This past semester, I took an Honors Colloquium course at my university known as Honors Darwin: Selection in Thought, Religion, and Politics. The basis of the course is to understand evolutionary principles that were applied in biology and expand the scope of the analysis to sociocultural phenomenon such as Brexit and the 2016 US Presidential Elections. A fascinating course.
One of the important concepts we were studying and discussing was the concept of memes. Now, I know it’s easy to describe memes as the silly Facebook posts that everyone likes to circulate, but memes are much more academically complicated than that. They are, simply as Richard Dawkins coins, the new replicators that were analogous to genes in biological evolution.
I think it’s quite fascinating to utilize evolution as a tool of assessment regarding political events such as Brexit. In fact, my final essay was analyzing Brexit from that standpoint. To oversimplify things, I saw Brexit inevitable due to the historical tendencies of the UK to remove themselves from European affairs, even when they were inevitably drawn to it. Based on that tendency alone and using the evolutionary principles of variation, competition, and inheritance, the debate about the predictions was simply when Brexit was going to happen rather than if Brexit was gonna to occur.
Overall, the class provided some intriguing insights, and I would love if I can study more on that subject and expand the scope of the analysis to other world phenomena.