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Eating meat; did it give us higher intelligence?

 
 
Builder
 
Reply Fri 28 Apr, 2017 10:37 pm
My life partner has decided to go raw-vegan, for most of her food intake.

I've always been supportive of her choices, and I'm actually very impressed with some of the vegan meals she's prepared for us. I still live the omnivore lifestyle, because my work takes me away from home more often than not, but we're at this point, where she's questioning why we ever needed to eat meat.

I've read quite a lot about how science theorises that homo sapiens developed our huge brain capacity, when we started hunting and eating what we killed. They point to chimpanzees (active organised hunters) and their advanced skill levels, as compared to other monkey species that don't eat meat.

There's another school of thought, that says to develop the skills to make the tools for killing and processing the kill, while developing the strategy to hunt and kill creatures hard-wired for survival, homo sapiens had to already have a high intelligence quotient.

What say you?
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Type: Question • Score: 11 • Views: 3,400 • Replies: 118

 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 28 Apr, 2017 11:03 pm
@Builder,
I'm inclined to believe that eating gave us more time to do, well, whatever. It's probably difficult to have creative thoughts and stuff if you need to spend your waking hours constantly grazing just to keep more calories coming in than going out.
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Apr, 2017 11:10 pm
@roger,
So, you're effectively saying that the density of nutrition found in meat, is more than is found in vegetable matter?

roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Apr, 2017 11:12 pm
@Builder,
Sure. Now, protein has the same calories per weight as carbohydrates, but look at the digestive system it takes to digest grass. Maybe I'm wondering from the question, but I think it ties together.
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Apr, 2017 11:16 pm
@roger,
Protein is found in many food types. I was surprised at the levels of protein found in cauliflower.

Getting back to your first point, re eating meat freeing up our time; we had no way to store meat, other than drying it in the sun. So that entailed hunting more regularly, wouldn't you say?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Apr, 2017 11:21 pm
@Builder,
Yes, hunting would have to be a regular event, but not as constant as a cow grazing across a pasture.

I also think hunting is somewhat more of a challenge. It doesn't make one smarter, but it does give a competitive advantage to intelligence.

I suppose you now want to know why lions and tigers aren't sitting around, discussing philosophy?
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Apr, 2017 11:25 pm
@roger,
I'm in that school of thought that we're star-children.

I don't get the whole evolutionary gist of humanity.

Never was convinced of the god creation theory.

Five posts in, and we've derailed it. :-)

Meat is a big part of our economy here in OZ. Live export basically made the barren lands of the north viable for broad-scale profitable business ventures.

So, does "science" promote that which is sustaining our livelihoods? Meat isn't just murder; it's a source of wealth for many.

roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 12:01 am
@Builder,
I'm not quite sure what you're asking. Maybe if you would restate what you're getting at, I can at least come up with an opinion.

That doesn't mean I won't make stuff up, though there's probably a better way to say 'making stuff up'.
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 12:55 am
@roger,
Opinions are "made up stuff". A lot of what we consider to be scientific evidence is the same. Just theories we've accepted as being valid.

Meat eating creates employment. Abbatoirs, processing plants, butcher shops, refrigeration businesses; the list goes on.
0 Replies
 
ascribbler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 01:16 am
@Builder,
Quote:
Eating meat; did it give us higher intelligence?


You should have ordered the meat lover's pizza from that shop you said was the democrat headquarters for child interference if you were in any way going to be able to sustain a claim to the merest smear of any.

What a shambles.
Builder
 
  0  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 01:23 am
@ascribbler,
Quote:
You should have ordered the meat lover's pizza from that shop you said was the democrat headquarters for child interference .....(snip)


I actually didn't make the claim, but thanks for the heads up.

Has HRC's campaign manager surfaced yet?
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  0  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 02:27 am
@ascribbler,
Not replying, scribbler?

Here's a nice video to answer my question for you. Thank me later, K?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-2We7ZbKUk

If you want to further your discussion, please take it to the thread about it, K?
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  4  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 06:34 am
@Builder,
I think it's the fat content of meat that matters most to brain growth, not the protein. Carnivorous diets provide easier access to fat. None of which matters to a fully grown adult human though. It only matters from a long slow evolutionary perspective. You can't eat a lot of fat and make yourself smarter.
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 08:25 am
Protein and caloric density = people living longer and babies being more likely to survive to maturity.
Hunting = more planning than gathering, so as roger said, it favors intelligence. Particularly if early humans had a sense of fairness, quite literally, the hunter would get the spoils (e. g. more of the protein, etc.) and be more likely to survive longer.

Hunting also = it's more dangerous to get those calories and protein. Hence it also favors teamwork and stealth. I don't want to sound Lamarckian and that's not my intention. Rather, that, as said above, the hunter gets the spoils and has more calories and lives longer and can reproduce more.

More reproducing = more chances for a descendant to survive.

Because all evolution requires from your genes is two things:
  1. Live long enough to reproduce and
  2. Do so.

How you get there is immaterial. You just need to do both and your genes will stay in the pool.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 03:39 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

You can't eat a lot of fat and make yourself smarter.


Oh, poop!
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 03:39 pm
@rosborne979,
Depending on location, and what species of animal, wild game is often very lean meat. And some fruits are a good source of fat. Coconut being a classic.

I was also under the impression that sugar is converted to fat in our digestive tracts. Might be more so with processed sugars, particularly high fructose corn syrup.
Builder
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 03:43 pm
@roger,
I recall reading that Supreme court judges are forbidden from eating red meat for 24 hours before a major hearing, because it "befuddles the brain".

Can't seem to find a reference to that, but haven't looked too far.
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 03:45 pm
@jespah,
Quote:
Hunting = more planning than gathering, so as roger said, it favors intelligence.


We still have hunter-gatherers on the planet today. Australia's indigenes (though varied in small tribes) were still classed as fauna well into last century, and survived for fifty thousand years as hunter-gatherers, though some tribes had mastered grain growing.

Their orally recorded culture seems unchanged for thousands of years.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 03:46 pm
"Oh, you know, Mr. Bumble, he must be mad," said Mrs. Sowerberry. "No boy in half his senses could venture to speak so to you."

"It's not Madness, ma'am," replied Mr. Bumble, after a few moments of deep meditation. "It's Meat."

"What?" exclaimed Mrs. Sowerberry.

"Meat, ma'am, meat," replied Bumble, with stern emphasis. "You've over-fed him, ma'am. You've raised a artificial soul and spirit in him, ma'am, unbecoming a person of his condition: as the board, Mrs. Sowerberry, who are practical philosophers, will tell you. What have paupers to do with soul or spirit? It's quite enough that we let 'em have live bodies. If you had kept the boy on gruel, ma'am, this would never have happened."

"Dear, dear!" ejaculated Mrs. Sowerberry, piously raising her eyes to the kitchen ceiling: "this comes of being liberal!"

- Oliver Twist
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Apr, 2017 04:30 pm
I agree with Roger, in that meat-eating gave hominids the energy to go all day. Foragers spend almost all day to get enough to eat, often just barely. Hunters, if successful, can bring down enough food for the entire band for a couple of days. (That's assuming a band of 20 to 30 individuals, and that's based on hunter/forager societies which have been known in historical times.)

The Tabun cave, excavated in Israel, contains artifact remains which date back perhaps as far as 500,000 years ago, and a full skeleton of a Neanderthal woman dated at 120,000 ybp (years before the present). There are also remains of subsequent occupation by h. s. s. (homo sapiens sapiens--man who knows he knows), and which date back to 40,000 ybp, or even as recently as 35,000 ybp. What is significant in this and other sites in the middle east, to my mind, if not to the academic mind, is the contents of middens--trash heaps. Homo Neanderthalis may have been extinct by 35,000 ybp. The middens interest me because they show h.n. eating a much less diverse diet than the subsequent h.s.s. inhabitants. The later, h.s.s. inhabitants ate fish and sea food (remains of which are not found in the h.n. middens), and they appear to have eaten far more forage foods. The h.n. middens contain a much higher proportion of fallow deer bones, fallow deer having been the dominate large ungulate species in the middle east for many tens of thousands of year. The h.s.s. probably had much less trouble feeding themselves because they ate a variety of fish and sea food, as well as foraging for many types of food.

So I go along with the author's preference for an omnivorous diet, and I believe that was the diet which made our ancestors successful.
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