Who Is Richard Wrangham's Arguments In Catching Fire

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“Catching Fire” by Richard Wrangham theorizes a correlation between the evolution of Homo Erectus from Homo Hablis and the discovery of fire. Wrangham uses evidence from human evolution, anatomy, and primatology to support his thesis. Wrangham concludes that the morphology of modern humans is attributed to consuming cooked foods. The purpose of this paper is to analyze Wrangham’s argument regarding physical changes, social changes, and infertility.

Wrangham states that the evolutionary benefits of Homo Erectus stems from the process of cooking food (40). These advantages include smaller jaws, smaller teeth, smaller guts, and a larger brain. With fibers and proteins being broken down from cooking, human jaws were not required to be strong and were “one-eighth the size of those in macaques” (42). Human teeth were small due to consuming soft diets and limits metabolic costs (44). The surface area of a human stomach is significantly smaller than “the size expected for a typical mammal of our body weight” (43).
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He declares that “humans have the bigger brains of all” (109) which could be an advantage in social competition. Wrangham voices that primates with “more neocortex live in larger groups, form more close social relationships, and use coalitions more effectively” (107). This statement testifies why humans live in groups and can “outwit their rivals in competition of mates, food, allies, and status” (108). The author argues against Aiello and Wheeler and speculates that the “increase in brain size from austrlopithecines to Homo erectus occurred in multiples steps” (114). Wrangham proposes that the second brain expansion occurred when Homo Erectus became Homo Heidelbergensis and is accredited to cooking (114). The social changes brought about larger brains are not directly correlated to cooking, however they suggest that larger brains evolved the process of

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