Also, if this is an example of "pushing a personal agenda" then how can it be reworded such that the philosophical investigation is allowed?
"Do Genes Dream Of Djinni's?"
Are genes adequate for thought or volition?
Dawkins' memetic conception of genes in "The Selfish Gene" exclaims "now there's a truth!" and sets about making the world fit the view of it: like the hen is just the eggs way of making more eggs, so too the human is just the genes way of making more genes. There is of course nothing wrong with this, however, analogy is not actuality - and this despite the perlocutionary force of analogy. So powerful, in fact, is the apparent explanatory impression of poetic rhetoric that the mind often believes it is thinking while merely passing from one metaphor to the next.
Dawkins imagines that genes accumulate data, information or "knowledge" like so many books in a chromosomal library. There is of course nothing wrong with this, however, to imagine DNA as "encoded" "information" is simply a confusion of the observer independent and observer relative senses of data and information.
To imagine that information is knowledge and that genes "know how" to make organisms or "know that" their actions will result as such is further poetry, analogy, i.e. unreasoned rhetoric. This, of course, might be an acceptable analogy presuming an equally false (yet effective) metaphor that knowledge is "justified, true belief". For example, it can be said that "mechanistic process XYZ will create organism ABC" is true. That mechanistic process XYZ will create organism ABC can demonstrated and thus a statement of as much is justified. The belief can not only be coherently stated that, "mechanistic process XYZ will create organism ABC" - such a proposition can be sincerely believed. Hence, according to the equivalence of knowledge with "justified, true belief" we have genes that "know stuff" and nary a whiff of a reductio ad absurdum Homunculus fallacy.
Has Dawkins Reintroduced Teleology Back Into Biology?
Is the process of biological evolution the result of cause, or chromosomal agency? If the latter, forget how we would even verify or falsify such a claim, does this not beg the question of genes having volition and the capacity to act towards a conscious purpose?
Where would Dawkins even get the idea for reintroducing teleology back into evolution after Darwin, Wallace et alii work so hard to remove teleological presumptions from biological explanations?
Finally, also in the 1960s, Hamilton and American George Williams upped the ante on the gene’s primacy. With fancy maths, they argued that we should view any organism, including any human, as merely a sort of courier for genes and their traits. This flipped the usual thinking. It made the gene vital and the organism expendable. Our genes did not exist for us. We existed for them. We served only to carry these chemical codes forward through time, like those messengers in old sword-and-sandal war movies who run non-stop for days to deliver data and then drop dead. A radical idea. Yet it merely extended the logic of kin selection, in which any gene-courier — say, a mom watching her children’s canoe overturn — would risk her life to let her kin carry forth her DNA.
This notion of the gene as the unit selected, and the organism as a kludged-up cart for carrying it through time, placed the gene smack at the centre of things. It granted the gene something like agency. ...
Dawkins assembles genetics’ dry materials and abstract maths into a rich but orderly landscape through which he guides you with grace, charm, urbanity, and humour. He replicates in prose the process he describes. He gives agency to chemical chains, logic to confounding behaviour. He takes an impossibly complex idea and makes it almost impossible to misunderstand. He reveals the gene as not just the centre of the cell but the centre of all life, agency, and behaviour. By the time you’ve finished his book, or well before that, Dawkins has made of the tiny gene — this replicator, this strip of chemicals little more than an abstraction — a huge, relentlessly turning gearwheel of steel, its teeth driving smaller cogs to make all of life happen.
"Die, selfish gene, die"
If Not Genes, Then Neurons? Atoms? Pan-Psychism??
Do we know that consciousness happens in the brain, and not in the gene, nor the atom nor by virtue of a worldview of dualism?
What is even meant by gene?
Even as a technical term, the word carries at least a half-dozen meanings
Are genes adequate for thought or volition? If not, does making such an error constitute a grammatical joke?
A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.