Skip to comments.Who Mastered Fire?
Posted on 10/06/2012 1:16:02 PM PDT by presidio9
Richard Wrangham, an anthropologist at Harvard, claims that hominids became peoplethat is, acquired traits like big brains and dainty jawsby mastering fire. He places this development at about 1.8 million years ago. This is an appealing premise no matter who you are. For those who see cooking as morally, culturally, and socially superior to not cooking, it is scientific validation of a worldview: proof that cooking is literally what makes us human. For the rest of us, it means we have a clever retort the next time one of those annoying raw-food faddists starts going on about how natural it is never to eat anything heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
Theres one problem with Wranghams elegant hypothesis: Its hardly the scientific consensus. In fact, since 2009, when Wrangham explained his theory in the book Catching Fire, several archaeologists have come forward with their own, wildly divergent opinions about what is arguably the oldest intellectual property debate in the world. Who really mastered fire, in the sense of being able to create it, control it, and cook with it regularly? Was it Homo erectus, Neanderthals, or modern humans?
A brief primer on these species: H. erectus originated about 1.8 million years ago. These hominids were about as tall as modern humans, but probably hairier and definitely dumber. Its thought that both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens evolved from H. erectus, with Neanderthals emerging about 600,000 years ago (and going extinct around 30,000 years ago) and modern humans emerging around 200,000 years ago (and still going strong). Neanderthals were shorter and had more complex societies than H. erectus, and theyre thought to have been at least as large-brained as modern humans, but their facial features protruded a little more and their bodies were stouter than ours. Its thought that Neanderthals
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I don't know but O'bomber is a master-debater.
I’ve read Wrangham’s CATCHING FIRE; he makes a very strong case that eating cooked food was the major influence on human evolution from the very beginning of our divergence from the apes.
We are fire apes.
the first recorded chef... who was looking for a cooking show??
Chomping down on a nice grilled steak right now, but I have also joined the sushi cult.
That’s why fire ants are secretly taking over the world.
I, for one, welcome our ant overlords...
How interesting. That means prostitution is the world’s third oldest profession: Right behind Farmer and now Chef.
When Holder helps him, he can go Fast and Furious when you hand him a mirror.
Not sure they could do any worse. At least they have good work ethics.
"Gatherer" and "Hunter" preceded all of the above...
Um, if "farmer" is a profession, than so are "hunter," "fisherman," and probably "architect." And maybe "critic."
Not sure what we do with "stay at home mom."
Nope, it's the oldest. That's how we discovered fire.
Prometheus passed it to us.
Wrong! There are Two problems! The other is this:
“Leech.” That’s what the Dem candidate for Rep in my district says. (Kyrsten Sinema)
You just gotta take the cheap shot every chance you get!
Nope, it's the oldest.
It's all a bit silly, isn't it ?
How could prostitution exist before the concept of 'marriage' came about, and before the concept of 'money' ?
The profession of organized religion (ministers, priests, etc) had to come before marriage, or there wouldn't be anyone to perform the ceremony.
Was it an accident or planned ?
"Ung drop food on fire. Me still hungry. Me eat anyway. Oh wow, food better now."
Prometheus gave us fire.
Lucifer gave us light.
Same story. If one reads carefully, there is very little difference between Greek and Roman mythology, and the Old Testament of the Bible (which is based on the Torah).
Here is how “me trade meat for poontang”. No “money” necessary.
Mankind, says a Chinese manuscript, which my friend M. was obliging enough to read and explain to me, for the first seventy thousand ages ate their meat raw, clawing or biting it from the living animal, just as they do in Abyssinia to this day. This period is not obscurely hinted at by their great Confucius in the second chapter of his Mundane Mutations, where he designates a kind of golden age by the term Cho-fang, literally the Cook's holiday. The manuscript goes on to say, that the art of roasting, or rather broiling (which I take to be the elder brother) was accidentally discovered in the manner following. The swine-herd, Ho-ti, having gone out into the woods one morning, as his manner was, to collect mast for his hogs, left his cottage in the care of his eldest son Bo-bo, a great lubberly boy, who being fond of playing with fire, as younkers of his age commonly are, let some sparks escape into a bundle of straw, which kindling quickly, spread the conflagration over every part of their poor mansion, till it was reduced to ashes. Together with the cottage (a sorry antediluvian makeshift of a building, you may think it), . . . It goes on to tell how the resulting barbecue made such a hit that for some time, the people continued to burn their houses, until they figured out a better way to cook the pork.
Why would a 'caveman' need to trade meat for sex, when he had a club ?
Maybe that is why traces of some 'ancient' civilizations are so hard to find.
Fire apes, that’s funny. Mostly because in 1.8 million years no other member of the “family” has ever mastered fire.
I mastered fire in about the first or second grade. They had the boys assemble in the gym and gave us each a frisbee and a couple cotton balls and a flint and steel set. We were instructed to place the cotton balls in the upside down frisbee and light them on fire with the flint and steel, which we did and which made us very happy. This was how they recruited us to join the Cub Scouts. Can you imagine this happening today? This would have been early 1980s but it seems like several worlds ago now.
Where's there a will, there's a way.