Our genetic trace is splintered and has millions of discarded attempts and millions of successful living forms. The trace of emerging awareness is less fractured, has fewer discards, and is easier to follow, but is more difficult to analyze. Form and awareness are inexorably linked and have always been tested by natural selection as a complementary pair. Physical form and awareness have been full partners in the development of life from the beginning, and we can expect to find the same essential pairing in every living thing we may yet discover—be it in the ocean’s depths or on other planets. Awareness is more than mind, more than intelligence, more than consciousness, more than reason, and more than cognizance. Awareness is an essential component of the evolutionary process, is common to all life, and recently has usurped genetic selection as the primary determinant of life’s future. To understand the evolution of life fully, we must recognize awareness as equal in importance to the gene and consider it an emergent state with significance beyond the organs that produce it.