Most of us are used to envisioning evolution as having to do with macro creatures -- like plants, microbes or animals -- whose bodies and behaviors prove their "fitness" value by surviving and reproducing across countless generations. By this reckoning, DNA is no more than a tool, like the creature's eyes or limbs -- a repository of codes, a passive library of biochemical and cellular tricks -- serving the needs of an individual or species. But in a classic chicken-and-egg conundrum, things can be viewed the other way around. Our complex bodies and behaviors may only serve as the pragmatic implements used by genes to facilitate their own replication.
Yes, this bizarre-sounding idea is taken seriously, in fact, by a majority of the world's experts in Darwinian selection. Even more amazing, many of our best thinkers now believe the same thing happens with ideas or "memes" that replicate in human minds and make us tell the ideas (eagerly) to others.
Back in 1983 I took this concept and extended it in truly science-fictional ways, predicting the imminent fall of the Berlin Wall (unimaginable then) and that our great struggle in the early 21st Century might be with one form of "machismo culture" or another, probably the desert variety. Prescient? Judge for yourself. But come away with this new way of viewing the ideas and dogmas spread by popular culture.