Genetic evolution ends with consciousness. Genes function within a greater sphere, that which can be called cosmological evolution. Life, living matter, is but a sub-sphere in this system, and extends its existence via the transmission of genetic information. This particular type of information and its reading-and-writing apparatus is intelligent in regards to the physical world. Living matter is exposed to the physical world. It reacts to this stimulus, records the transaction, and transmits the information inter-generationally (via the gene). With communication, language, and writing, intelligence begins to interact with a non-physical world. The record of this interaction is transmitted inter-generationally, and after consciousness, intra-generationally, no loner using the gene, but the meme.
The gene works in the physical realm of the fundamental forces of nature, those being the gravitational, the electro-magnetic, and the nuclear forces. The gene can thus only evolve a physical body. With the advent of the mindspace, it becomes apparent that since evolution continues, despite fundamentally genetic change, as evidenced by the ‘growing’ of civilization, for example, a new information-transmitter must be at work.
This, the meme, interfaces the virtual world, the world of ideas, not of physical things, but ways-of-organizing physical things. The artificial arena of the anthropocene is responded to by the mind, not the body – as even living matter can not interact directly with the non-matter of ideas – and so its intelligence works in an even further sphere, one beyond that of biological evolution.
It is important, then, to distinguish between different kinds of intelligences. Intelligence is only the evidence of evolution. We, as humans, are quite mistaken in assuming that we are intelligent. It is not us, but the thing that is in us, running through us. Life, that proceeding humans, is still intelligent in that it ‘seems to’ predict an outcome and react accordingly, for the benefit of its continued existence. Non-living matter does the same thing, it must; after all, it still exists.