Out-Maneuvered by Evolution

Orgel's Second Rule states, "Evolution is cleverer than you are." This explains much.

Leslie Orgel was speaking primarily (or maybe only) about genetic evolution, so I may be misapplying his rule. But it does elegantly explain why so few people can see the extent to which they are embedded in and influenced by the sea of memes. If more people could see that we'd be halfway to liberating ourselves from the past. But the memes are stealthy.

A familiar example is somebody who believes an incredibly stupid religion. That is to say, some viewpoint other than mine, which is sane and right and sensible (or so I'm led to believe). Why can't they see how stupid their viewpoint is? As it happens, though, a large part of the doctrine evolved to prevent or obfuscate such questioning.

What, did I think their world-view was so vulnerable I could poke holes in it with mere logic? If it hadn't evolved appropriate defenses it wouldn't have survived. Who do I think I am?

It's easy to see the stealth in somebody else's viewpoint but not so easy to see it in ourselves. Indeed, as I discovered when I tried to popularize the word "antiprocess", you can show a person precisely what they are doing and most of them will still see it only in others.

The memeplexes are clever. They've been at this a lot longer than I have.

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