I am not well qualified to comment on the merits of this article, but it makes a lot of intuitive sense to me. I hope that among my many readers there will be one or two, skilled in biological sciences, who will give their informed opinion about Latham's arguments in the comments section. I urge them to do so.
My intuitive understanding of the merits of Latham's arguments is based on my more skilled understanding of societies. They are quintessentially systems. However, ruling classes that arose several millennia ago through violence, the threat of violence, or some other threat to the welfare of their resistors have also played the same game by convincing their subjects that their rule and their ruling system was the legitimate locus of control over the entire society.
After ruling classes took control, they then went to work on existing religions to insure that supporting myths were included to affirm their legitimate control of societies. In our more modern age ruling classes depend more on indoctrination agents that they use to staff educational institutions, book publishers, book authors, media, etc. to support their ideological version of social arrangements. Many political projects have been driven by the wealth and power benefits practically guaranteed to such ruling classes. It seems reasonable to suspecct the same is true of DNA as the focus of biological science today. The author hints at this explanation at the end of the article, and promises a more substantive explanation in the near future.
How is it that, if organisms are the principal objects of biological study, and the standard explanation of their origin and operation is so scientifically weak that it has to award DNA imaginary superpowers of “expression” and “control” to paper over the cracks, have scientists nevertheless clung to it? [emphasis in the original]
Why is it that, rather than celebrating and investing in Rashevsky, Kauffman, Noble, et al., as pioneers of necessary and potentially fruitful and unifying paradigms, have these researchers been ignored by mainstream biology?
What is the big attraction of genetic determinism?
A compelling and non-intuitive explanation for the monomania of biology does exist. It is set out in a second and forthcoming article: The Meaning of Life. It is an explanation that requires going behind the window dressing of science and examining its active and symbiotic relation to power in modern political systems.