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Tag Archives: diet
Did Cooking Make Us Human?
In “Catching Fire, How Cooking Made Us Human” by Dr. Richard Wrangham, we learn about what is possibly the most important change in human, and pre-human history. Fire changed everything that our ancestors did, from how they digested food, to how they hunted and fended off predators. Fire changed how we viewed the world, it spurred on the formation of culture as we know it today, and led to massive dietary changes that allowed for the explosion in brain size we see between H. habilis and H. erectus in the fossil record. While there is little actual evidence of fire in the fossil record, at least until much more recently, it is difficult to say for sure just exactly how the first hominins came across fire, and how they used it. What possessed them to take something that they knew would be so dangerous, and apply it in the ways that they did? We may never know for sure, but we can look at the biological changes that have brought us to be where we are today, and we can trace the very roots of our many cultures to sitting around the campfire, preparing food. Dr. Wrangham proposes the “Cooking Hypothesis” in this book, which since its publication has been widely accepted, and changed the way we view early Homo. While fire may date back much earlier than we know currently, the basis of its effects remains the same. We would not be the same without fire, it has fueled our evolution and fuels the machine of our modern world. But how?