…all of DNA is a twisted rope ladder let down from heaven to draw us up from the abyss of not-being. We do not lift a finger without three kinds of information: the information we are getting from our senses at the moment; the information we have gotten from our senses in the past; and the information our ancestors have acquired since life began on Earth–that is, the information that is represented by genes themselves. Evolution is learning. Species store learning in chromosomes the way individuals store learning in their brains and societies store learning in books.
Jonathan Weiner, Time, Love, Memory, 1999