The relations between innateness and heritability of behaviour, environmental heterogeneity, genetic diversity of populations, and rates of evolution of behaviour are discussed on the basis of a simple quantitative model. An index I of innateness is proposed which can be related to the heritability index h2. I and h2 are positively related but the degree of correlation depends on the genetic variability of the population, the heterogeneity of the conditioning environment, and the level of spontaneous behavioural variability. The influence of innateness on rates of evolution is moderate. The frequency distributions of I and h2 are unimodal, there is no evidence for an innate-acquired dichotomy.