||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Sunday, August 07, 2016
I've come across recent research, on whether we the Out Of Africa crowd were best equipped to handle cookfires. But first, some hat-tips are in order... sort of.
Steph Yin at the NYT does her best to spoil her own thesis, in standard NYT fashion:
Negative cultural consequences came with fire, too — and continue to leave an imprint. Anthropologists have speculated that inhaling smoke led to the discovery of smoking. Humans have long used fire to modify their environment and burn carbon, practices that now have us in the throes of climate change. Fire is even tied to the rise of patriarchy — by allowing men to go out hunting while women stayed behind to cook by the fire, it spawned gender norms that still exist today.
But this may safely be ignored for the troll it is.
Now, this gene that protects us from smoke-induced cancer is not found amongst the remains of Denisovans nor of Neanders. We've associated most "Denisovans" with the southeast Asian jungle, where it is always warm and where vegetables are ripe for the picking year-round. So I can see why this subgroup might not have bothered with campfires. But Neanders? They were the primordial Ice People, where Africans are the Sun People (and Denisovans, I suppose, were the Shade People). How did the Neanders get by without campfires? (update) and what about the people in the Denisova cave itself?
The Neanders must have had other genes to protect them. Ditto the true Denisovans.
UPDATE 3/15/2018 - Denisoviana.
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