The Eight Things Meme Analysis July 1, 2007

The Eight Things Meme Analysis

It didn’t start with PZ, but a lot of atheist bloggers have been posting the “eight things” meme.

Chris Hallquist analyzed this phenomenon, traced it back to its origins in the atheist blogosphere, and came up with this conclusion:

If PZ is hit by a meme, it will spread to the entire atheist blogosphere in about a week.

Sounds about right.

It’s called Hallquist’s Law.

Wikipedians: Get to work. I started you off.

[tags]atheist, atheism, eight things, meme, Pharyngula, PZ Myers, Chris Hallquist, Wikipedia[/tags]

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  • Miko

    Well, that Wiki page didn’t last very long.

  • I don’t think anyone tried to create it yet… who will take the initiative?

  • Well, I did create a page, but it was taken down. Maybe someone else will have better luck 🙂

  • Most of the atheist blogs are as independent in their thinking as tupperware collectors. Of course, you can say about the same thing about any group of blogs, or magazines, and TV and radio….

    “Memes” as a fixture of atheist orthodoxy are rather interesting. The popularity of these entirely unfounded “things” by allegedly scientific rationalists is evidence of the shallowness of much of the thinking found among them. As far as I can tell “memes” were an invention of Richard Dawkins as a back up for his evolutionary psychology going the way of most of the predecessor schools of psychological specuation. Their existence has no direct scientific evidence and many, perhaps most working scientists think the idea has little or no merit. I think Dawkins latest career as a latter-day T. Huxley is a second parachute in case a crucial mass of those devoted to “memes” suddenly lose their childlike faith in them.

  • Many memes have a negative context, this one was positive and fun. I suppose that’s why many atheists followed suit. The mere idea of the game (to write down 8 random facts about you) can be a good thing. We all want to relate to one another on another level. If it were in any other context, most of us atheists would be like “screw that, whatever”. That was my first reaction but when I finally got tagged I felt like one of the group. So not me! And really silly, I know. But, as atheists, we need group support. Just like the gay pride movement needed it to feel connected. It made the movement stronger.

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