What defines, from the point of view of a gene, success or failure? The number of descendants that gene finds itself in.
Evolution is the product of non-perfect reproduction of genetic code. Mistakes creep in, at random, and occasionally the mistake actually builds something that is of advantage in terms of number of descendants. No infinite regress required.
The process of genetic adaptation is the errors sometimes creep in when DNA or RNA copies itself.
Hope that helps
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