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So cooking provided some kind of a watershed for humans to split from our chimp-like ancestors?
Yes. I believe the point at which our bodies show adaptation to cooking is 1.9 million years ago. The evidence is in the changes that took place when we evolved from ancestors that were like chimpanzees but were already standing upright. Cooking led to increased energy intake.
What was the result of having more energy?
Maximising energy from food allowed us to lose a third of the large intestine and significantly expand our brain size. It affected our brain because humans were social and there was a premium on being as intelligent as possible in order to outsmart your opponents in competition, ultimately for mates.
Originally posted by Astyanax
Girls liking men with the gift of the gab, for instance.