In other words, whatever it is that determines your traits is also transmitted to your offspring. Therefore, if you have evolutionarily successful traits then you will have more offspring, and they will receive your successful traits.
But how are the traits defined and transmitted? Darwin didn’t quite know how but in the twentieth century it seemed obvious—via the genes. According to the merger of modern genetics and evolution, it was all in the genes. They determined your traits and they were passed on to your offspring. This view fit evolutionary theory and was quickly accepted as an unquestionable scientific fact.
There is only one problem: it is false.
The fact that our genes are practically identical with the chimpanzees genes should have been a sign to evolutionists that their gene-centric view was problematic. How could the chimp and human be so different if their genes are so similar? Nonetheless, evolutionists proclaimed the great similarity as evidence that there must be an evolutionary relationship between humans and chimps.
In fact the biological evidence is clear: genes are only part of a far more complicated story than what evolution envisioned. As Stuart Newman explains:
Genes, which are composed of DNA, directly specify the sequences of RNA molecules and indirectly, the amino acid sequences of proteins. Before there were multicellular forms, single-celled organisms evolved for as much as two billion years driven, in part, by genetic change, as well as by establishment of persistent symbiotic relationships among simpler cells. During this entire period no cellular structure or function was specified exclusively by a cell’s genes. The protein and RNA molecules produced by cells associate with each other in a context-dependent fashion or, in many cases, catalyze chemical reactions (generating lipids, polysaccharides and other molecules), whose rates depend on the temperature and composition of the external environment. So the population of molecules inside the cell can vary extensively even if the genes do not.
It was long believed that a protein molecule’s three-dimensional shape, on which its function depends, is uniquely determined by its amino acid sequence. But we now know that this is not always true—the rate at which a protein is synthesized, which depends on factors internal and external to the cell, affects the order in which its different portions fold. So even with the same sequence a given protein can have different shapes and functions. Furthermore, many proteins have no intrinsic shape, taking on different roles in different molecular contexts. So even though genes specify protein sequences they have only a tenuous influence over their functions.
The deployment of information in the genes, moreover, is itself dependent on the presence of certain RNA and protein molecules in the cell. Since, as described above, the composition of the cell’s interior and the activity of many of its proteins depend on more than just the genes, the portion of the genes’ information content that is actually used by the cell is determined, in part, by non-genetic factors. So, to reiterate, the genes do not uniquely determine what is in the cell, but what is in the cell determines how the genes get used. Only if the pie were to rise up, take hold of the recipe book and rewrite the instructions for its own production, would this popular analogy for the role of genes be pertinent.
As Newman explains, the gene is nothing close to how evolution envisioned it. The gene myth is yet another example of evolution’s failed expectations. It seems that inevitably evolution’s interpretations turn out to be wrong as it has produced a steady stream of false predictions. Evolution is certainly the best counter indicator in the life sciences.