A specie of organisms can inherit traits to its next generation through gene. For example, leaf-cutter ants' ancestors passed their instinct of leaf-cutting to its offspring via gene. In the case of organisms capable of learning, such as crows, certain traits can be passed through generations by learning and imitation. For example, the ability to eat poisonous toads' livers. The inheritance of helpful gene accounts for the flourishing of many species, because those with neither helpful genes nor acquired skills are less likely to reproduce successfully. However, if an organism does not have good genes but compensate this with acquired skills (the skill and its acquisition being generally referred to as "meme") the probability of this individual not reproducing successfully will decrease. So, to what extent may meme replace gene in the creation of adapted species? EDIT: a more concrete example: suppose a group of organisms, say human beings, live in an earthquake prone area. Earthquakes usually kill off those who does not know to duck and cover instinctively, selecting these to be the parents of the next generation, but being human, these organisms soon passed the knowledge of duck and cover around, so even those who do not instinctively know to duck and cover can have a decent chance of survival. Will this slow down the selection of the instinctive ducking gene? (I suppose it has too) If yes, to what extent is this effect expected to continue?