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Why We Evolved as Meme Machines

People are wired for lots of things.  We’re wired for novelty.  We’re wired for humor. We’re wired for new pieces of information that surprise us in some way or add value to our lives.

We’re wired for fear.  Sometimes something scares us or seems like a threat.  We want to spread it on so other people know about this threat.  All of those things are because we evolved socially.  So we evolved as meme machines.  Our minds are made not just to steer our bodies and hunt for food, but to pick up new ideas and spread them to other members in the tribe if we think they’re useful to that member or if they’re useful to us in the spreading.  

So we are very, very wired to spread ideas and that’s where the power of human innovation comes from.

60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy fo Shutterstock. 

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