This will probably be one of those incredibly complicated answers to a seemingly simple question.
The “social” answer is very different from the “genetic” answer.
In recent social terms, we are tools
But genetically it was first the mutation, followed by selection for suitable traits, which led to innovations in tool use
The hypothesis “Fire-born cuisine has produced elevated knowledge” does not really stand up to the test, although it has followers.
Tools.Their influence on the evolution of humanity and human society. (Yes, I reworded it a bit to remove inaccuracies.)
Of course, tools [1) are ubiquitous today.I sit on a chair in a house and tap on a keyboard. I conduct a coded electrical signal over a cable to a decoding system running on a computer and information store, and load it over a submarine cable as a result of data packets high a remote server on which it is available as text on a screen which is directed to “read”. And that ignores my coffee cup on my desk.
I mean, where would I start to take that out?
Try to summarize all the individual elements of this paragraph that represent reusable items or special purpose instruments (i.e. tools).Start with the letters of the alphabet and then bury yourself in seemingly infinite layers of complexity.
Marshall McLuhan [2 is often attributed to variations on this theme, such as “Life imitates art” and “We design our tools.And then our tools shape us.” [3 Whatever the case, and some of these considerations preceded McLuhan, it is about our social practices evolving along with our use of tools and subsequent refinements and innovations. [4
Another example is the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, or linguistic relativity.[5 Essentially, it is the rather well-known construction that language imposes its metaphorical will on us by shaping, influencing, or even determining our thoughts. Up to a point. It certainly coloures our minds as it is expressed and sets some limits.
For example, use a different language to express the same idea.It can be harder than it sounds.
In this way, we are almost defined by our tools.
And how does their use affect our evolution?
Well, quite a lot lately.But this is mostly “evolution” in the social and behavioral sphere, not in genetic terms.
With genes, it’s more hits or failure.If you use only one tool (even fire), your genome will not go in a different direction. It is not directed, it is selected (from what is available).
Although genetic selection is still underway, they are useful for “modern” traits such as iris color or gluten and/or lactose tolerance for adults.[6 And many other unexpected things that people (possibly unconsciously) look for when they mate. I can only guess what they might be, but I suspect it’s going in and out like fashion.
But how about going back in time?
If you looked at the long-term view, 120,000 years ago we were mostly “done and dusted,” although there were certainly some more or less superficial genetic fine-tuning (including “graziler” [7).since. Basically, we had a whole range of “modern” human genes, and our home-made tools were already impressive.
“We” or our distant cousins certainly had wood and stone tools that, after prolonged periods of apparent stagnation, had gone through several relatively sharp-edged (or sudden, step-like) developmental phases.This indicates genetic “upgrades” at certain times, and such mutations correlate with the main species transitions
We had also spoken language, complex and representative.This, too, has probably evolved from the state of the art, such as dance and gestures as well as our animal vocalizations. To get finer voice control, genetic changes were required to our perceptual, voice box, and general swallowing and breathing systems. It is a complicated area of development and study, but some associated genetic mutations or changes can be found at least partially as support. Language does not petrifi very well, so doubts remain. [8
This makes me point out once again that “tools” were created after “evolution”.One could say that our hominid predecessors had a greater inclination to use tools by gradually exploring and finding usefulness in the things around them. And our social life reinforced this predisposition.
The use of tools – or even fire – has not caused or caused “fortunately” suitable post-hoc genetic changes anyway.
Rather, certain favorable mutations helped us to survive a little better in the conditions at the time
For example, the use of fire (in cooking) may have reinforced the existing trend of choosing a smaller jaw with smaller, differently shaped teeth (which became available either through existing genes or by mutation) [10
And a larger, bulkier (archaic) jaw, which is unnecessary and may be a small but important obstacle for us, has been withdrawn and instead a modern “version” passed on (favored).
Either cooking came first and then the mutations, or the genetic variation was already available to us in our genome through normal variation.The mutations did not occur when cooking food.
Although it is difficult to be sure, as such things do not easily petrifi over such long periods of time, the available evidence suggests that our cognitive, dental and morphological progress towards “anatomically modern” is not compatible with the later development of a regular, controlled use matches fire for undeniable cooking.
One qualification here is that phylogenetic modeling supports an earlier time for cooking, although no evidence has been found.Maybe one day we will find it.
Our ancestry may look a little like this, given today’s knowledge.
Australopithecines, perhaps more ape-like than human, but determined on our trajectory, may have used stone tools (by choosing from what they could find) and were anatomically better suited to bipedalism (than the today’s bonobos and chimpanzees) [11
About 3.3 million years ago
First doubling of the “human” SRGAP2 gene [12, resulting in more complex brain development
First “human-like” teeth, but no evidence of fire use (possibly accidental)
Maintaining significant adjustments when climbing, but an early “human” powerful precision grip may have evolved [13
Homo habilis was undoubtedly a two-legged friend and definitely used so-called Oldowan tools.they show signs of reflection and it is strongly assumed that they have created such tools with purpose [14
About 2.1 million years ago
Probably second repetition of SRGAP2, which in turn has an increased complexity of the brain
Increased precision in the handle, which indicates good use of tools
Little or no evidence of fire use (probably accidental)
Homo erectus was the closest on our ascension line and led us for the first time into the Acheulean era of toolmaking, including the hand axes for the first time [15.
Probably the first hominin from Africa
May have been an advanced form of Homo habilis
May have developed a more complex vocalization than H. habilis [16
Probably early hunter-gatherers with “modern” social tendencies
First known user of fire (not necessarily manufacturer) and possibly and regularly cooked food, especially in recent times [17 [18
From about 1.9 million years ago to 143,000 years ago
Probably 3rd, partially doubling of SRGAP2.
And so on.
Our anatomically modern basic form in the sense of a recognizably archaic relative dates back probably 300,000 years ago, when we speculated about (presumably) Homo erectus.[19 You could make a good case that what followed was “relatively” small in terms of genetic evolution. However, it is not fully regulated either. [20
And it is quite possible, if not absolutely probable, that Homo neanderthalensis was equipped in an appropriate way – but also differently –
They almost certainly had the powerful precision grip we have today, and were able to handle objects with caution.
Certainly, we already had the properties and associated genes that allowed us to focus on focusing and planning forward, the kind of properties that probably allowed us to develop a tool to make it. and focus on it (without undue distraction).
What did I say now?
Oh yes, memory [21 for example.Only the use of fire, which occurs naturally especially at certain times of the year (summer, for example in seasonally dry grass and thunderstorms), is a development which is, however, absorbed and maintained with additional fuel – not to mention of that there are cognitively bigger steps again. You need a larger working memory with which you can “hold” this goal until completion, is the hypothesis (especially when jumping to the Acheulian tools [22 [23).
Where could Homo neanderthalensis differ from “us”?Neanderthals use a seasonal fossil trail on which the fire can be used. This could mean that they had not found out the “how” point. [24
If so, it may have been luck and circumstance.Make enough stone tools in appropriately dry areas and you will eventually come up with an idea.
Probably as not we first needed the genetic enhancement, which was preferred for other reasons before they became masters of the use and production of fire – let alone in the cooking of our food.This also applies to our wood and stone tools. (You can imagine that an unintentional hitting of a stone while hitting [25 of an axe head may have triggered the strange spark. One day a spark fell into dried grass and this “happy” idea was born.
If we haven’t already had this ability, it’s hard to imagine that we can literally hold that thought.However, it is conceivable that it happened in a progressive phase over a million years or more.
Other features or traits were increasingly less useful to us, such as climbing trees, and the characteristics and associated genes were less emphasized or lost.[26 In many cases, however, it took millions of years again. [27
And a lot has happened in these millions of years.
A rich sequence of genetic changes in our bodies and brains allowed us to stand predominantly on two legs, freeing our “hands” for new tasks, including the shaping of tools made of wood and stone
Our unique knowledge probably arose along with the motor control required for our increasing “habit” of bipedalism, with each genetic mutation promoting or potentiating the further development of the brain
But we are not alone in this habit of “tool use”, as both (some) birds and some of our monkey cousins are quite able to choose the right tool for a particular “job”.
In fact, we may have borrowed the idea through observation.
Gradually, however, we were better adjusted to these two legs, which was cognitively more difficult or complex than walking around on all fours.
The timing is complex in that we needed a bigger brain to walk around like us, although we probably tried to walk around before we had the brain power and the anatomical adjustments to make it “perfect”
We may have been driven out of the forest by other monkeys and have triggered the selection by characteristics of the “savanne” such as bipedalism
Each literal step (or successive mutation) favored increased complexity and deviation from other apes.
Yes, “fire use” was finished, but as with walking on two legs, it didn’t drive our evolution, rather our genetic changes favored what we did or didn’t.
Similarly, the production of tools, rather than picking them up from the useful, required “focus” and “planning” that went beyond us, at least up to some mutations that were helpful in this expansion of this type of activity.
However, this did not drive our evolution, but rather our evolution was made possible by genetic variation and selection through increased survival rates of the various preferred traits over a very long period of time.
Hope there is something meaningful!
[8 Robert K. Russell’s answer to Neuroscience: Is there any evidence from what we know about languages and linguistics that suggests that the human brain has changed some what significantly in the last 5,000 years?
[20 Robert K. Russell’s answer to Prof.Richard Klein of Stanford believes that there was a neurological change in human brains 50k years ago that allowed the emergence of complex thought & speech. If that was the case, why was there no change in any other near human relations?