Originally Posted by Mike Romano
This is a pretty dumb paper...meat eating is one of the very things that made us human! Our digestive tracts shortened because we started eating meat, providing room for our brains. We diverged from gorillas/chimps for a reason......
How does it make sense that a single diet is prescribed for an entire suborder of species? Gorillas are herbivores, although frugivorous at times: completely distinct from gibbons which are strictly frugivorous: these species differ only at the family level. Even old world monkeys (cercopithecoidea, members of the same super family) have different diets: Ceboids have rumen-like stomachs and eat only grasses, have slicing molars, and cercopithecines have crushing molars and eat only fruit. Prescribing a single diet to all of these animals would be a HORRIBLE idea. Not to mention, even chimps are also distinct from humans, although we only differ at the , as their diet typically consists of much less meat.
There's no question that eating meat played an important role in our evolution but I think it overstates things to say that it is one of things that made us human, after all chimpanzees have no difficulty hunting all the meat they want yet they haven't developed larger brains over the past six million or so years. Recent findings on the evolution of human amylase gene copy number variation
point to a far more plausible explanation for the shortening of our digestive tract and the development of our brains being our increased ability to digest starchy calorie dense roots and tubers as this would have provided the fuel needed for brain development.
So while I don't dispute the fact that early man did hunt much like chimpanzees and bonobos it seems probable that it was the random mutation of the AMY1 gene that proved to be the turning point in our evolution rather than an increase in meat consumption.
Roots and Tubers in Diet of Early Human Ancestors.