In the near future, DNA chips will exist that can detect thousands of the most significant variations in our DNA. A decade or two from now, parents of newborn babies may leave the hospital with a full genome analysis of their offspring that reveals hundreds of disease-related risk factors and susceptibilities. And doctors will be able to screen for more and more traits using in vitro fertilization techniques such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Doctors demonstrated the power of PGD last year when the Jack and Lisa Nash family of Englewood, Colorado selected an embryo that not only lacked the gene for a fatal genetic disease, Fanconi anemia , but also provided a bone marrow match for their dying daughter.
In a changing environment, an animal must constantly be gaining new information in order to survive. However, in a stable environment this same individual need only to gather the information it needs once and rely on it for the duration of its life. Therefore, there are different scenarios in which learning or innate knowledge is better suited. Essentially, the cost of obtaining certain knowledge versus the benefit of having it determined whether an animal evolved to learn in a given situation or whether it innately knew the information. If the cost of gaining the knowledge outweighed the benefit of having it, then the individual would not have evolved to learn in this scenario; instead, non-learning would evolve. However, if the benefit of having certain information outweighed the cost of obtaining it, then the animal would be far more likely to evolve to have to learn this information.