The Origins of man
This is an artist's impression of Naledi Man. By all accounts, this is a most remarkable find.
When I first studied prehistory, so little was known of the deep human past. Since then, we have had discovery after discovery, including those coming from the application of DNA techniques.
From time to time I have referred to some of this, but I find myself a little lost now. There have been so many discoveries, some conflicting, that it is hard to keep in touch.
What is, I think, clear is that the process has absolutely ripped apart assumptions previously made, conclusions drawn, that are still deeply embedded in current thinking.
The Gillarding of Tony Abbott
Last week the Government's response on the European refugee crisis provided a brief positive, even bi-partisan, positive point. Then came Minister Dutton's gaf in cracking nervous jokes, not realising that a boom mike was on.
The nature of the remarks ensured unsympathetic media coverage, as well as responses from Australia's political neighbours and Aboriginal groups. At the same time, the apparently official leak on possible ministerial changes, a move perhaps intended to show Mr Abbott in charge, seems to have just created angst and more speculation about another possible leadership challenge.
The by-election next Saturday for the Western Australian seat of Canning was being seen a litmus test on Mr Abbott's leadership. Now I don't think that it matters. Even if the Liberal Party holds the seat without the expected swing, the present Australian government is probably just too accident prone for Mr Abbott to survive. .
The discussion in comments on "Productivity and technology in a globalised world" draws out some of the issues. I am not going to be able to comment properly now, but will try to do so later.
Interesting South African reactions to the Naledi story.