Was Agriculture the Greatest Blunder in Human History?

Twelve thousand years ago everybody lived as hunters and gatherers. But by 5,000 years ago most people lived as farmers. This brief period marked the biggest shift ever in human history with unparalleled changes in diet, culture and technology, as well as social, economic and political organisation, and even the patterns of disease people suffered….

Food for Thought? Diet Helps Explain Unique Human Brainpower

It’s the mystery of all mysteries of science. Why is it that humans are so unusual compared to all other life? The key to solving this riddle lies in explaining the evolution of our large brains and exceptional intelligence. For as long as humanity has been contemplating our existence we must surely have been struck…

Where Were All the Women in the Stone Age?

Were there any women around in the Palaeolithic Era? If popular culture is any guide you’d think not. And even archaeology itself has a long way to go to address a deeply ingrained bias towards men. It’s obvious that without women Homo sapiens could hardly be here today. But our cultural imaginings of the Palaeolithic…

The Biggest Mistake in the History of Science

Science is one of the most remarkable inventions of humankind. It has been a source of inspiration and understanding, lifted the veil of ignorance and superstition, been a catalyst for social change and economic growth, and saved countless lives. Yet, history also shows us that its been a mixed blessing. Some discoveries have done far…

Paleopups and Paleopussies: Is a Paleodiet For Your Pet a Step Too Far?

Will 2016 be the year the world finally lost interest in the paleodiet? Believe it or not, it’s already happened! ‘Peak-paleo’ passed without notice way back in January 2014. We’re often a little behind the global trends down-under, so Australia’s own peak-paleo occurred almost two years after the rest of the planet. This might explain…

Paying a Heavy Price for Loving the Neanderthals

One of the biggest surprises about our evolution revealed over just the last decade is the extent to which our ancestors engaged in amorous congress with the evolutionary cousins. Bonking the Neanderthals, it seems, was a bit of a pastime for the distant relatives. It happened many times in Siberia, East Asia, the Middle East…

The Human Clitoris is An Object of Beauty, Pleasure and Intrigue

It seems remarkable to me that well into the twenty-first century we still have so much to learn about many parts of the human body. Organs we’re all very familiar with – ones we take for granted – still have the power to surprise, in terms of new discoveries about their structure, function or evolution….

Why Are There So Many Species of Bugs, But So Few Species of Human?

Looking around at the natural world, have you ever wondered why some groups of organisms contain huge numbers of species while others are seemingly barren? Take insects as an example, animals which evolved around 480 million years ago. There are perhaps 6 million species living in all manner of environments, and occupying an incredible diversity…