News A statue depicting a Neanderthal. Scientists have discovered that Neanderthal genes passed on to modern humans could affect our likelihood of developing auto-immune diseases.

The likelihood of people developing diseases including type two diabetes and Crohn's could be affected by genes inherited from Neanderthals

African connection

In the big question of where man came from, there are still no easy answers. Despite DNA evidence, the debate continues about whether all modern humans originated in Africa.

How modern man won the biggest battle for his life

Despite evidence to the contrary in rugby clubs and City wine bars, modern humans are not descended from Neanderthal Man, according to scientific research published today.

How Neanderthal Man lost the great evolutionary race

Despite evidence to the contrary in rugby clubs and City wine bars, modern humans are not descended from Neanderthal Man, according to scientific research published today.

Dance: By Force of Fantasy / V-TOL The Place, London

You don't often see a dance piece that would work on the radio, but the characters in Mark Murphy's By Force of Fantasy are brought to life by a series of interior monologues written by Gary Young which almost have a life of their own. Young's writing reveals the (exclusively sexual) fantasy lives of the five characters lined up stage-front: a promiscuous man; a woman addicted to pornography; a lonely woman and a married couple in search of sexual thrills. Their obsessions are brought to life by the voices of Louis Dempsey and the superb Tamsin Grieg - familiar to Archers fans as Debbie Aldridge.

Pseudo-cartoons are no laughing matter

The other day on Radio 4 the comedian Graham Norton was quoting from an old Punch cartoon which had tickled his fancy enough to stick in his mind. It was a drawing of a psychiatrist looking down at a patient on a couch and saying to him: "That's not much of an inferiority complex, is it?" It has stuck in my mind as well, not because it's quite funny but because it is a cartoon of a type that doesn't seem to be done much any more, the cartoon with witty dialogue, or with a witty twist on a situation. One of the very best examples of the latter was the JW Taylor cartoon showing a late 18th century publisher talking to a young lady novelist, saying: "We like the plot, Miss Austen, but all this effing and blinding will have to go."

Strange case of Charlie's ant

THE ORIGINS OF VIRTUE by Matt Ridley Viking pounds 20

Earplugs optional

CLASSICAL MUSIC Bruckner: Ninth Symphony; Te Deum London Philharmonic / Haitink RFH, SBC, London

Scotland welcomes the new Stone age

Neal Ascherson hears mutters of nationalism as the `Destiny Stane' comes home

The big birth lie

Revelations; The time: 17 November 1990 The place: St George's Hospital, Sydney The woman: Kathy Lette, novelist

Module behaviour

How does the mind work? Colin Tudge explains The Pre-History of the Mind by Steven Mithen, Thames & Hudson, pounds 16.95 The Pre-History of Sex by Tim Taylor, Fourth Estate, pounds 18.99

IT'S ALL IN THE MIND

Science: Steven Mithen says the way to understand how the human mind has developed is for psychologists and archaeologists to finally join forces. Marek Kohn investigates

Leading article:Roots on Ramsey Street

Our early ancestors had terrible travel agents. Had Judith Chalmers and her pals been around they would have swiftly advised Homo erectus to try the delights of the Med rather than the wilds of the Australian outback. Yet newly discovered cave paintings and ancient artefacts suggest that the first human foray out of Africa took place down under after all.

Books: Into the black hole

Michael Arditti enjoys a complex study of memory; Distance by Colin Thubron Heinemann, pounds 15.99

Proms Peter Maxwell Davies: Symphony No 6 RAH, London / R3

New work will frighten your audience, so one lollipop (at the very least) must be in place to reward the patience of the punter should anything offend the ears. At least, so the conventional wisdom goes. Tuesday's Prom, planned, conducted and a large chunk of it composed by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, served to show what a tired old cliche that is. New music need inspire no fear and may easily outpace any war-horse put there to offer comfort.

Fountain throws up new ideas

Cricketers around the country are throwing in their lot with a baseball coach in order to improve their fielding techniques. Throwing is something that cricketers have all been getting wrong from the stone age. Cricket squares around the shires will be the stage for moves which are more familiar around baseball's diamond.
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'