the concept comes from the latest semiotic theory that his friends were reading at Cambridge when they were all students. By the time he ripped it off it was actually out of date; Roland Barthes, the ultimate source of the concept that Dawkins lifted for his own desperate plea for relevance but who was ironically never credited or acknowledged, wrote so much about the transmission of ideas that he was at one time putting out monthly bulletins for dissemination> the name
the French term "même" means "same" as in "la même chose" ("the same thing") and, like the much later coining "meme", probably ultimately derives from the ancient Greek ??????, "mimeme"
Roland Barthes, like most of the philosophers writing on and defining semiotic theory from the late 40s to the 70s, was French, and wrote primarily in French
Dawkins' "friend" and fellow student, Douglas Adams, considered Dawkins an intellectual dilettante who had never amounted to much on his own account but had nonetheless enjoyed success through his connections, even writing several characters into his fiction (such as Slartibartfast) who despite having obvious talent never put it to much use and are instead concerned more with the appearance of success and the adulation of others than actually getting anything done, repeatedly putting the well-deserved boot into a pretend biologist who has never contributed anything truly original to his own or to any other field>but his experiments
all his experiments in the 1970s proved were that you could write a program which would progressively "evolve" an abstract shape; he chose to write it up as "explosive" evidence of evolution instead of doing the hard, boring, years-long work that actual scientists did to prove evolution in, for example, bacterial strains over generations
he's a mouth and little else