05 June 2009

Life adapted to the beach or the cooking pot?

Last night I met up with perhaps the most famous biologist on the planet, PZ Myers. How? He was just hanging out at a bar in town. Couldn't believe my luck! I brought up all my evolutionary nutrition ideas to him.

In case anyone's interested (does anyone read this blog?), PZ was fond of this recent article of Wrangham who wrote Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human.

The book, by the way, pretty much shuts down the raw-foodist movement suggesting that cooking was absolutely essential for our species to get along in the world.

Also, I brought up archaeologist Curtis Marean's suggestion that "humans adapted to a life on the beach" eating shellfish and gaining omega-3 oils to form bigger brains.

PZ raised his eyebrows and said something like, "Humans are just too opportunistic to have been that limited in diet."

He went on to discuss amylase gene copy number variations of which I found fascinating. Nature article about it here.

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