My Imaginary Friend can beat up your imaginary friend.
–– MC Lemony Fresh
While we cannot dispense with metaphors in thinking about nature, there is a great risk of confusing the metaphor with the thing of real interest. We cease to see the world as if it were like a machine and take it to be a machine. The result is that the properties we ascribe to our object of interest and the questions we ask about it reinforce the original metaphorical image and we miss the aspects of the system that do not fit the metaphorical approximation. As Alexander Rosenblueth and Norbert Weiner have written, ‘The price of metaphor is eternal vigilance.’
—— Richard Lewontin from The Triple Helix (Gene, Organism, and Environment) p 4