Memes and Tremes (the 3rd Replicator)

My books and articles on all topics are listed in Publications.

There is also a complete list of my publications on memes at my memetics site.

People often ask me what to read on a particular subject, here are some of my suggestions, if you are interested in memes and tremes (the 3rd 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)

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.

Scientific articles

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.”.

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

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

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

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)

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

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


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

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

Internet memes on The Pod Delusion. 2011

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

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.