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Books sometimes says things "Our genes want us to have as many children as possible", or "Evolution wants the fittest to survive". But genes are not conscious entities who can want things. So, why do we anthromorphize genes, evolution, and nature? I apologize if this question is not appropriate for this stack exchange. Perhaps it can be moved to an appropriate stack exchange if it is.

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    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because it is off-topic for this site. This question is about language or possibly psychology rather than about biology. It also seems likely to generate opinions rather than answers based on facts. $\endgroup$ – tyersome Jun 28 '20 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ Then, can it be moved to psychology stack exchange? $\endgroup$ – user107952 Jun 28 '20 at 19:26
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    $\begingroup$ Teachers often use metaphors or other story-telling devices to explain abstract concepts in more familiar terms to help information land with a broad audience. It's common in other natural sciences like chemistry, physics, and even mathematics. Maybe try asking academia.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$ – MikeyC Jun 28 '20 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ Things we can't see but want to believe in often are described using metaphors for things we can see and understand. Computers are a good example; they're new so they're entirely metaphoric: file, key, screen, message, program, ... are all metaphors of humans, things humans make and use, and the functions humans use them for. Metaphors are pretty much all we've got -- read Lakoff and Johnson and consider the alternative. $\endgroup$ – jlawler Jun 29 '20 at 16:11
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    $\begingroup$ Just to help OP out, this is related to a really interesting concept called agential thinking in evolutionary biology. It can sometimes be a surprisingly valid and helpful metaphorical heuristic, and sometimes deeply misleading. A great book on the topic is Agents and Goals in Evolution by Samir Okasha $\endgroup$ – NatWH Jun 30 '20 at 7:45

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