Paul Nelson: … unless I misunderstand (always a live possibility), we’re back to postulating a “freak environment,” meaning the OOL explanation is a one-off event after all. The chemical determinism of hundreds of thousands, or millions of alkaline chimneys operating in parallel disappears, and we’re back to one very lucky setting.
Marshall favors horizontal gene transfer as a key method of early development because ancestor–descendant evolution is a “very slow” (42:25) evolutionary process. HGT among multiple independent lineages, by contrast, allows a “vast exchange of information,” thus sharing innovations and leading to faster development. Okay. And in the midst of all that, Dawkins’s Selfish Gene got lost in a crowd somewhere and was never heard from again.