Culture is a unique and fascinating aspect of the human species. How did it emerge and how does it develop? Richard Dawkins suggested culture evolves and that memes are cultural replicators, subject to variation and selection in the same way as genes are in the biological world. Thus human culture is the product of a mindless evolutionary algorithm. Does this imply, as some have argued, that we are mere meme machines and that the conscious self is an illusion? This highly readable and accessible book extends Dawkins's theory, presenting for the first time a fully developed concept of cultural DNA. Distin argues that culture's development can be seen as the result of memetic evolution and as the product of human creativity. Memetic evolution is perfectly compatible with the view of humans as conscious and intelligent. This book should find a wide readership amongst philosophers, psychologists, sociologists and non-academic readers.

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