I've been struggling with this question for some time now. A member of my family and I recently got into a debate about what is natural and what is unnatural. They are Christian so their opinion was "naturally" a warped one, but it got me thinking nonetheless.

 

I think that what separates us from other animals is fairly straightforward from a cognitive and technological perspective, but no one, not even the omniscient Google, has been able to give me an answer as to WHY this is the case.

 

Why are humans more technologically and cognitively advanced than other animals? Why are we the dominant species on this planet? Are we more evolved than other animals? If so, why have we seemed to evolve further (and faster?) than others?

 

On a less scientific note, do you envision a world where humans de-evolve or stagnate in their evolution allowing a new dominant species to take over?

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But why did our brains got bigger, you never asked yourself that question? In that documentary I mention before what happened is that our bellies got smaller and our brains bigger because of cooked meals. compared to other animals we eat maybe an hour in total during the day while plant eating creatures (can't find the word) eat almost all the time, they even sleep less so that day can eat while carnivores eat a lot but not that much but sleep most of the time. by doing this, animals had no time to look at the stars and ponder big questions, develop music, dance, interpretation through mimics and so on.

It's not the cooking but the bone marrow eating that coincided with larger brains.  The cooking of food allowed for more caloric uptake but reduced nutritional value. Humans became 'fuller' faster, but we also became more disease prone and our biological "strength" went a little downhill.

 

There is no why, why is a theist question. We just "is".

Maybe. But if we became more disease prone when we started to cook meat, it certainly wasn't to diseases like trichinosis. Cooking also makes food easier to digest. And a lengthy digestion cycle is detrimental to speculative thinking ;-)

yes... hence the higher caloric intake... :P

Which is why I usually eat my oats raw, and raw flesh when I can, and raw veggies in warmer seasons. I want the nutrition more than I want the calories. My gut is bacteriologically speaking highly effective and I derive more energy from food than the average person. :P

 

Indeed, we don't think much after thanksgiving dinner! LoL

Pretty much none of that is true. What gave humans larger brains was most likely natural adaptations because higher cognition was necessary to survival during a time when the environment was changing rapidly from dense forest to plain. Our ancestors began developing higher brain functions and larger temporal lobes long before they started hunting (H. habilis started making tools capable of hunting) let alone started cooking (H. erectus discovered how to light fires). Plus eating bone marrow as a human habit didn't come around until the human migration into Ice Age Europe some 40,000 years ago.

 

Humans started developing larger brains between 6 and 4 mya. We simply have larger brains because, like binocular colour vision and sweat glands it was necessary to our survival and those who were most cognitive were most likely to survive. Once that ball got rolling so to speak it snowballed into what we have now and stopped growing when we got to a point where more cognitive abilities were not necessary for survival hence why the human brain is roughly the same size it was 200,000 years ago despite an exponential increase in both meat and cooked foods.

oh ok Kenneth.... wrong!

Tooled up

BBC science

 

But around two million years ago, telltale cut marks on the surface of animal bones reveal that early humans were using crude stone tools to smash open the bones and extract the marrow. Stone tools allowed early Homo to get at a food source that no other creature was able to obtain - bone marrow. Bone marrow contains long chain fatty acids that are vital for brain growth and development. This helped further fuel the increase in brain size, allowing our ancestors to make more complex tools. (There are dozens if not hundreds of papers on this issue, this is just the quickest one).

The size of the brain of any creature doesn't matter scientists have proven that animals suck as a raven have really small brains but have very smart and intelligent characteristics

p.s. on the smaller bellies and bigger brains (I can't edit my post for some reason) it all comes down to blood distribution, because less blood was needed for the digestive system and more blood went to the brain so the brain started do develop more. Simple as that.

I just find it odd that for the 2 years I've been a member I've ALWAYS (without exception) received replies to my queries, yet in the past 2-3 weeks, it's been a complete silence from the help desk, on different topics...  Makes one wonder what's going on at the help desk. Is there a explanation for this?

I see... yes... sorry if I seem dense here, honestly :(

Most (if not all) my past help queries were answered by T|A people (gaynor, cara, mathew...). So am I to understand from this that my various help requests are actually no longer even reaching the T|A help desk? Or is it that help desk answers are not reaching me?

T|A WHAT IS GOING ON, IS THERE SOMEONE MANNING THIS SHIP?

 

Nope, not at the moment. I've heard he left for a while, to build an new Ark in Queensland.

Simple, people learned how to cook food, by cooking food they got much more energy and therefore more time on their hands, after that it was smooth sailing. I watched a documentary on that, but I forgot how it was called.

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