I used to see people reading iconic books like this one (right), like it was their new religion (and, actually, it was). But I hear more and more about horizontal gene transfer in the science media. Genes jumping from one life form to the next, creating changes, for better or worse.
So what becomes of five-star Darwinian concepts like Richard Dawkins’s “selfish gene” that is supposed to uphold neo-Darwinism—which is about ancestor-descendant relationships?
The selfish gene is an entity driven by an unadmitted teleological force to replicate itself in offspring.
But horizontal gene transfer—hardly taken seriously the day before yesterday—features genes that simply somehow end up on a different string. See, for example, Horizontal gene transfer allowed plants to move to land.
Is a relentless force of selfishness driving them to do that? Or do they just drift and end up on that string? And, given the number of times HGT keeps cropping up, what becomes of the textbook Tree of Life, which makes no real sense apart from descent?
See also: Horizontal gene transfer: Sorry, Darwin, it’s not your evolution any more .
Follow UD News at Twitter!