Monday October 8, 2012 11:10 am Leave a comment
I’m sorry for the child of course. But I’m still rather pleased to read this news that the kid probably died of malnutrition as a result of withdrawal of meat from his diet.
It lends further support to my conjecture that we’ve been using Fire for more than 2 million years; in contrast to the orthodox archaeological view that half a million is more likely.
A key thing to consider is the “at least” in the articles first sentence. For humans to have suffered the consequences of withdrawal of meat, implies evolutionary adaptation which itself would itself have been the result of “at least” a couple of hundred thousand years of meat-eating. Put that together with Richard Wrangham’s observations about dramatic changes in Skull shape and diet around 2 million years back (which he puts down to cooking meat) and it’s all increasingly consistent with my suggestion that we started using fire methodically (rather than opportunistically) more than 2 million years ago as a direct result of the prolonged use and manufacture of flint tools – which are uncontroversially dated back “at least” 2.5 million years.
Anyone who’s attempted working with flint – or has a non electronic lighter – knows how easily they produce sparks and it has always seemed obvious to me that such sparks would have occasionally produced small fires in the dried brush of the savannah and that, after a few hundred thousand years it might well have occurred to even the most conservative Homo Erectus to think “hey – wait a minute…”