Anthropologists the world over are trying to figure out when man discovered the secret of fire. Now by the secret of fire, we don’t mean, “Lightning therefore: fire!” We mean the Boy Scout (or any other fascist youth organization) idea of creating fire by rubbing sticks together, or otherwise creating a spark. It appears that long before this secret was learned, men would “harvest fire” from those that naturally occurred. And then they would try to keep the fire going for as long as possible because it was a major new technology. Imagine if every time there was a storm, iPhones rained down on us and we could use them until we (Inevitably!) dropped them in the toilet. You get the idea.
There are three camps of anthropologists when it comes to this issue. First, there are those who think that fire was discovered very early: 1.8 years ago by H. erectus. Or it could have been later: 400,000 years ago by the Neanderthals. This would mean that we humans stole it from them, patent protection being very weak in Europe at that time. But others think that the secret of fire came about quite recently: about 12,000 years ago—basically when we started farming.
The reason fire is so important is that we couldn’t live without it. At some point, we evolved bodies that need meat to be cooked. We just don’t have very good digestive systems. This probably has something to do with the ridiculous amount of energy that our over sized brains require. This fact probably shows the way forward, because this question of when we were able to harness fire will likely never be answered by anthropologist.
Eventually, geneticists will figure out when we evolved to require cooked food. And there’s only one way for us to have changed in this way: by eating all of our meat cooked. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have evolved this way. So the time when we only could survive on cooked meat must be sometime after we cooked most of our meat.
And as for all of you raw food buffs out there: fuck off!