Did the discovery of cooking make us human?

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    Mar 02, 2010 9:49 PM GMT
    "Cooking is something we all take for granted but a new theory suggests that if we had not learned to cook food, not only would we still look like chimps but, like them, we would also be compelled to spend most of the day chewing."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8543906.stm
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    Mar 02, 2010 11:20 PM GMT
    Interesting. A lot of things make us "human" as opposed to monkees. Like comedy stages and nuanced language and abstract art.

    We overlook it though.
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    Mar 03, 2010 12:23 AM GMT
    makavelli saidInteresting. A lot of things make us "human" as opposed to monkees. Like comedy stages and nuanced language and abstract art.

    We overlook it though.


    It could be argued that the advent of cooking evidenced the intellect necessary for these embellishments. Somehow, I don't think it could be the other way around. Cooking created chemical changes, dna changes.
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    Mar 03, 2010 12:35 AM GMT
    makavelli saidInteresting. A lot of things make us "human" as opposed to monkees. Like comedy stages and nuanced language and abstract art.

    We overlook it though.

    Hmmmm...do you think the Monkees would care to be called not human?

    monkees.jpg
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    Mar 03, 2010 6:35 AM GMT
    Michael Pollen wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma. A good book exploring four meals - the industrial meal, the industrial organic, the natural farm organic and the harvested from wild.
    He describes what goes into each meal, the nature of the farming or manufacturing, the delivery to the end consumer and the tastes.

    It mentions in the book the concept that Omnivores developed larger brains than either carnivores or herbivores because there were more options to keep track of, and food combinations and places to find food, and dangerous non-food items to avoid. It simply required more brain power to manage surviving as an omnivore because of the choices. "What shall we have for dinner?" is a basic thought that plagues the omnivore who has a ton of options.

    There are a lot of omnivores beyond Humans, so that doesn't make us human. But I think we come from a branch of homonids that was really more adventurous and hell-bent on being super-omnivores. They got on a quest to try just about anything and experiment ruthlessly in the environment to find anything and everything that could possibly be eaten.

    And we've never stopped.

    I'll call it the "Insatiable Foodie" theory - it really explains most of our society. Some day they will boil down the difference between humans and apes to the Insatiable Foodie Mutation gene. No other creature on earth will have it.

    When we some day meet Aliens space travelers, they too will be in the search for the ultimate variety of food - if they weren't they wouldn't be smart enough to be space travelers! - so they will probably eat us.

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    Mar 03, 2010 6:49 AM GMT
    i still eat pb sanwhiches and oats and water everyday LOL im just lazy to cook
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    Mar 03, 2010 6:56 AM GMT
    There have been many stories on NPR with Michael Pollan about food ..

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89876927&ps=rs

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111429489

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98417440&ps=rs

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    Mar 03, 2010 7:01 AM GMT
    Here is a really good story on how food changes history in ways we don't realize .. we are spoiled when it comes to food availability ..
    Audio:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104880058

    here is the transcript
    http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=104880058
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    Mar 03, 2010 7:02 AM GMT
    McGay said
    makavelli saidInteresting. A lot of things make us "human" as opposed to monkees. Like comedy stages and nuanced language and abstract art.

    We overlook it though.


    It could be argued that the advent of cooking evidenced the intellect necessary for these embellishments. Somehow, I don't think it could be the other way around. Cooking created chemical changes, dna changes.


    And since we weren't chewing constantly, we had the time to figure out the art, language and comedy stuff.

    Evolution is fun, because Knowledge is Power!
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    Mar 03, 2010 7:09 AM GMT
    OHhiker saidThere are a lot of omnivores beyond Humans, so that doesn't make us human. But I think we come from a branch of homonids that was really more adventurous and hell-bent on being super-omnivores. They got on a quest to try just about anything and experiment ruthlessly in the environment to find anything and everything that could possibly be eaten.

    And we've never stopped.

    I'll call it the "Insatiable Foodie" theory - it really explains most of our society. Some day they will boil down the difference between humans and apes to the Insatiable Foodie Mutation gene. No other creature on earth will have it.

    When we some day meet Aliens space travelers, they too will be in the search for the ultimate variety of food - if they weren't they wouldn't be smart enough to be space travelers! - so they will probably eat us.



    Our status as omnivores plausibly explains our mental development, but I’d hesitate to conclude that an omnivore diet is the only possible path to develop intelligence. There’s no evidence to support a conclusion that intelligence requires specifically omnivore food pressures to develop. Dolphins, for example, are carnivorous, and yet they’re the most intelligent non-human creatures on earth. Aliens may face other pressures, like avoiding a variety of predators, etc.
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    Mar 03, 2010 12:05 PM GMT
    I dunno about u guys but Jesus made me human... well his daddy did--well he and his daddy combined did... with the holy spirit. And the wine that changes into blood.
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    Mar 03, 2010 1:04 PM GMT
    Interesting question, but I think the ability to cook is only one thing among many that makes us human.
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    Mar 03, 2010 1:21 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI'm a bit suspicious of that article. After reading it (and between the lines) one can't deny that it's implying that our ingestion of meat is largely responsible for making us smarter and increasing the size of our brains.

    So now vegetarians will think twice about their "herbivore" diets.

    This sort of reminds me of those "Got Milk?" ad campaigns. You know, the ones that hype the benefits of milk which makes you want to run out and buy yourself a gallon.

    But I don't know...I'm just talkin'. icon_cool.gif


    Definitely a suspicious article.

    Starts off by just referring to cooking in general, then only cooking meat.