…Another strand of thought, which I had not yet really connected to others in my thinking over the years, had taken root in my imagination and seeded a religious direction. This line of logic went back to Hamilton and Dawkins’ idea of the selfish gene. It was the concept of a “relational gene.”
The phenotype of a gene is the observable effect, or “expression,” it has constructed – in this case on the emotions and behavior between two individuals. It was my thought that in the process of mutual selection between dominance and submissive mentalities producing a powerfully coordinated entity of “authority,” the emotional and behavioral phenotype of the genes that would hold it together would not exist in either individual, but in the relationship between the two. This relational gene would only be activated in the course of coordinating the motivations of the dominance and submissive mentalities within each individual respectively that resulted in an order of magnitude increase in fitness for both. The essential idea was that these “couplet” genes that resided in the relational sphere would acquire their own selfish interests quite independent of all the other genes in the participating individuals that owed their respective allegiance exclusively to each of them.
This was the reason that it became so important to describe the phenotypic behavior produced by these relational, couplet genes as “coordination” rather than “cooperation” in order to drive home the point that this was a single entity, with both intentions and a genetic destiny distinctly separate from its constituent individuals.
It was thus the arch-atheist, Richard Dawkins, who had opened up my mind to the possibility that it was feasible that God could acquire, through a natural process, some genes with which to mold apes into His own image. For the two decades before my retirement, I was mainly searching for a mechanism whereby the dominance and submissive mentalities could have evolved to function within a single mind, and all that time, the idea that God could have acquired the earthly will to replicate inherent to DNA was left dangling about in the recesses of my mind.