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Did Dawkins finally win?
Jesus, hailed as the son of God and savior of humanity by many, is now less searched for on Google than memes, a collection of images depicting Nazi frogs and irony.
According to this Google Trends graph going viral today, the battle for the soul of online is over, and the memes have won.
The graph is especially amusing because Richard Dawkins, angry British Twitter egg and creator of the term “meme,” has been railing against religion for years. This is theoretically a personal victory for him.
Or not …
>implying memes arent a pagan religion
— SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 26, 2016
Truly, shitposting may be the unofficial religion of the teens of online. Memes have their own pantheon, the deities of lulz and keks—Pepe the frog, the Feels guy, Mr. Krabs from Spongebob, and many others. Is it any wonder that curiosity about memes has surpassed curiosity about Jesus online?
On the other hand, a Google Trends graph is its own kind of shitpost. Google search volume tends to indicate interest in recent developments, and the U.S. election has put memes like Pepe in front of a huge new audience. Jesus has been around for thousands of years and already has a following in the billions. There’s probably a ceiling on how much his search volume can grow, short of the rapture actually happening.
Are memes “bigger than Jesus?” Only by this one measure. And that’s still pretty funny.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.