The Role of Fire in Human Evolution


By Ben Cohen

Fire by smaz93.

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.