Is the Internet the End of Religion?
Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, half of the “Four Horsemen of New Atheism,” recently indulged an Oxford audience with an hour-long conversation about the “evolution” of religion. The two are among the most outspoken intellectuals currently arguing that religions are more or less evolving things that “trick” adherents into beliefs for their own selfish purposes.
Dawkins, a prominent biologist and author of The God Delusion, coined the word “meme” in 1976 to posit a gene-like unit of culture that can replicate and mutate, and thereby evolve. Daniel Dennett took this theory up in his 2006 book Breaking the Spell, and has long advocated for a post-religious world.
A taping of the event just went up on YouTube, and it is full of armchair speculations, vague references to scientific studies, and good-natured ribbing of religious ignorance.Continue reading at www.religiondispatches.org