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Documentary from the BBC Asks: Did Cooking Make Us Human?

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Comment by sillysillytom on January 30, 2012 at 3:33pm

but wait, chicken before egg did Fire make us human yes?

or is that touched on in this... I'm at work and can't kick it off yet.  Interesting.

Comment by sillysillytom on January 30, 2012 at 3:37pm

oh food is critical to evolution could not have become dominant creatures without it.  cooking increased the quality of diet in all of history... ok I can get on board now and I suppose I should correct my statement "egg before chicken".  watching now very interesting.

Comment by SensualWhirl on January 30, 2012 at 3:40pm

Cool, Tom. Enjoy. 

Comment by sillysillytom on January 30, 2012 at 3:43pm

Oh I like this!

Comment by Victoria on January 30, 2012 at 3:46pm

looks interesting....before even watching I'll wager the answer is "yes".  plumbing, air conditioning and deodorant certainly assisted the transformation.

Comment by SensualWhirl on January 30, 2012 at 3:58pm

The answer is more or less given right away in the doco: yes, obviously.

Modern humans couldn't survive long term on a relatively indigestible, calorie deficient diet of other apes (raw leaves, fruit, seeds and roots), and we simply wouldn't have evolved into the large, power species we are at all without consuming quantities of cooked food. 

Comment by Suburbanrider on January 30, 2012 at 4:11pm

Rather than grazing in fields it gave us a place to gather by the stove or cooking fire.

If it wasn't what made us human I would say it was certainly what made us more civilized.

Gathering nuts and berries just could not lead to a fancy dress up dinner party. :)

Comment by SensualWhirl on January 30, 2012 at 4:30pm

You can happily continue being a vegetarian, since you live in an environment in which malnutrition is extremely unlikely if you eat a diet supplemented by a variety of foods, even if you exclude animal products. Hunter-gather cultures (those most like our early modern human ancestors) don't usually consume a lot of meat. 

It's been suggested that meat made up around 90% of Neanderthal man's diet, which was probably one of the many factors made that it very difficult for them to compete with Cro-Magnon... they simply couldn't hunt enough food to sustain their population through the last Ice Age. 

Comment by Victoria on January 30, 2012 at 4:42pm

archeological sleuthing is so interesting.  (burned bones with butchery marks can be a real life quest.)

it all makes such sense.  fascinating doc.  (tried to listen while working but had to keep looking up.) 

Comment by SensualWhirl on January 30, 2012 at 4:47pm

@lima: No doubt our ancestors needed to eat meat for us to evolve with the mental capacities we have. Our diet wasn't the only thing which helped increase our intelligence over an above the other apes, it was also evolution of our upright posture (allowing for large cranial capacity) and our uniquely long childhoods/adolescence which allowed for the development of our big brains. 

Our thumbs also played a part, believe it or not. Without them, we could not have become hunters in the first place. No other ape uses tools the way we do, and that's all down to our hands. 

@Vic: Glad you enjoyed it. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was a kid, no joke. 

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