Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I thought it was because of... spit!

Looks like the spit-brain theorists were wrong.

Raw Food Not Enough to Feed Big Brains
Eating a raw food diet is a recipe for disaster if you're trying to boost your species' brainpower. That's because humans would have to spend more than 9 hours a day eating to get enough energy from unprocessed raw food alone to support our large brains, according to a new study that calculates the energetic costs of growing a bigger brain or body in primates. But our ancestors managed to get enough energy to grow brains that have three times as many neurons as those in apes such as gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans. How did they do it? They got cooking, according to a study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

So the evolution of the human brain depended on... cooking. Wouldn't it take quite a bit of brainpower to cook in the first place? As my wife will attest, I still struggle to boil water.

 Does this mean that we will evolve smaller brains because we order take-out?

1 comment:

  1. Well, Homo erectus was using fire 1.42 million years ago. Australopithecus afarensis was using tools 3 million years ago. So Homo sapiens didn't have to develop either to make the great leap forward in brain size.