How Cooking Made Us Human
By Richard Wrangham
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780465013623, 320pp.)
Publication Date: May 1, 2009
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A startling new theory that the invention of cooking led to the creation of the human species
Richard Wrangham is the Ruth Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University and Curator of Primate Behavioral Biology at the Peabody Museum. He is the co-author of Demonic Males and co-editor of Chimpanzee Cultures. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, primatologist Richard Wrangham argues that cooking gave early humans an advantage over other primates, leading to larger brains and more free time. Wrangham discusses his theory, and why Homo sapiens can't live on raw food alone. More at NPR.org
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How Cooking Made Us Human: Since the 1950s, scientists have hypothesized that the key factor bringing our ancestors down from the trees was the decision to eat meat. In this persuasively argued book, Richard Wrangham disagrees. Instead, he writes, it was the decision to cook with fire that literally made us human.