Essay on Catching Fire : How Cooking Made Us Human

1595 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 null Page
Food: the most necessary supplement to life. There are few experiences that can best biting into a perfectly grilled steak, or savoring the first bite of a warm apple pie. In times of low energy, these dishes and many others step up perfectly to reinvigorate the tired person. Why, then, for most of history, has food been consumed raw? Richard Wrangham explores the notion of cooking and how it led to the evolution of the hominin ancestors into modern humans in his book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human. In it he addresses many questions and theories about his hypothesis. Some of the more important ones are the influence of food on inter-birth interval, the avoidance of starvation by Homo sapiens ancestors, our ancestors’ loss of body hair, and the influence of Darwinian selection for social tolerance and cooperation. Wrangham’s hypothesis provides answers for these and other questions throughout his book. Wrangham opens his book pondering a deep question: what made us human? He then states that the Homo genus “stemmed from the control of fire and the advent of cooked meals.” (Wrangham 2). He goes on to extrapolate on this hypothesis. The rise of fire was predated by the eating of meat in the evolutionary triggers for modern humans. Wrangham describes meat eating may have caused some human characteristics to develop amongst our primate ancestors. Long distance travel, increasing overall body size, rising intelligence, and increased cooperation are all factors that may…

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