When was the first recorded meme?



The first reference to “meme” as a cultural entity that could be imitated or replicated was by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene. By his definition the earliest meme might be the concept of higher powers and religion, for which we have no specific date. He also applied it to intellectual concepts that continue to resonate through human culture, such as the teachings of Socrates. At the internet level, the first memes may have arisen from the establishment of Usernet in 1980.



Jon Guttman

Research Director

World History


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