The Influence Of Richard Wrangham On The Origin Of Cooking

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Throughout the book, Wrangham informs us on how the start of cooking would have resulted in more benefits than just increased energy gains. He claims that cooking would have increased the range of foods which is edible. Therefore cooking seems to have provided a rational reason as to why Homo Erectus had migrated out of Africa, other than climatic reasons. Furthermore, as a result of cooking, less time would have been spent on chewing. Therefore Homo erectus would have had ample time to venture out to hunt and explore. Wrangham claims that there are various ways in which fire could have been discovered. For example, Homo habilis, known as the “handy man” because he is thought to have become proficient with the Lower Palaeolithic Olduwan tool set which used stone flakes. Wrangham suggests that by making these tools, a spark would have formed and hence they would have accidentally discovered fire. Fire could have been discovered by natural means e.g. a veld fire as they were in a dry arid climate or during a storm wherein a tree was struck by lightning. However, MacCurdy professor of prehistoric archaeology Ofer Bar Yosef proclaims that there is still no evidence of the practice of fire before 800,000 years ago. Wrangham believes that the control…show more content…
He gathered sufficient evidence in favour of the majority of his hypothesis. I felt that the book was exceptionally thought provoking as I myself researched ideas of my own which led me to learn more about new contrasting theories’. After reading his book, I thought that it was a thoroughly riveting scientific book that presented his new theory coherently. However, towards the end of the book, Richard Wrangham goes down into a mess of sociobiological speculation. As the predicament with making any impressive theory about our history is that they are fundamentally based on too little

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