Cooking and Human Origins, Big Kangaroos, Little Dinosaurs
This week: How barbecue may have sparked human evolution. Also: giant kangaroos, shrinking dinosaurs, and some old grain.
Catching Fire: Harvard anthropologist Richard Wrangham has written a new book called “Catching Fire.” In it, he argues that – more than anything else – what allowed our hominid ancestors to evolve into modern humans was the invention of cooking.
Wrangham has spent decades studying primates in Africa. He says cooking gave our ancestors access to a wider range of foods, helped their brains grow, and – because they no longer had to eat berries and leaves for six hours a day – gave them leisure time to develop tools and technologies.
Wrangham also proposes other provocative ideas: how the explosion of modern, over-processed foods plays a key role in today’s obesity epidemic; and how cooking led to the subjugation of women. And Wrangham shares his own experiences eating raw meat and leaves like chimpanzees do.
Wrangham is also our guest in The World’s interactive science forum. Join us for a lively conversation. Ask questions, share your ideas, or just exchange your favorite zebra and gazelle recipes.
Guest: Prof. Richard Wrangham, Harvard University.
And….. Elsa’s Favorite Science Stories For the Week
More on prehistoric food:
Hunting may have driven giant kangaroos (Procoptodon goliah) to extinction. Image courtesy of Gavin Prideaux, Flinders Univeresity.This entry was posted on Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 3:27 PM and is filed under Science Podcast. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.