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Who Mastered Fire?
Slate ^ | Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 | L.V. Anderson

Posted on 10/06/2012 1:16:02 PM PDT by presidio9

Richard Wrangham, an anthropologist at Harvard, claims that hominids became people—that is, acquired traits like big brains and dainty jaws—by 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.

There’s one problem with Wrangham’s elegant hypothesis: It’s 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. It’s 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 they’re 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. It’s thought that Neanderthals

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: firebad; godsgravesglyphs

1 posted on 10/06/2012 1:16:06 PM PDT by presidio9
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To: presidio9; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks presidio9.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


2 posted on 10/06/2012 1:25:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: presidio9
Who Mastered Fire?

I don't know but O'bomber is a master-debater.

3 posted on 10/06/2012 1:32:20 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate "Republicans Freed the Slaves" Month)
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To: presidio9

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.


4 posted on 10/06/2012 1:45:57 PM PDT by Colinsky
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To: Colinsky
How about preserving food?
5 posted on 10/06/2012 1:53:47 PM PDT by Little Bill
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To: presidio9
who mastered fire?

the first recorded chef... who was looking for a cooking show??

6 posted on 10/06/2012 2:09:59 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (Yes, Obama, I had help with my business. MY CUSTOMERS!)
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To: SunkenCiv

Chomping down on a nice grilled steak right now, but I have also joined the sushi cult.


7 posted on 10/06/2012 2:17:59 PM PDT by Explorer89 (And now, let the wild rumpus start!!)
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To: presidio9

That’s why fire ants are secretly taking over the world.


8 posted on 10/06/2012 2:20:40 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN
That’s why fire ants are secretly taking over the world.

I, for one, welcome our ant overlords...

9 posted on 10/06/2012 2:23:38 PM PDT by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: Explorer89
I just pulled a Beef Pye, old spelling, out of the oven, needs kidneys and puff pastry.
10 posted on 10/06/2012 2:24:09 PM PDT by Little Bill
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To: Colinsky

How interesting. That means prostitution is the world’s third oldest profession: Right behind Farmer and now Chef.


11 posted on 10/06/2012 2:24:09 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States.)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER
I don't know but O'bomber is a master-debater.

When Holder helps him, he can go Fast and Furious when you hand him a mirror.

12 posted on 10/06/2012 2:25:50 PM PDT by BerryDingle (I know how to deal with communists, I still wear their scars on my back from Hollywood-Ronald Reagan)
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To: presidio9

13 posted on 10/06/2012 2:30:34 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: presidio9
"I, for one, welcome our ant overlords..."

Not sure they could do any worse. At least they have good work ethics.

14 posted on 10/06/2012 2:30:52 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: Cyber Liberty; SunkenCiv
"That means prostitution is the world’s third oldest profession: Right behind Farmer and now Chef."

"Gatherer" and "Hunter" preceded all of the above...

15 posted on 10/06/2012 2:32:46 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: Cyber Liberty
How interesting. That means prostitution is the world’s third oldest profession: Right behind Farmer and now Chef.

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."

16 posted on 10/06/2012 2:33:47 PM PDT by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: Cyber Liberty
"How interesting. That means prostitution is the world’s third oldest profession: Right behind Farmer and now Chef."

Nope, it's the oldest. That's how we discovered fire.

17 posted on 10/06/2012 2:33:55 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN

18 posted on 10/06/2012 2:40:24 PM PDT by blam
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To: presidio9

The Titans.

Prometheus passed it to us.


19 posted on 10/06/2012 2:55:31 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: presidio9
There’s one problem with Wrangham’s elegant hypothesis:

Wrong! There are Two problems! The other is this:

How Beer Saved the World

20 posted on 10/06/2012 2:57:03 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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21 posted on 10/06/2012 2:59:53 PM PDT by RedMDer (https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=93destr)
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To: presidio9

22 posted on 10/06/2012 3:05:26 PM PDT by Manic_Episode (Some days...it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps....)
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To: presidio9

“Leech.” That’s what the Dem candidate for Rep in my district says. (Kyrsten Sinema)


23 posted on 10/06/2012 3:22:53 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States.)
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To: presidio9
H. erectus originated about 1.8 million years ago. These hominids were about as tall as modern humans, but probably hairier and definitely dumber.

You just gotta take the cheap shot every chance you get!

24 posted on 10/06/2012 3:23:17 PM PDT by TigersEye (dishonorabledisclosure.com - OPSEC (give them support))
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To: DannyTN; Cyber Liberty
That means prostitution is the world’s third oldest profession: Right behind Farmer and now Chef."

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.

25 posted on 10/06/2012 4:53:42 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 ( If you think I'm crazy, just wait until you talk to my invisible friend.)
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To: Colinsky
However the discovery of 'creating' fire came about, don't you have to wonder just who figured out that taking 'food' and putting it on top of a fire would make it better?

Was it an accident or planned ?

"Ung drop food on fire. Me still hungry. Me eat anyway. Oh wow, food better now."

26 posted on 10/06/2012 4:58:26 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 ( If you think I'm crazy, just wait until you talk to my invisible friend.)
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To: <1/1,000,000th%

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).


27 posted on 10/06/2012 5:02:46 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 ( If you think I'm crazy, just wait until you talk to my invisible friend.)
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To: Vendome

28 posted on 10/06/2012 5:03:53 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: UCANSEE2

Here is how “me trade meat for poontang”. No “money” necessary.


29 posted on 10/06/2012 5:11:46 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: UCANSEE2
Years ago, in an old English Lit book, I read an essay by Charles Lamb entitled "A Dissertation on Roast Pork" (begins as follows):

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.

30 posted on 10/06/2012 5:16:46 PM PDT by 19th LA Inf
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To: Lurker
Here is how “me trade meat for poontang”. No “money” necessary.

Why would a 'caveman' need to trade meat for sex, when he had a club ?

31 posted on 10/06/2012 5:28:05 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 ( If you think I'm crazy, just wait until you talk to my invisible friend.)
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To: 19th LA Inf
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.

Maybe that is why traces of some 'ancient' civilizations are so hard to find.

32 posted on 10/06/2012 6:12:23 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 ( If you think I'm crazy, just wait until you talk to my invisible friend.)
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To: Colinsky

Fire apes, that’s funny. Mostly because in 1.8 million years no other member of the “family” has ever mastered fire.


33 posted on 10/06/2012 8:34:32 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: presidio9

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.


34 posted on 10/06/2012 8:48:27 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: UCANSEE2
"How could prostitution exist before the concept of 'marriage' came about, and before the concept of 'money' ?"

Where's there a will, there's a way.

35 posted on 10/08/2012 9:51:02 AM PDT by DannyTN
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