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Here is the mp3 of that event which the paper is a transcript of. It's a little long, but well worth the time:


Interesting speech. It's sometimes depressing to me how much I haven't read and how rich a tradition there is underlying religious thought (of which I am largely ignorant).

Memes are my current pet peeve. I've not read Dennett's book primarily because of its reliance on memes. There are plenty of other books a bit more grounded (like Atran's In Gods We Trust) that make the same sort of claims as Dennett, albeit in a perhaps more interesting way. (Speaking from ignorance of course with the usual caveats of one who's knowledge is indirect via reviews and responses.)

I thought Dennett did a good job of sticking up for memetics and countering the rebuttals of the British "chap." The Brit's premise was that he doesn't even believe that memes exist, but Dennett made it explicitly clear that memes do indeed exist, especially if you believe and understand words and language. The Brit also made a number of erroneous and fallacious conclusions by making "apples to apples" comparisons between the memes behind religion and the memes behind atheism. He also seemed to assign an unecessary stigma to memes which I assume was done so only because memes prove that there has been widespread perpetuation of falsehoods like religion.

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