The discussion starts with a consideration of whether variation and selection within a lifetime can be thought of evolutionarily. There appears to be agreement that it can. Dr. Jablonka makes the point with a well-known quote from Mary Jane Eberhard: “genes are followers, they stabilize what has been achieved ontogenetically.”
Both of the chapters deal with taxonomic considerations and the discussion turns to those issues, and what we even mean by learning: is it a behavioral change in response to the organism – environmental regularities? Does it require the specification of a receptor or neural system? The discussion moves into the nature of associative learning, the need for a brain, issues of memory, the analytic purpose of learning categories, and the role of learning in biological evolution.