from Marketing Memetics, by Michael Taylor
Memetics is highly promising and has the potential to be the grand unifying theory we need to understand human nature. However it is not yet considered a scientific discipline by contemporary scholars. The theory of Memetics has never been refuted, but it also isn’t mainstream. The primary criticism is with the identification and measurement of memes, as well as how they reproduce, spread, and develop. There’s no commonly accepted, scientific definition of a meme, so they can’t easily be examined empirically.
Proponents of Memetics have been caught up in the ontology of meme units — categorizing them into groups — rather than testing hypotheses for how memes form and interact. This lack of practical results meant the concept of a self-replicating meme was excluded from pre-eminent models used by the research community, who opted for gene-culture co-evolution instead (also called dual inheritance theory). Co-evolution has its roots in group selection, a theory that is no longer widely accepted by evolutionists.
We can identify genes from a long list of nucleotides, but we currently have no way to identify where a meme begins and ends. If we had a mathematical definition of a gene, then we could make testable predictions & falsifiable hypotheses. We would need to make predictions about how the presence of specific memes will alter marketing outcomes, and those predictions would have to turn out to be correct. Ideally we would identify insights that nobody would have looked for had they not been starting from a theory of Memetics.
Presentation Military Memetics Tutorial 13 Dec 11.pdf
The Meme Machine, Blackmore
What Makes Science Science?
Why Did Memetics Fail? Comparative Case Study