We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There is no doubt that humans tend to, or prefer to, think in metaphors. Much of it is laziness, I think, and some of it is how our brains try to work efficiently. We have posted on this subject in the past.
We use metaphors to make the unseen and unseeable feel real, so we can handle it and talk about it. However, metaphors can just as easily be deceptive and misleading as they can be illuminating: it depends on the integrity and intent of the creator of the metaphor.
Words were metaphors before they were words. Language operates through the associations of metaphor, not through the linear process of naming. It takes no genius to understand that.
As for laziness, I doubt it. The mind associates, uses comparison and analogy to think, to learn. The higher functioning mind, the more metaphoric thinking; the dullards, the literal interpreters.
If metaphor and analogy were not the foundation of learning, thus, intelligence, why do SAT preparatory classes have one class set aside just for analogies? Metaphor is probably the most powerful learning tool we have.
The article was as you said. A team of biologists traveled that path long ago without all the froo-froo postulations.