Thomas: In the course of opposing Dawkins’s attempt to extend further the Darwinian imperium into the realm of “universal Darwinism,” philosopher Anthony Flew even disputed whether the term “natural selection” had any genuine meaning at all, questioning the selective power Darwin claimed for it.
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 end up on a different string. Is a relentless force of selfishness driving them to do that? Or do they just drift and end up on that string?