Fascinating blog series, espescially for those not yet fully aquainted with "memes". Here's an excerpt:
A successful religion needs to have the qualities of a successful virus. In a changing environment, this means it must have the ability to mutate and adapt. In the past, religions spread largely by edict and conquest. This is how Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and into the Americas. Today, though, religion is perceived as an individual choice and religions must gain share by proselytizing or attracting adherents. For any religion to grow now, it must be something that people are motivated to transmit to each other one on one or in small groups. This is why, today, the religions that are gaining mindshare are those that have strong proselytizing mandates and high birthrates. In the current environment, Christianity has been able to produce offshoots that need no edict or conquest.
Significantly, the religions that are growing right now are ones with strong copy-me commands. Evangelical Christianity is centered on what Christians call the Great Commission: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost." In addition, just as the Roman church latched onto the strategy of competitive breeding (keep women home, sanctify a high birth rate), so Evangelicals have begun to explicitly add this form of copy-me command to the mix.