Last month we were introduced to a book by Richard Wrangham, an evolutionary biologist. Wrangham,
now at Harvard, argues that humans are the first species to evolve as a
direct consequence of technology. He says that a human predecessor developed the ability to make fire on command and as a consequence homo habilis or one of our ancestors was able to vastly increase the available calories in the environment since meat and greens are more digestible cooked. We have neither the teeth nor the guts to survive on either without cooking.
I ordinarily scoff at the field of evolutionary biology because the theses advanced are based on untestable theorems. Not so with Wrangham's. At the moment I can't find a good source, but there must be one on the earliest evidence of a fire pit and flints. When we find such evidence it will be a way to positively support Wrangham's very interesting thesis.