “Doctors of the soul.”
    And Psyche=soul. Ancient lawgivers knew they were brainwashers. The psyche is, after all, what is governed.

    “The true student of politics, too, is thought to have studied virtue above all things; for he wishes to make his fellow citizens good and obedient to the laws. As an example of this we have the lawgivers of the Cretans and the Spartans, and any others of the kind that there may have been. And if this inquiry belongs to political science, clearly the pursuit of it will be in accordance with our original plan. But clearly the virtue we must study is human virtue; for the good we were seeking was human good and the happiness human happiness. By human virtue we mean not that of the body but that of the soul; and happiness also we call an activity of soul. But if this is so, clearly the student of politics must know somehow the facts about soul, as the man who is to heal the eyes or the body as a whole must know about the eyes or the body; and all the more since politics is more prized and better than medicine; but even among doctors the best educated spend much labour on acquiring knowledge of the body. The student of politics, then, must study the soul,..” (Nicomachean Ethics, BK.I – 13, tr. By W.D.Ross)

  • Gordon Hide

    “By the time someone becomes a potential convert to the “adult” religion, they will probably already have a religion of their own and will be much less likely to convert.”

    I think just the opposite. IMHO the statistics will bear me out. Someone whose mind was trained in religion early on is more likely to be a convert to religion later. If you reach the age of 18 with no religious training you are much less likely to convert. Although there may be other examples, apart from religion, of training the minds of the young to accept as fact information which runs contrary to their actual experience.

  • Gordon Hide

    From Archi Medez:-
    “Extensive learning of the more general principles of science and of ethical analysis should naturally build up immunity to a whole host of bad memes, without having to inoculate individually against each and every one.”

    This is an interesting idea. I guess what I was trying to say in my previous post is that there is a corollary to the above. Infection by one irrational meme will leave you more open to attack by others.

  • Phat Khat

    More meme complexes are the arms industry/”services”, concepts of private ownership and banking. Corporate giants/big government are doing FAR more damage to humanity than religon @ the moment. But what all these “meme complexes” seem to have in common is that people that carry them seem to have their understanding of reality based on faith/beliefs rather than experiences/evidence.

    If you study the religious right vigorously, you will discover the link between Calvinism and Free Market Capitalism. I don’t dispute your assertion about “damage”, but considering the fact that the two forces are in bed with one another, it makes it all the more chilling.

  • LeadProphet

    Isn’t it the case that memes must only exist within the neurons of the human brain?

    After all, if a group of words exists in a book but not in the mind of at least one person, then it can’t compete with other memes. It simply sits there, inert. You might say that the human brain is the sole breeding and crossbreeding ground of the meme. Human minds use many, many different ways to propagate memes, but it is all for the ultimate purpose of putting those memes in other people’s heads.

  • Nicole

    Atheism is a meme too. :)

    “Similarly, it is no coincidence that religious memes discourage doubt and teach their followers to shun sources of information which conflict with their beliefs. Once they have gained a lock on a person’s mind, religious memes naturally will thrive by suppressing all competition. Their “aim”, in the non-anthropomorphic sense, is to convince a person who is in their power to believe in them alone and to fiercely reject all other sources of information and ways of knowing. This excerpt from an e-mail sent to me by a Christian correspondent makes this explicit:

    Prior to finding the truth, which is Christ, I was open to hearing opposing views, but now having found the truth it would be pointless to waste my time. …I am absolutely 100% convinced that I have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth… I heartily echo what the Apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 2:2: For I [am] determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

    Response: Hmm.. well it seems apparent that I have not been appropriately indoctrinated in this manor and neither have you, if you’re openly talking and thinking with me. However this would also imply that both of us, if not ‘in slavery’ to our own meme’s [i.e. Christianity and Atheism] be open to listening to each others meme with the least amount of insecurity as possible! Both meme’s should be valid centers of subjective and inter-subjectivity; unless, of course, we are competing with each other to ‘one up’ the other’s meme!

    “Fortunately, there is an antidote to all these infectious religious memes. We atheists have the antidote – in fact, we are the antidote. And we have made great strides in spreading our own message and setting many people free from the tyranny of warring memes, but not nearly enough.”

    Response: Since Atheism is also a meme, how is this different then inserting a different type of meme in place of one’s previous meme? Warring meme’s are what you are trying to eradicate, but really it sounds like just another type of warring meme, even if one views it as ‘more correct’ from either standpoint of one’s meme.

  • Nicole

    Also, I have not read other’s comments prior to posting the statement above. I apologize for any redundant comments [a 'polite' meme :)].

  • Nicole

    Can one become ‘lazy’ with other meme’s if one accepts the meme of memetic evolution?

  • Alex Weaver

    Response: Since Atheism is also a meme, how is this different then inserting a different type of meme in place of one’s previous meme? Warring meme’s are what you are trying to eradicate, but really it sounds like just another type of warring meme, even if one views it as ‘more correct’ from either standpoint of one’s meme.

    This is a bit like complaining that replacing an iron-fisted police state with a representative democracy is pointless, since there’s still a government. (Very much like it, actually, given the rather totalitarian nature of most religious memes, which almost invariably label disbelief and even doubt a grave sin).

  • http://myspace.com/nicolellang Nicole

    (Very much like it, actually, given the rather totalitarian nature of most religious memes, which almost invariably label disbelief and even doubt a grave sin).

    Thank you for saying ‘most’ Alex :). I value theology & philosophy more so than ‘religion’ in the technical sense.

    Question of the day: Can one become ‘lazy’ with other meme’s if one accepts the meme of memetic evolution?

    Thought of the day: Infectious memes are just like any other absolutized ideologies, philosophies, rhetoric etc. I believe we need to recognize and value persons as ‘valid centers of subjectivity’. :)

  • http://myspace.com/nicolellang Nicole

    Click here to find out what it means to be Fully Human.

  • http://elliptica.blogspot.com Lynet

    I believe we need to recognize and value persons as ‘valid centers of subjectivity’.

    Very cryptic. Is that a postmodern phrase with connotations we should know about?

    Certainly we all have our own subjective side, and this can contain aspects of ourselves that are important and not to be dismissed. Nevertheless I do think there are many things that we can have objective evidence for, and some areas of thought where subjectivity ought to be avoided.

  • http://myspace.com/nicolellang Nicole

    Lynet, are you familiar with perspectivalism?

  • http://myspace.com/nicolellang Nicole

    Also, I have blogs posted that address the comment ‘valid centers of subjectivity’ if you’re interested in reading them. Feel free to check them out on my site, or I could perhaps supply the links.

  • http://myspace.com/nicolellang Nicole

    What I have also found fascinating is that one can be an atheist, yet still find rational explanation in concept of Tao. Has anyone else found this? Or have we simply dismissed the committed pursuit of reason and have forgotten about value of ‘living the questions’?

  • http://www.myspace.com/nicolellang Nicole

    Getting into the mind of a God Killer:

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/faithandreason/watch_amis.html