Author Topic: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...  (Read 7119 times)

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Offline castsomelight

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Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« on: October 28, 2008, 08:57:55 pm »

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2008, 09:25:31 pm »
This should go in the Hot Topics section. I'll do that now.


Also, as the above link was already duplicated on the rawpaleodiet yahoo group, I think I should post my previous debunking of the above link, here, as well(more or less):-


First of all, length of time to adapt to a different diet would only
apply to raw foods(eg:- switching from eating raw fruit to eating raw
meat). Even in this case, dietary changes take a very long time to come
about, judging from the Palaeolithic diet timeline:-

http://www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/hb/hb-interview1c.shtml


http://tinyurl.com/yb3aw7

(some geneticists think at least 1 million years is needed). However,
since cooked-foods are so radically different from raw foods and no
other species has ever gone in for cooking its food, over the last few
billion years, it is extremely questionable as to whether humans can
ever fully adapt to a cooked-food diet. To become fully adapted to
cooked-foods, humans would have to not only be able to tolerate the
toxins created by cooking, such as advanced glycation endproducts,
nitrosamines, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
(PAHs are also a byproduct of fuel-burning, incidentally, and labelled
as a pollutant), but, arguably, one would also have to prove that those
very toxins were needed by the human body(at least if one was trying to claim that cooked-food was "better" for humans than raw food), as the primary difference between raw and cooked is that cooked-food contains less nutrients(usually) per kg, and has toxins in it which raw food doesn't) - unfortunately, current
scientific studies show, very clearly, that humans do suffer from those
toxins:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_foodism#Potential_harmful_effects_of_co
oked_foods

shortened to:-

http://tinyurl.com/49744t

Re the 790,000-fire-claim made in the first post of this thread:- This is actually quite an old claim, not
new at all, and I've  debunked it, previously. I do wish the media wouldn't state such
things as a certainty, as most archaeologists all agree on one thing,
that it's impossible to pin down the exact date of the invention of fire
(whether for warmth or cooking), due to inconclusive evidence.

Most archaeologists and palaeoanthropologists point out that the
evidence for the invention of cooking is much stronger for c.250,000 to
300,000 years ago,

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

as there's plenty of evidence around for it, yet anthropologists, such
as Wrangham, who make vague claims for earlier times, generally only
have 1 or 2 sites that they can point to - it is extremely unlikely
that cooking or fire for warmth would only be invented in 1 or 2 areas
c.790,000 years ago or whatever, and not transmitted to other tribes,
to any extent, until c.250,000 years ago, when hearths were produced en-
masse.

The evidence from the 790,000-year-claim is also
labelled "inconclusive" by a number of sources, with a mention of how
the site has been partially destroyed etc, and there are a number of
skeptics of this 790,000-year-claim.:-

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/human-evolution/dn4944

http://tinyurl.com/6k2nse

Here's a quote from the web, showing how cooking was not in evidence at
Yaakov re the 790,000-year-claim:-

"
A 0.79 Myr old site in Israel [Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, Science 304 (2004)
725)] has more credible evidence, though there does not seem to have
been any cooking or repeated fire creation. The earliest convincing
evidence of fire use for cooking appears at the 0.3-0.55 Myr old late
Homo erectus site at Zhoukoudian in China and the 0.4 Myr old presumed
early archaic Homo sapiens site of Terra Amata near Nice. In both cases
the evidence is primarily in the form of food refuse bones that were
apparently charred during cooking. Unfortunately, there still is not
sufficient evidence at either site to say conclusively that there was
controlled fire in the sense of being able to create it at will.
However, by 100 kya, there is abundant evidence of regular fire use at
Neandertal sites. By that time, they evidently were able to create
fires when they wished to, and they used them for multiple purposes."
http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo2/mod_homo_3.htm

While the above paragraph gives credence to the Zhoukoudian Caves
evidence, there are plenty of anthropologists who are highly sceptical
of the Zhoukoudian evidence:-


http://www.jstor.org/pss/2743299

(Quoted from the above page):- "The association of fire with faunal
remains, stone-tools and hominid fossils is far from conclusive and is
most likely the result of noncultural postdepositional processed
(Binford and Ho 1985, Binford and Stone 1986)".

Also re the weak evidence at zhoukoudian:- " The implication that h.
sapiens was the first in the line of mankind to control fire was
supported by evidence found at a site in Zhoukoudian, China. While it
had been believed for some time that Zhoukoudian was the first site of
controlled fire, evidence found through more exhaustive research
indicates otherwise. There are no hearths at the site in China. Nor are
there any food remnants. Such evidence leads to the belief that the
burnt bones found at the site are probably the result of a natural fire
(Wuethrich). The lack of strong evidence supporting the site as one in
which man's control of fire is displayed supported the belief that h.
erectus lacked technological prowess and culture." taken from:-

http://fubini.swarthmore.edu/~ENVS2/S2003/jloeffl1/envs_paper1dream.htm

http://tinyurl.com/5lusub

In short, any claims for much earlier dates for the invention of fire
for warmth or for cooking are highly suspect, which is why the
scientific community still sticks(roughly) to the 250,000-years-ago
date for the invention of fire for cooking(as opposed to fire for
warmth), as that's the only time when hearths can reliably be found all
over the place.

Geoff

« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 01:50:50 am by TylerDurden »
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Satya

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2008, 09:27:13 pm »
Well, the article did not mention cooking at all.  Evidence for cooking
I think only goes back some 250kya, correct?  I would say that
consumption of raw foods - especially raw animal foods - is very
important to good health.  Weston Price's work bore this out for modern
humans.  Perhaps we can tolerate some cooked foods too, as we have eaten
some cooked foods for some time.  But all cooked is just so wasteful on
many fronts.  I myself eat some cooked foods, but I make sure to eat
much of it raw.  And it may be that some people can handle more cooked
food than others, but so many nutrients like vitamin B-6 are destroyed
in cooked animal foods, that it makes sense to continue on with the raw
foods.   We could consider energy as well.  Cooking costs more in terms
of resources than the same foods consumed raw.  Then there is the idea
that it has no precedence in other animals (but then, neither does
computer technology. :-)  )

Furthermore, the evidence of burnt flint around the fire sites does not
necessarily mean that these fires were initiated by the flints, although
that is most probable.  Pyrotechnology, like tools use in general,
developed as a long, slow process in our evolutionary history.  Use,
control and, finally, initiation of fire were not mastered quickly nor
easily for hominids, according to what I have read.  The jump to using
fire for cooking was most recent, according to the evidence of cooking
hearths.  And unfortunately, evidence for fire and its causes, is
nowhere near as solid as it is for, say, stone tools.  Geological
changes often mask what little remnants remain of fires.  (I wish I had
a link to the main study, as that article was very short.)

One of my favorite surveys about prehistoric fires concerns whether or
not the controlled use of fire coincided with home bases in hominids. 
It is a very long and somewhat technical piece, but well worth the read
if you are interested in what evidence there is for fire, and in which
ways such evidence is disputed and may be evidence for wildfires, 
scavenger stockpiles of hominid bones (instead of hominid home bases), etc.

http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/106631/was_the_emergence_of_home_bases_and_domestic_fire_a/
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 09:30:28 pm by Satya »

Satya

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2008, 09:53:55 pm »

The evidence from the 790,000-year-claim is also
labelled "inconclusive" by a number of sources, with a mention of how
the site has been partially destroyed etc, and there are a number of
skeptics of this 790,000-year-claim.:-

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/human-evolution/dn4944

http://tinyurl.com/6k2nse

Here's a quote from the web, showing how cooking was not in evidence at
Yaakov re the 790,000-year-claim:-

"
A 0.79 Myr old site in Israel [Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, Science 304 (2004)
725)] has more credible evidence, though there does not seem to have
been any cooking or repeated fire creation. The earliest convincing
evidence of fire use for cooking appears at the 0.3-0.55 Myr old late
Homo erectus site at Zhoukoudian in China and the 0.4 Myr old presumed
early archaic Homo sapiens site of Terra Amata near Nice. In both cases
the evidence is primarily in the form of food refuse bones that were
apparently charred during cooking. Unfortunately, there still is not
sufficient evidence at either site to say conclusively that there was
controlled fire in the sense of being able to create it at will.
However, by 100 kya, there is abundant evidence of regular fire use at
Neandertal sites. By that time, they evidently were able to create
fires when they wished to, and they used them for multiple purposes."
http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo2/mod_homo_3.htm

While the above paragraph gives credence to the Zhoukoudian Caves
evidence, there are plenty of anthropologists who are highly sceptical
of the Zhoukoudian evidence:-

http://www.jstor.org/pss/2743299

(Quoted from the above page):- "The association of fire with faunal
remains, stone-tools and hominid fossils is far from conclusive and is
most likely the result of noncultural postdepositional processed
(Binford and Ho 1985, Binford and Stone 1986)".
<snip>

Also re the weak evidence at zhoukoudian:- " The implication that h.
sapiens was the first in the line of mankind to control fire was
supported by evidence found at a site in Zhoukoudian, China. While it
had been believed for some time that Zhoukoudian was the first site of
controlled fire, evidence found through more exhaustive research
indicates otherwise. There are no hearths at the site in China. Nor are
there any food remnants. Such evidence leads to the belief that the
burnt bones found at the site are probably the result of a natural fire
(Wuethrich). The lack of strong evidence supporting the site as one in
which man's control of fire is displayed supported the belief that h.
erectus lacked technological prowess and culture." taken from:-

http://fubini.swarthmore.edu/~ENVS2/S2003/jloeffl1/envs_paper1dream.htm

http://tinyurl.com/5lusub

In short, any claim for much earlier dates for the invention of fire
for warmth or for cooking are highly suspect, which is why the
scientific community still sticks(roughly) to the 250,000-years-ago
date for the invention of fire for cooking(as opposed to fire for
warmth), as that's the only time when hearths can reliably be found all
over the place.


I completely agree with Tyler.  First off, the article is a dumbed-down news blurb which indicates nothing about the real evidence (much like news reports animal foods cause cancer even when the actual data show no such thing).  They claim the flints are the smoking gun, but then say they don't know what methods were used for lighting fires! 

Zhoukoudian location 1 is wrought with issues, as Tyler states.  Some experts even have suggested that hyenas dragged H. erectus bones in the cave and the whole thing caught fire much, much later.  So, even if you do have evidence for fire, you can't - as so many people are eager to do - jump to the erroneous conclusion that it means we were cooking! 

Anthropogenic fire began as a way to ward off predators.  Then after migration out of tropics and use of home bases, it kept us warm and gave us light in caves, while keeping carnivores away.  Cooking was more like advanced weaponry, imho.  Bow and arrows are how old?  40kya max?  And food containers?  How old?  Anyone?  You can roast a leg of meat on a stick, but without containers, you can't cook much else than that.  You can't cook without some tools unless you want to cook your arm too.  Think about it.

Offline van

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2008, 02:41:03 am »


   Years ago in Hawaii I had the most delicious mackeral.  We simply though it in a smoldering fire and came back an hour later.  You can also heat flat rocks over a fire.  So there are lots of ways to 'cook' foods without containers.    But just for the record, I don't cook.

Satya

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2008, 05:03:05 am »

   Years ago in Hawaii I had the most delicious mackeral.  We simply though it in a smoldering fire and came back an hour later.  You can also heat flat rocks over a fire.  So there are lots of ways to 'cook' foods without containers.    But just for the record, I don't cook.

But you must have used some tool to get the fish off the fire, right?

Offline JustAnotherExplorer

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2008, 04:54:26 pm »
But you must have used some tool to get the fish off the fire, right?

Don't need anything more complicated than a stick for that.

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2008, 05:37:46 pm »
My question is...

... now that I have learned raw food eating and I found it to be superior in nutrition and CONVENIENCE...
... what I would like to know is...

What was the real reason humans started cooking in the first place?
Why did cooking become popular?  Probably taste? Addiction?
Did cooking come first or did condiments come first?

I think it has something to do with getting dumb and dumber.
Every new generation copies the older generation and makes innovations that dumbs down the food even more.  Just look at a fully decorated donut.  What kind of idiots make those?
« Last Edit: October 29, 2008, 05:39:49 pm by goodsamaritan »
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Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2008, 05:55:43 pm »
The usual claim is that cooked-food "tastes better" and because it's needed in colder climates. The taste-issue is irrelevant, as it's all to do with what foods you're used to(what you eat in childhood and to a lesser extent what your mother ate during pregnancy also determine tastes) and the issue of cold climates is irrelevant, too, as most Arctic tribes happily eat raw animal foods without needing a mostly-cooked-food-diet for warmth.

A far more likely explanation is that cooked-food contains opioid peptides which cause addiction, much like dairy and grains.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2009, 12:59:15 am by TylerDurden »
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Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2008, 06:09:54 pm »
Great idea regarding in-eutero feeding.  The baby immediately tastes what the mother ate.

I've seen raw vegan families and raw vegan babies growing up on video.

How about raw paleo diet humans.  It would be such a rush to pair up any of our RPD bachelors and RPD bachelorets and see if their baby in-eutero are born with no taste for cooked food. I'm sure one of these days it will happen...
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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2008, 09:23:30 pm »
The usual claim is that cooked-food "tastes better" and because it's needed in colder climates. The taste-issue is irrelevant, as it's all to do with what foods you're used to(what you eat in childhood and to a elsser extent what your mother ate during pregnancy also determine tastes) and the issue of cold climates is irrelevant, too, as most Arctic tribes happily eat raw animal foods without needing a mostly-cooked-food-diet for warmth.

A far more likely explanation is that cooked-food contains opioid peptides which cause addiction, much like dairy and grains.

Cooking not only changes tastes, but it makes a big aroma.  Wouldn't that attract predators to your campfire?

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2008, 09:26:01 pm »
Well, when I've ate  my raw meat outside on the terrace in Italy, I  couldn't help but notice that the flies were far more attracted to the smell of my raw meats than to the smell of the cooked-foods that other people were eating, no matter how much seasoning etc. had been added.
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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2008, 10:15:58 pm »
Well, when I've ate  my raw meat outside on the terrace in Italy, I  couldn't help but notice that the flies were far more attracted to the smell of my raw meats than to the smell of the cooked-foods that other people were eating, no matter how much seasoning etc. had been added.

Flies lay eggs on protein; perhaps the cooked-foods was just/more vegetation. Raw meat will attract flies - they smell blood!

Nicola

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2008, 10:59:57 pm »
Cooking not only changes tastes, but it makes a big aroma.  Wouldn't that attract predators to your campfire?

Yes, it would.
The paleolithic campers would then seize the would-be predator with cries of glee, skin it and make babies on its soft furry hide.

Why do so many think our ancestors were wimps, when we know that they were bigger stronger quicker and IMHO  smarter than us, and they had sticks. Sharp ones.

So that's a reason for cooking - to make meat strong-smelling enough for bait. Bait works. My neighbours still use it to get the annual deer.
I have seen polar bears walk past a dead goose for days, until one day the smell of rotten goose was strong enough, then it was noticed and eaten.

Then there's the story of the modern hunter in southern Africa who was attacked by a mated pair of leopards. He grabbed one by the hind leg, and beat both to death by using it as a club.

Check on berserker strength, psychologists call it hysterical strength, we really can be as strong as any ape when required.

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2008, 01:28:40 pm »
The usual claim is that cooked-food "tastes better" and because it's needed in colder climates. The taste-issue is irrelevant, as it's all to do with what foods you're used to(what you eat in childhood and to a elsser extent what your mother ate during pregnancy also determine tastes) and the issue of cold climates is irrelevant, too, as most Arctic tribes happily eat raw animal foods without needing a mostly-cooked-food-diet for warmth.

A far more likely explanation is that cooked-food contains opioid peptides which cause addiction, much like dairy and grains.

    Does cooking really cause opioid peptides to be created in all food?  I was thinking Something like that, but not exactly.
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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2008, 02:40:35 pm »
Yes, it would.
The paleolithic campers would then seize the would-be predator with cries of glee, skin it and make babies on its soft furry hide.

Why do so many think our ancestors were wimps, when we know that they were bigger stronger quicker and IMHO  smarter than us, and they had sticks. Sharp ones.

So that's a reason for cooking - to make meat strong-smelling enough for bait. Bait works. My neighbours still use it to get the annual deer.
I have seen polar bears walk past a dead goose for days, until one day the smell of rotten goose was strong enough, then it was noticed and eaten.

Then there's the story of the modern hunter in southern Africa who was attacked by a mated pair of leopards. He grabbed one by the hind leg, and beat both to death by using it as a club.

Check on berserker strength, psychologists call it hysterical strength, we really can be as strong as any ape when required.

This is an awesome insight!  ;D
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Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2008, 08:25:38 pm »
    Does cooking really cause opioid peptides to be created in all food?  I was thinking Something like that, but not exactly.
Here's a relevant link:-
http://www.13.waisays.com/ADHD.htm
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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2008, 02:30:41 am »
I don't know what to believe anymore  ???

It makes sense that the ACT of cooking food does in some way simulate the breakdown of food in our bodies and hence makes the food more available from the start, provided you don't throw the Baby out with the bath water. meaning eating foods in soups or stews preserves the nutrients to a large degree.

And is it impossible to think that meat vs vegetable matter cook differently? Maybe meat is meant to be eaten raw to- rare and certain veggies, yes, cooked.

Can you imagine, our imaginations exploding upon the discovery of Fire or Cooking or Both? Can you imagine asking yourself, well, what can we try and cook next? What can we throw in the pot? Carved out stone? What could we try cooking in leaves under stone and dirt?

What is it about walking into a home that's had the Crockpot going for 8 hours or more? Or waking up to a Crockpot in the morning? Why does this touch our sense of delight? Why does the smell of cooked meat begin to repel Vegans who have given up meat for some time?

Man is living such an unnatural existence- most men/women, compared to those lucky few who do live closer to nature and off the land that it shouldn't be surprising we face so many issues OH FOR GOD'S SAKE I'M DRINKING WINE!

Before i slink off to the shadows, last night on TBN was a presentation of The Bible: In the Beginning. I didn't watch the whole thing. I did watch up to and including most of Noah...

Why was the fall of Man connected with FOOD? Eating of the tree. It could have been anything! Anything Else! Why our basic need, nourishment? Why a food growing off a tree? Why wasn't it the killing of a Cow? The killing of another like Eve or Adam? It's mind blowing really. Why does the Bible- yes, the greatest book, true or falsified by man ever written, begin with Man's original diet being Vegan? Were we Monkeys? Were there Aliens that shock-treatmented us on our big brained ways? Why don't we know this by now?

Could it be that we are the Virus?

Don't worry, it's a new month and tomorrow is a new day!

Best wishes,
Avalon  -v

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Re: Humans made fire 790,000 years ago...
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2008, 07:06:18 am »
Okay, now that I'm sensible, where's the delete key?  -v ;)

 

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