Author Topic: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food  (Read 17135 times)

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Offline boxcarguy07

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Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« on: August 15, 2008, 07:05:37 am »
My parents sent me this article: http://www.livescience.com/culture/080811-brain-evolution.html

It is clear that it is just ludicrous, and I've already emailed them back with a rebuttal, but I was wondering what some of your thoughts were on it and maybe I could get even more things to say back.

Offline Kristelle

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2008, 07:12:23 am »
1) Eating cooked meat is HARDER for digestion

2) We get more nutrients from cooked vegetables and grains, yes but these are FAR from ideal foods. We certainly did not become "smarter" with nutrients from these foods. Meat, definetly.

All I gotta say...

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2008, 08:15:45 am »
If you read Guns Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond points to the advantages of storable then cookable foods for the development of tribes to become villages, towns, states.

With storable, cookable foods our civilization was built.

Of course at the expense of longevity, health, poor quality of life.

With our new information technology, we are re-discovering what it truly means to be healthy.  Some of us will have the knowledge, the money and the available resources to be able to once again consume real human food / optimal human food: a raw paleolithic diet.

I got into this RPD because RPD is essential to curing people and preventing disease.

Hey, RPD works.  Not just for myself, but for everyone.

As for the proportions of fruit, vegs, meat ... it depends on your current needs, your future needs, your resources available.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 08:17:48 am by goodsamaritan »
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Satya

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2008, 08:21:55 am »
That article is without references.  And the author is about as dumb as they get!

Tyler and I have already picked apart the cooked food = bigger brains arguments here:

http://www.rawpaleodiet.com/advent-of-cooking-article/

Basically, the crux of our argument is: It takes brains to make fire.  How did man learn how to cook?  To first use, then control, and finally produce fire was a long, drawn-out process.  It took bigger brains to master such feats.  Thus, cooked foods did not give us bigger brains, but bigger brains gave us the ability to cook! 

Ask Mom and Dad if they can produce a fire without modern technology.  If they say yes, then have them doemonstrate it.  Then show them that you can eat good food without the modern pyrotechnology.  And when you think about the energy and time involved in making some campfire - for every meal - then you see the stupidity and wasted expense of it all.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2008, 12:36:50 am by Craig »

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2008, 05:51:53 pm »
Satya - I just noticed that you referred to Wrangham as a biological anthropologist in that essay. He most certainly is NOT! He's a chimp behaviourist and not an anthropologist at all, I thought I'd mentioned that(oh, well, perhaps only in Wikipedia). Other than making clear Wrangham's so-called "credentials" it should also be pointed out that Wrangham's theories are not viewed as credible by the majority of palaeoanthropologists. Here's a reference to an article where this is pointed out:-

http://cogweb.ucla.edu/Abstracts/Pennisi_99.html

"But Henry Bunn, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has a more typical--and skeptical--reaction to the tuber theory. He says Wrangham's team "downplays lots of sound evidence that we have for meat-eating and fire use and accepts at face value problematic evidence." A major problem for the theory, notes Hill, is that where there's cooking smoke, there must be fire. Yet he, Michigan's Brace, and most other anthropologists contend that cooking fires began in earnest barely 250,000 years ago, when ancient hearths, earth ovens, burnt animal bones, and flint appear across Europe and the middle East. Back 2 million years ago, the only sign of fire is burnt earth with human remains, which most anthropologists consider coincidence rather than evidence of intentional fire."

This topic should really belong in the Hot Topics section, given the subject. I'll move it there -  the  General forum already has too many topics, anyway.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2008, 03:04:36 am by TylerDurden »
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Satya

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2008, 09:34:23 pm »
Satya - I just noticed that you referred to Wrangham as a biological anthropologist in that essay. He most certainly is NOT! He's a chimp behaviourist and not an anthropologist at all, I thought I'd mentioned that(oh, well, perhaps only in Wikipedia). Other than making clear Wrangham's so-caled "credentials" it should also be pointed out that Wrangham's theories are not viewed as credible by the majority of palaeoanthropologists. Here's a reference to an article where this is pointed out:-

Huh, well, I guess it's good this came up.  As far as I am concerned, his  background is: Cambridge University. Ph.D., Zoology (Animal Behaviour), so he will be labeled a zoologist.  Sound good?  I think the confusion must stem from the fact that he teaches anthropology (which does cover all primates), thus that title.  I think Scientific American called him a biological anthropologist, so I followed suit.

http://www.discoverlife.org/who/CV/Wrangham,_Richard.html
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 09:36:51 pm by Satya »

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2008, 12:49:30 am »
The first thing I think of re this idea is how would that explain cultures that never cooked their food having the same brain size as cultures that did. Wouldn't Inuit people have small brains?

But on the other hand it does make sense that the culture and technology that could have come about with the advent of food storage could have led to a larger brain.

But either way I don't see any reason that the nutrition in cooked food directly caused a growth in brain size. The only way I see it is if it was a side effect of a lifestyle change.

Offline boxcarguy07

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2008, 01:17:02 am »
The first thing I think of re this idea is how would that explain cultures that never cooked their food having the same brain size as cultures that did. Wouldn't Inuit people have small brains?

But on the other hand it does make sense that the culture and technology that could have come about with the advent of food storage could have led to a larger brain.

But either way I don't see any reason that the nutrition in cooked food directly caused a growth in brain size. The only way I see it is if it was a side effect of a lifestyle change.

Well the article says it wasn't the growth of the brain that made us smarter. It says that our brains grew to the size they are now long ago, but it still took a long time for us to become "smart" even after our brains grew, and that cooking food caused us to be "smart"

It makes more sense that cooking was a result of whatever it was that caused this spurt in intelligence, rather than the cause of it.

Metallica

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2008, 02:05:47 am »
i do believe cooking gave us our big brains. 

Kyle Inuit ate cooked meats.

basically you have these hunter gather tribes that were completely cut off from the civilized world for thousands of years, have no outside contact. THese people cook most of there meat, although some do eat a decent amount of raw foods, but most are predominately cooked. Now why do they do this? if raw meat was easier to digest, gave them more energy, produced healthy off spring these people would most certainly be eating an all raw diet, but thats simply not the case. this is a reason im having a hard time into doing an all raw diet.

\
« Last Edit: August 16, 2008, 02:25:56 am by Metallica »

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2008, 03:32:59 am »
i do believe cooking gave us our big brains. 

Kyle Inuit ate cooked meats.

basically you have these hunter gather tribes that were completely cut off from the civilized world for thousands of years, have no outside contact. THese people cook most of there meat, although some do eat a decent amount of raw foods, but most are predominately cooked. Now why do they do this? if raw meat was easier to digest, gave them more energy, produced healthy off spring these people would most certainly be eating an all raw diet, but thats simply not the case. this is a reason im having a hard time into doing an all raw diet.

\

Just to clarify, while the Inuit did actually eat large amounts of raw meats including lots of  raw "high-meat"(especially the nutrient-denser organ-meats), they did eat some cooked meat as well- BUT it was boiled, so not heavily cooked. It should also be noted that the partially-raw-meat-eating Eskimos have the largest skulls of modern humans:-

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=mHFsScY8ewMC&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=inuit+largest+brains&source=web&ots=

The above, along with my points debunking the whole theory in the above link provided further up, should make it clear that the whole notion re cooked-food leading to bigger brains is nonsense. As regards the whole issue re brains, though, it should be made clear that the key nutrient providing for larger brains is meat, as opposed to the whole issue of raw vs cooked. Hominids got larger brains as they increased the amounts of meat in their diet, whether raw or cooked, and there's no such correlation between the advent of cooking and brains.

As regards the Inuit hunter-gatherers, it's  absurd to suggest that they must have turned to cooked meats because were supposedly easier to digest. For one thing, humans do very stupid things such as smoking, taking drugs, consuming alcohol etc., all of which are harmful, so it's not logical to assume that people will follow the healthiest diet around - a far more likely explanation is that the opioids(present in cooked-foods, as well as dairy/grains) made cooked-food more addictive than raw foods, thus encouraging consumption of the former. Plus, there's the extremely cold Arctic  climate, which might force Inuit tribes to cook some of their meats for obvious reasons.

Also, I believe you said you were trying a Wai diet - given all that fruit/carbs I'm not surprised you're not doing well on it. Add some raw animal fats/organs etc., and you'll do much better. After all, it's inconceivable that palaeo humans just ate a little raw fish and lots of raw fruit and raw eggs, and nothing else.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 05:35:02 pm by TylerDurden »
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coconinoz

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2008, 05:15:34 am »

"it should be made clear that the key nutrient providing for larger brains is meat, as opposed to the whole issue of raw vs cooked. Hominids got larger brains as they increased the amounts of meat in their diet, whether raw or cooked"

~ do lions & tigers have a larger brain (as a % of their body mass or weight) than monkeys? are lions & tigers smarter than apes in any sense?
otherwise, what is the advantage of the (raw) carnivore diet?

~ do wild felines, or any other carnivore animal in the wild, eat both land & sea meat (as domestic cats do)? do monkeys/apes/primates eat also fish?

~ in terms of nervous system, sensory organs, muscles: how do carnivore animals compare to fat herbivores such as elephant or lean herbivores such as deer?

~ are adult monkeys the prey of large carnivores? if not killed, how do they get away?

~ incidentally, lions & tigers sure seem to move faster than monkeys & with more grace & elegance, although monkeys may perhaps be more able to simultaneously use their hands & stand or walk on their feet (& so do squirrels)

~ 1 remarkable difference that characterizes adult humans is the vertical, erect posture; obtaining & maintaining this feature must call for a type of food able to feed a particular type of nervous system, sensory organs, muscles as well as to defy gravity in a way that horizontal, 4 legged bodies do not require


Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2008, 05:57:06 am »
Obviously, the ability to handle tools is just as important as  the amount of meat eaten. Currently, however, the DHA hypothesis is the only plausible explanation re humans gaining larger brains(via increased-consumption of meats).

But, yes, carnivores tend to be way more intelligent than herbivores, for obvious reasons.
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
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Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2008, 12:44:53 am »

But, yes, carnivores tend to be way more intelligent than herbivores, for obvious reasons.

The only interesting exception though is many primates, which although sometimes consume meat are mainly plant eaters. This does give some ammunition to vegetarian ideas as primates are (other than maybe dolphins) the most intelligent animals after humans (which of course is in the group primates but I'm talking about wild non-human primates).

Offline avalon

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2008, 08:47:32 pm »
I'm not sure about the 'cooking' issue, but it's the shoreline idea that catches my interest. Maybe it wasn't Cows and Wild Boars or any land animal, but rather this:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/38009.php

Quote
Something had to start the process of brain expansion and I think it was early humans eating clams, frogs, bird eggs and fish from shoreline environments. This is what created the necessary physiological conditions for explosive brain growth," says Dr. Cunnane, a metabolic physiologist at the University of Sherbrooke in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Maybe just the fact that these food stuffs are not from our own environment means something. A clam lives in water, we live on land. They are like, aliens and we eat them! And then we change and change and stuff like on Outer Limits! ;D Totally!

Offline boxcarguy07

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2008, 08:59:05 pm »
lol you're too funny!  :D

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2008, 10:13:57 pm »
I really don't like the idea that if you start eating something you will grow a bigger brain or get bigger muscles or become taller. All of those traits are genetic and don't change on a whim. You can have poor or good expression of your genes based on diet, but if the genes aren't there for a big brain you won't grow one because you beefed up your diet.

The only way humans can "evolve" a bigger brain is by natural selection for having a larger brain. Survival tasks that require and/or reward the highest intelligence. Maybe even a big brain as impact resistance for blows to the head since most of the brain isn't used anyway. Same thing with physical strength, height, skin color etc. Today you can improve your body with better diet, but it's only because the genes are already there and you simply weren't expressing them before on a poor diet at optimal levels. This is not "evolving" or "growing" a bigger brain due to diet.

Starting fires could be a reason to have evolved more intelligence, the ability to consistently start a fire from scratch is nothing to sneeze at and I don't think some of the dumber people I know today could manage it without lots of practice or teaching.

coconinoz

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2008, 01:21:01 am »
the following is from cohen & stewart's the collapse of chaos (1994):

"... gregory bateson in steps to an ecology of mind ...
"bateson's ... is a story about how the giraffe got its neck ... browsing on bushes & looking longingly at leaves higher up, just out of reach ... a longer neck is no use unless you also have a more powerful heart to pump blood the longer distance up to your brain. if you assume the evolution of a long neck must be caused by an innovatory mutation leading to a specific longer neck gene, then all proto-giraffes will die from heart failure ...
"could the neck perhaps grow in length because of of some general 'grow larger' control gene? at 1st sight this idea seems to solve the problem, because the heart will grow larger along with everything else. however, it's not easy to scale up an animal & keep its physiology working properly ... somehow the different parts of the animal -- heart, neck, muscles, artery walls -- must all stay in balance as the neck lengthens. & evolution has to achieve this balance in each individual, at all stages of its development, or else the innovation will die out.
"... too many independent factors must change coherently ... it has to be done by versatility. each part of the animal must respond, in its own way, to the stress of having a longer neck, & it has to respond during the animal's own development, not over a time lag of generations. so, for instance, the heart must adapt by getting bigger -- & this is where the possibility of nongenetic change arises. the heart can adapt in 2 distinct ways: either nongenetically, by growing more powerful through exercise, or by genetic changes that tend to produce bigger hearts anyway. since genetic changes happen over many generations, in any individual animal the heart must adapt through exercise. all the other related kits -- muscles, skin, artery walls -- are also stretched by the existence of a longer neck, & they must adapt in the same nongenetic way.
"some individuals simply cannot adapt successfully, & the innovative 'long neck' gene kills them. but baby proto-giraffes with sufficiently adaptable genetic kits can reach leaves higher up trees, & that offers them a survival advantage, which they pass on to their progeny. however, there is a price to pay: at this stage in their evolution these animals are living in a state of constant stress, extended to the very limits of their adaptive capabilities, like an athlete who is always running a 4-min mile.
"other factors now begin to reduce this stress by assimilating the innovation into the population. there is always a spread of genes in the population, so in later generations some offspring will have a heart kit the produces a bigger heart to start with, or a muscle kit for inherently stronger muscles, or an artery kit for thicker artery walls. these animals also have to adapt to the longer neck, but not as much. adults whose hearts are big because of a 'big heart' gene look exactly the same as those whose hearts are big because of exercise, but they are less stressed. & such adults will become more prevalent in each generation, for a simple reason. if a giraffe is chased by a lion, then 1 whose heart is genetically disposed toward greater strength can run away as well as pump blood up its longer neck, whereas 1 whose heart has grown to the limits of what can be achieved through exercise can't (pp.315-6).

"... the versatility of genetic kits drives evolution in directions that make sense on the level of organisms. it shows how the geography of creature space affects the evolutionary dynamic of dna space. organisms evolve the way they 'want to,' in the sense that the direction in which they stretch themselves physiologically is determined by their own intentions. those giraffes really did want to eat the leaves that were higher on the tree, because if they hadn't, they wouldn't have evolved longer necks.
"... the possibilities inherent in a genuine interaction between dna space & creature space are greater than those that occur in either space alone" (p.318).

« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 01:25:21 am by coconinoz »

coconinoz

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2008, 01:45:36 am »

throughout their book, cohen & stewart make several points:
~ darwin spoke of natural selection, not of biochemistry -- ecological vs reductionist approach
~ the paramount importance of the nervous system over the genome
~ hence the significance of dha rich food, exercise, sleep, etc.


coconinoz

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2008, 02:53:26 am »

another tidbit from cohen & stewart:

"there's a better way to tell the monkeys-to-einstein story. it has several ingredients. 1 is the role of privilege, of nongenetic transfer between generations. another is the importance of food [dha] as a source of the chemicals needed to build brains; this is linked to a novel theory of human origins" (p.342).

"compare the 2 alternatives. is it more effective, in evolutionary terms, to specify all aspects of behavior 1ce & for all in dna code, or to use dna code to specify flexible brains that can learn, & pass the behavioral information from brain to brain, from generation to generation, bypassing the genetic biochemistry? like everything else the answer to this question depends on context [not content] but sometimes 1 route may be preferable, sometimes another ... for creatures as complex as us, privileged apes, the direct dna route isn't even available. there are more neural connections than there are dna bases" (p.350).



coconinoz

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2008, 03:37:33 am »


afaik, every food style -- raw, cooked, or anything in between -- has its own epigenetic effect

nutrigenomics is a fairly new science... in the cooking


Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2008, 03:51:05 am »
While I do think that cooking gave us smaller mouths, I don't view it as likely that food, whether raw meat or cooked-food in general, could be responsible for human brain-growth. More than likely, it was tool-use or something similiar.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 10:47:58 pm by TylerDurden »
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Satya

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2008, 10:34:19 pm »
[Tyler said]
"it should be made clear that the key nutrient providing for larger brains is meat, as opposed to the whole issue of raw vs cooked. Hominids got larger brains as they increased the amounts of meat in their diet, whether raw or cooked"

[coconinoz countered]
~ do lions & tigers have a larger brain (as a % of their body mass or weight) than monkeys? are lions & tigers smarter than apes in any sense?
otherwise, what is the advantage of the (raw) carnivore diet?

Thank you for including so many ideas and book suggestions.

Suggesting that 'the big cats don't have big brains like the primates, therefore, why should we want a raw carnivore diet' is fallacious reasoning.  It is a false analogy.  It completely skirts the issue that we have evolved along a much different path than the big cats.  The big cats have big claws, big teeth and great mobility, thus, they can get their raw meat through speed and brute force.  Primates that eventually evolved to our species don't have those highly-developed, built-in tools.  We are also bipedal, the cats are not.  We have opposable thumbs, the cats do not.  We have had to exploit our environment to a much larger extent to have access to meat and bone marrow, probably first by opportunity, and later by ingenuity, as a result of the denser nutrition that carnivorous foods provided. 

We could look to the ocean animals to see how ridiculous this kind of comparison is.  Sharks and orcas eat a raw fish diet, yet the whale has much greater cognitive functioning.  So, you can't draw conclusions about their intelligence based solely on their diet.

(As an aside, I might also add that sometimes the sheer size of a brain factors into cognitive ability, along with % of body mass that the brain occupies).
"It is brain size that makes the difference, and the sperm whale brain is the largest brain to have ever evolved on the planet. It is about 9,000 cubic centimeters and weighs 7.8 kilos or 17 lbs 3 oz. The orca brain is about 5 kilos.

By comparison the human brain is 1300 grams and is about 1300 cubic centimeters.
All mammals from mice to men have three lobes to the brain whereas cetaceans have a fourth lobe. The convulsions on the neo-cortex area of the brain are more pronounced on cetacean brains than on humans.

So overall, the brain of a sperm whale and orca are larger, and more complex than human brains."

http://www.seashepherd.org/whales/whales_intelligent.html
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 10:58:39 pm by Satya »

Satya

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2008, 09:57:07 pm »
The only interesting exception though is many primates, which although sometimes consume meat are mainly plant eaters. This does give some ammunition to vegetarian ideas as primates are (other than maybe dolphins) the most intelligent animals after humans (which of course is in the group primates but I'm talking about wild non-human primates).

No ammunition exists whatsoever.  It simply does not follow (non sequitur) that because nonhuman primates are intelligent, and some of them happen to consume more plant matter than others, that it is the plant matter that gives them the intelligence.  Primates are generally omnivores, and I believe that most if not all of them consume at least insects.  Indeed, it is the omnivorous diet that accounts for the overall lack of specialization in primates.  Let's look at the primates: the really intelligent ones do hunt mammals, use sticks for fishing out termites, etc.  The chimpanzees are the best at this, and they happen to have high level of cognitive function. It so happens that humans and chimpanzees are more closely related genetically than either is to the gorillas.  Anthropoids (monkeys, apes and humans) have larger brains in absolute terms and relative to body weight than the prosimii primates.  Tooth form is directly related to diet, and the rounded cusps of our molars (I actually have a few pointy ones) enable us primates to handle most types of food, and that is why the primates are considered omnivores.

I really don't like the idea that if you start eating something you will grow a bigger brain or get bigger muscles or become taller. All of those traits are genetic and don't change on a whim. You can have poor or good expression of your genes based on diet, but if the genes aren't there for a big brain you won't grow one because you beefed up your diet.

I agree basically.  We primates have prehensility - the ability to grasp objects with the hands and/ or feet.  I know we all realize this, but from an evolutionary standpoint, it is huge!  Can you imagine the neuromotor pathways that become established just by picking something up?  Now imagine manipulation of an object with the gross and fine motor skills and what that does for the primate's CNS!  Food will come into play, of course, and DHA is an absolute requirement for us humans (I am not well-versed on chimp dietary needs).  But it is not like that alone is going to do it.  The stimulii must be there for increased mass and/or function!

And this is why the entire load of bull that Wrangham hoists upon the masses is so laughable.  Where the hell did humans get the intelligence to light fires if cooking is what gave us bigger brains?  Hominids could not have developed pyrotechnology without the brains to do so!  This is a case of putting the cart before the horse.   Metallica, why haven't the chimps started cooking yet?  Hmm?  They engage in group hunting, have complex social structures, and have an incredible ability for symbolic expression and understanding.  So if cooking is necessary for intelligence, where is the evidence?  If cooking gave homo erectus a larger brain, where is the evidence?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2008, 10:16:15 pm by Satya »

Offline Nicola

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2008, 02:25:30 am »
Cooking and Cognition: How Humans Got So Smart

The human brain went through two enormous evolutionary changes -- one in size,
followed by an even more important one in cognitive ability. Your brain consumes huge
amounts of calories and exhibits incredible prowess. In fact, your brain's roaring
metabolism, possibly stimulated by early man's invention of cooking, may be the main
factor behind our most critical cognitive leap, new research suggests.

Possibly about 2 million years ago, the human brain rapidly increased its mass until it was
double the size of other primate brains. Some believe this is because humans started to
eat better food. But then, about 150,000 years ago, a different type of spurt happened --
those big brains suddenly got smart. Humans started innovating, invented many new
tools, and started creating art and perhaps religion.

Research suggests that increased access to calories spurred these cognitive advances. The
extra calories may have come from the first hearths. Cooking, by breaking down fibers and
making nutrients more readily available, is a way of processing food outside the body.
Eating cooked meals would have lessened the energy needs of the human digestion
system, thereby freeing up calories for the brain.

Sources:
Live Science August 11, 2008
Genome Biology August 5 2008; 9(8):R124

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Dr. Mercola's Comments:
To understand what caused the cognitive spurt that took place some 150,000 years ago,
these researchers examined chemical brain processes that were known to have been
altered in that time, and by comparing apes and humans, they found the most robust
differences were for processes involved in energy metabolism.

They believe that it was an increased access to calories – not necessarily from more food,
but from the advent of cooking hearths -- that spurred mankind's cognitive advances,
although they admit it may be premature to make definitive claims of this.

That is probably a good thing, because I couldn't disagree more with some of these
researchers' assessments and dietary comments.

It's true that your gut requires significant energy to digest and extract nutrients from your
food sources, but cooking your food does more than just break down fibers to make
nutrients more available. On the contrary, many nutrients are altered or destroyed in the
cooking process.

Researcher Philipp Khaitovich of the Partner Institute for Computational Biology states that
"eating (mostly) cooked meals would have lessened the energy needs of our digestion
systems, thereby freeing up calories for our brains." Well, maybe -- maybe not. At this
point I'm thinking that's a fairly large leap, considering the overwhelming evidence that
raw diets are far healthier and more nutritious than cooking most or all your foods.

Which is why I was especially dismayed when I saw the author finish off this article with an
admonition to avoid raw food, and Khaitovich's comment that, "devoted followers end up
with very severe health problems."

Raw Foods are Essential for Good Health

Unfortunately, nearly every article written on raw foods in the media makes the SERIOUS
mistake of excluding meat and animal protein from the raw food diet. There are abundant
and plentiful examples from the animal kingdom that show us the importance of raw
animal foods.

And it's true, if you restrict your foods to raw plant foods only, as is mistakenly advocated
by many, you will likely see a radical decline in your health.

more:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/09/06/cooking-and-cognition-how-humans-got-so-smart.aspx?source=nl

Edit by Satya:
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« Last Edit: September 07, 2008, 02:52:10 am by Satya »

Offline boxcarguy07

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Re: Article says humans became intelligent because of cooked food
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2008, 02:44:10 am »
Yes, I was emailed that this morning and was about to post a link, but forgot or something.
I was looking through the comments people had left on the article, and unfortunately it was mostly a debate about evolution, not "hmm, raw animal foods? really? i should try that!"   8)

 

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