Memes and Tremes

People often ask me what to read on a particular subject, if you are interested in memes and tremes (the third replicator), here are my suggestions,

My books and articles on all topics are listed in PublicationsFind a complete list of my publications on memes at my memetics site and a list of publications and podcasts on tremes – my proposed third replicator.

“The Three Memeteers” Daniel Dennett, Susan Blackmore, Richard Dawkins


My TED lecture  Genes, memes and temes. 2008. Now with subtitles in 23 languages.


The Meme Machine , Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press 1999

Book Chapters

Dangerous Memes; or what the Pandorans let loose. In Cosmos and Culture: Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context, edited by Steven Dick and Mark Lupisella 2010

Memetics does provide a useful way of understanding cultural evolution. In Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology,  Ed. Francisco Ayala and Robert Arp, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell,  255-72. 2010 (paired with a critical article by William Wimsat this chapter deals with the arguments for and against memetics)

Blackmore (2010) Dangerous Memes; or what the Pandorans let loose. In Cosmos and CultureCultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context, Ed. Steven Dick and Mark Lupisella, NASA 297-318

Blackmore, S. (2010) Artificial self-replicating meme machines. In: This Will Change Everything: Ideas that will shape the future. Ed. John Brockman, Harper Perenniel  pp 135-8 Reprint of my response to the Edge Question 2009

Memes, minds and imagination. In Imaginative Minds (Proceedings of the British Academy). Ed. Ilona Roth, Oxford University Press, pp 61-78, 2007

Imitation makes us human. In What makes us human? Ed. Charles Pasternak, Oxford, Oneworld, pp 1-16. 2007 Extract

The meme’s eye view. In Darwinizing Culture: The Status of Memetics as a Science, Ed. R.A.Aunger, Oxford; Oxford University Press.

Blackmore, S.J. (2005) Even deeper misunderstandings of memes: Commentary on Gil-White, In Perspectives on Imitation: From Mirror Neurons to Memes, Ed. S. Hurley and N. Chater, MIT Press Vol 2 406-9

Blackmore, S.J. (2005) Evidence for memetic drive?: Commentary on Iacoboni, In Perspectives on Imitation: From Mirror Neurons to Memes, Ed. S. Hurley and N. Chater, MIT Press Vol 1 203-5

Blackmore, S.J. (2005) A possible confusion between mimetic and memetic. In Perspectives on Imitation: From Mirror Neurons to Memes, Ed. S. Hurley and N. Chater, MIT Press Vol 2 396-8

Blackmore, S.J. (2005) Can memes meet the challenge?: Commentary on Chater and Greenberg. In Perspectives on Imitation: From Mirror Neurons to Memes, Ed. S. Hurley and N. Chater, MIT Press Vol 2 409-11

Blackmore, S. (2003) The evolution of meme machines. In Meneghetti, A. et al. Ontopsychology and Memetics, Rome, Psicologica Editrice, pp 233-240.
See also a Note on Ontopsychology.
This paper is also available in FrenchPortugueseItalian, and Russian.

Blackmore, S.J. (2002) Memes as good science. In M. Shermer (Ed) The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience, Santa Barbara, CA., ABC-Clio, 652-663. Reprint of Blackmore,S.J. 1997 The power of the meme meme. The Skeptic (US), 5 No 2, 43-49

Blackmore,S.J. 1999 Waking from the Meme Dream. In The Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Science and Our Day-to-day Lives, Ed. G.Watson, S.Batchelor and G.Claxton, London, Rider, 112-122. Also available in Italian and French at, and in Spanish in Dharma1, 21-9, 2005. Also re-published on the SAND Website, 23 April 2019.

Scientific articles

Blackmore, S. 2016 Memes and the evolution of religion: We need memetics too. Commentary on Norenzayan et al   Behavioral and Brain Sciences39, 22-3 View PDF

Blackmore, S. 2008 Memes shape brains shape memes. Commentary on Christiansen and Chater. Behavioral and Brain Sciences31, 513 PDF

Blackmore, S.J. 2005 Implications for memetics. Commentary on Steels, L and Belpaeme, T. Coordinating perceptually grounded categories through language: A case study for colour. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 490 PDF

Blackmore, S.J. 2003 Consciousness in Meme Machines. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 10, 4-5, 19-30  WORD  PDF

Evolution and memes: The human brain as a selective imitation device. Cybernetics and Systems, 32, 225-255. 2001
Italian translation Blackmore S. (2003), “I memi e lo sviluppo del cervello”, in KOS 211, aprile 2003, pp. 56-64.
German translation Blackmore S. (2003) “Evolution und Meme: Das menschliche Gehirn als selektiver Imitationsapparat.”.

Blackmore,S. 2001 Evolution and memes: The human brain as a selective imitation device. Cybernetics and Systems32, 225-255. View PDF
Italian translation Blackmore S. (2003), “I memi e lo sviluppo del cervello”, in KOS 211, aprile 2003, pp. 56-64. View PDF
German translation “Evolution und Meme: Das menschliche Gehirn als selektiver Imitationsapparat” Gene, Meme und Gehirne: Geist und Gesellschaft als Natur Eine Debatte,Ed. Becker, A., Mehr, C., Nau, H.H., Reuter, G. und Stegmüller, D. Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp, 2003, 49-89 View PDF

Bull,L., Holland,O. and Blackmore,S.  2000 On meme-gene coevolution. Artificial Life, 6, 227-235

Blackmore,S.J. 2000 Memes and the malign user illusion (abstract), Consciousness and Cognition9, S49 View PDF Abstract

Blackmore,S.J. 1999 Meme machines and consciousness, Journal of Intelligent Systems, 9, 355-376 abstract  

Popular Articles

Copy that: a response, on the third replicator, New York Times, 3 September 2010

The third replicator, Debate in the New York Times, 22 August 2010

Natural selection applies to everything. New Humanist, May, June 2006, 23-24

Memes, Creativity and Consciousness. Aesthetica, May, June, July 2006 Issue 13, 50

Blackmore,S.J. 2002 Meditation as meme weeding. New Ch’an Forum, No 26, Summer 2002, 22-26

Blackmore,S.J. 2000 The power of memes. Scientific American, 283:4, 52-61. Also response to letters to the editor, Scientific American, 284:2, 10 Also translated into Russian

Blackmore,S.J. 2000 Do memes make sense? Yes. Free Inquiry, Summer 2000, 42-44 (with commentary “No” by Michael Bradie) Reprinted in Think: Philosophy for Everyone, No 5. Autumn 2003, 21-26

Blackmore,S.J. 1999 The Y2K meme. The Psychologist, 12, No 12, 599

Blackmore,S.J. 1999 The forget meme not theory. Times Higher Education Supplement, 26 February,

Blackmore,S.J. 1999 Meme, myself, I. New Scientist, 13 March, 40-44

The power of memes. Scientific American, 283:4, 52-61, 2000. Also response to letters to the editor, Scientific American, 284:2, 10 Also translated into Russian

Meme, myself, I. New Scientist, 13 March, 40-44, 1999

Watch Podcasts

My discussion with Jordan Peterson on Premier Christian Radio, part of The Big Conversation video series from Unbelievable? “Do we need God to make sense of life?”. 8 June 2018

Interview with Mel van Dusen at his home in California, on Genes, memes and tremes,  08 August 2017

Dan Dennett has sent me a link to his latest lecture at the Santa Fe Institute – and there’s lots about memes (May 2017)

Talk at CogNovo’s summer school “ColLaboratoire” (University of Plymouth), ‘Consciousness in treme machines’. Inspired by the students’ question ‘Could the Internet be conscious?’ 19 August 2016 watch on Vimeo

Genes, Memes and Tremes” on TV in Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, May 2015 (The whole programme is 43 minutes long, my interview is from 20:21 to 26:00)

Eyes of the tremes? Our (2 min) Video, inspired by the idea that phones, computers and servers are becoming interconnected like neurons in a brain. Does the advent of drones give this vast treme machine eyes?

The Perfect Human Being (De Volmaakte Mens) on Dutch public TV 2015. This episode –Human versus Machine –includes a conversation between me and Nick Bostrom with host Bas Heijne (the clip involving us starts around 16.40)

Viruses – from biology to memes; a discussion on the BBC World Service Forum. March 2013
and Plastic-eating bugs: 60 second idea to change the world

Genes, Memes and temes” lecture at the Hay Festival, 5.6.2011 the Philosophy festival HowTheLightGetsIn.

Did Darwin kill God? interview on memes. BBC1 31 March 2009

My TED lecture  Genes, memes and temes. 2008. Now with subtitles in 23 languages.

Darwin Day Lecture “Darwin’s Meme: On the origin of culture by means of natural selection”, University of Central Lancashire, 12.02.07 Abstract

Listen to Podcasts

Panel discussion, Richard Dawkins: The Rational Revolutionary, from Intelligence Squared, London 14 July 2016 Podcast

“The viral mind of Susan Blackmore” interviewed on Litopia after Dark, 27 March 2015

Cologne Conference Futures, 6 October 2014. Listen to my talk on ‘Memes, tremes and the future of consciousness’.

Podcast interview on US Public Radio To the best of our knowledge about memes and temes. 29 July 2012

Susan Blackmore, Robert Wright and Richard Dawkins: Memes podcast (audio) – 6 Dec 2011

Internet memes: interview at The Pod Delusion 18th March 2011. This interview was about the BBC Radio 4 programme “What’s in a meme?” which I presented on 22 March 2011.

BBC Radio 4 I presented the radio programme  What’s in a meme?  with Rickrolling, Old Spice Man and ceiling cats. 22 March 2011
Read more about Internet memes
    Read more on my blog at CiF   or listen at The Pod Delusion

C-Realm podcast – Sue talks to KMO about memes, drugs and Zen. 28 Jan 2009

BBC Radio 4, 9 a.m. Start the Week, discussion on memes and the value of experience, with Andrew Marr, 27.10.2008

Is God a dangerous delusion? A debate with Alister McGrath at Bristol University, 13.11.2007

The Sci Phi Show – Outcast #8, Interview on Memes, 21 August 2006

The Future of Memetics audio of a lecture given at Pop!Tech 2005


My blog at CommentisFree : AI is already evolving beyond our control – CommentisFree September 2015 and about Internet memes April 2011

I have written several times about religion and memes on CiF. e.g. Why I no longer believe religion is a virus of the mind and Are we better off without religion?

The Edge Question 2010. How is the Internet changing the way you think?  See my response on Self and the Third Replicator as well as previous answers.

For more see my memetics site.