Meme (Memetic) Theory

The field of mimetics studies how information and cultures develop based on principles of Darwinian evolution. The term meme was coined by ethologist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. It was meant to evoke the word gene (from biology) because a meme is the cultural equivalent—words, accents, ideas, tunes, and more that spread from brain to brain through some process of replication or imitation. Despite the importance of imitation in meme theory, it is a completely distinct field of study.

Richard Dawkin: ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author