Much of the studies of memetics going on today talk about the "propogation of ideas". To some extent, that is even what the word "meme" is thought to mean.
My interest is only marginally in the propagation of an idea. What I want to figure out is the way memes cause other memes.
There's lots of examples of what I'm talking about. One could be that if you comment that "religions are stupid", then religious people will get irritated. Either this or their subsequent defense of their religion will actually make them more dedicated to their religion. (Although it can also undermine their faith while their dedication increases - it's a complex issue related to an attempt to maintain control. It's not specific to religion.) So, an antagonistic idea strengthened its enemy.
More what I'm looking for, however, is how one meme requires or causes another. For example, if you are infected by the ideal of science, you will slowly but surely begin to be infected by related ideals. I don't know for certain whether this stems from culture or a fundamental concept, but either way it is related to or reflected by culture.
Someone who believes is the ideal of science will come to believe that anything - and everything - can be solved by application of this system of thought. If not now, then when enough data has been gathered. Other philosophies are similar: if you extract the core idea, it is often the case that the other bits of the philosophy will arise on their own, with only moderate cultural differences.
Religions usually have very similar cultural bits built into them, whether they are Shinto or Catholicism. Their exact implementation varies, but at their core they all develop the same "respect and hard work" side-effects. This is because they share the same fundamental purpose, and those ideals serve that purpose. They are corollaries, in the same way that scientific thought requires you to believe that science can be applied to anything, if technology has advanced enough to get the data needed.
Of course, not all religious people follow the core ideal of religion, and not all the scientists follow the core idea of science. The culture of these concepts grows very complex, in no small part because the corollaries strike many people as the important ideas, and those are the ideals they follow, rather than the original theme. This results in or from a culture of factionalism within every meme complex.
I wonder what the best way is to nail people to the central idea, rather than the corollaries? That way, you could measure corollaries and see whether they are cultural or fundamental.
Well, I know what my fundamental philosophy is: Olology. Maybe some day I'll post it. :)