The Role of Fire in Human Evolution

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Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

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The NY Times reviews a fascinating book of that has a revolutionary take on the theory of human evolution:

The title of Mr. Wrangham’s new book — “Catching Fire: How Cooking


Made Us Human” — sounds a bit touchy-feely. Perhaps, you think, he has


written a meditation on hearth and fellow feeling and


s’mores. He has not. “Catching Fire” is a plain-spoken and thoroughly


gripping scientific essay that presents nothing less than a new theory


of human evolution, one he calls “the cooking hypothesis,” one that


Darwin (among others) simply missed.

Apes began to morph into
humans, and the species Homo erectus emerged some two million years
ago, Mr. Wrangham argues, for one fundamental reason: We learned to
tame fire and heat our food.