One thing that seems to drive some of these discussions is a difference of opinion about whether their is an insurmountable gap between human intelligence and what other animals can do. This connects with the ongoing debate about the importance of genetic factors. But there seems to be no doubt that this is an extremely fruitful area of research.
"How Human Intelligence Evolved--Is It Science or 'Paleofantasy'?" by Michael Balter. Science 22 February 2008: Vol. 319. no. 5866, p. 1028