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View Full Version : Humans made fire 790,000 years ago


kevin mckay
10-27-2008, 10:42 AM
http://africa.reuters.com/odd/news/usnTRE49P27P.html

Interesting

Mike ODonnell
10-27-2008, 12:14 PM
must of been for cooking all their vegetables

Darryl Shaw
10-28-2008, 07:26 AM
This discovery fits in nicely with Richard Wranghams hypothesis re. the importance of cooked foods, particularly tubers, in human evolution.

.....the real revolution came once human ancestors tasted a tuber baked in a lightning-sparked grass fire and realized the value of cooking, Wrangham asserts. Heat turns hard-to-digest carbohydrates into sweet, easy-to-absorb calories. Using the protein, fat, and carbohydrate makeup of modern fruits, seeds, meats, and tubers, Wrangham's team calculated the caloric value of diets containing various proportions of these foods, assuming a constant total amount of food dry matter. A diet of 60% cooked tubers, about the proportion used in modern native African diets, and no meat boosts caloric intake by about 43% over that of humans who ate nuts, berries, and raw tubers, says Wrangham. A 60% meat diet offers just a 20% advantage.

"There seems to be a genuine energetic advantage in cooking food," agrees Yale's Hill. "This could lead to a shift in human behavior" as well as physical changes such as smaller teeth. "Tubers have a lower fiber content [than other plant foods], and that would fit very nicely with this [idea]," adds Leslie Aiello, an anthropologist at the University College in London. "And cooking would just accentuate this."

http://cogweb.ucla.edu/Abstracts/Pennisi_99.html