It certainly looks like concepts, words, theories etc. all evolve in a way that is analogous to the way living beings do. Ideas spread across the population in the same way genes spread over the gene pool. Fighting for our attention kinda like animals fight for food; and the battle is especially rough when there’s a shortage!
So, what increases a notion’s rate of survival and reproduction? Utility? Common sensibility? Verifiability? Aesthetic appeal?
Richard Dawkins is the first to introduce the concept of a ‘meme‘ into the stream of collective consciousness; he sees them as cultural equivalents of genetic information being transferred from one host to another. Although I wouldn’t say memes are just ‘viruses’ inhabiting our minds, but in a meaningful sense our own creations, which in turn re-create us in a perpetual feedback loop.
Now, what makes some ideas stick around for millenia, while others are just passing sensations? Only genuine knowledge can survive the test of ages and continue to be recognized as true wisdom by one generation ofter another. If ideas are not rooted in reality they’re going to be blown away by the wind. The river of time erodes everything but pure gold.
The thinking population of today is no longer satisfied by half-baked and doubtful fillers for the holes in our knowledge. Demand has risen for epistemologically credible claims.
The mind has this built-in self-correcting mechanism, and when it’s freed from bias and lazy, pre-packaged notions, it will learn to sharpen itself either from within, or by reconsidering it’s position when subjected to outside reviews.
Our conceptions evolve alongside ourselves, and they must be constantly updated to adapt to the ever-changing scenery of life. Rigidity and clinging to long-held beliefs prevent the mind from being fluid and flowing freely towards a moving target – the truth of the world.
Thank you for reading!
Written by: Miodrag Vujaković