Ex-Pope Benedict says the Selfish Gene is science fiction. He’s half right

Richard DawkinsThe Selfish Gene is a brilliant phrase. It’s also accurate, so long as you realise that “selfish” doesn’t mean selfish, “gene” doesn’t mean gene, and the definite article is a bit of an abstraction. But taken as the literal truth, it’s about as much use as “In the beginning was the word”. Given Dawkins’s hostility to everyone else’s metaphysics, this is an unfortunate weakness. “Science fiction” may not be the right term for the book but it does capture the sense in which its hold on the imagination depends on the parts that aren’t science but dazzling metaphor. –Andrew Brown, The Guardian

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