Wired lists the top ten scientific advances of 2007. Number one, of course, was the development of stem cells from skin cells, but number two was an observation of chimps making spears to hunt small animals. This was deemed more important, oddly enough, than the discovery of a technique that can turn any blood type to type O - a technique which has enormous implications for medicine - a potential cure for Rhett's syndrome which afflicts one female in every 10,000, the discovery of a new lightweight composite of incredible strength, and a breakthrough that will enable Intel to make microprocessors about a third smaller than they are currently made. All of these have enormous implications for human health and quality of life.
So why are the chimpanzee spear-makers deemed so important? Just guessing, but I suspect it's because some people at Wired, as elsewhere, are desperate to show that humans and chimps are closely related so that the unwashed won't get any notions about the uniqueness of human beings. The more similar we are to the simians the less likely we are to be in any way "special" and the easier it is to accept other aspects of the Darwinian hocus-pocus.
Maybe not, but I fail to see any other explanation for why spear-making among chimps would be ranked higher in importance than breakthroughs that actually have implications for human well-being.RLC