Evolution, Meat, and “Brains”

Posted By on August 2, 2010

An ancient diet change from vegetarian to carnivore made the “human” brain grow and kicked humanity into high gear, argues Leslie Aiello, anthropologist and director of New York’s Wenner-Gren Foundation. According to Aiello, a human cannot have a big gut (necessary for raw veg diet) and a big brain at the same time, as raw food demands more work to digest and hogs energy, depriving the brain. The change is estimated to have occurred 2.3 million years ago.

One of the premises of TCFB is that we take the Judeo-Christian Scriptures seriously. So, what does Genesis have to say about this? It says that Adam and his progeny were quite intelligent and capable from the very beginning, but that their diet was indeed vegetarian in the pre-Flood time period. Certainly in Eden, and even afterward, the quality of food and the vitality of man were much greater. We’re not certain exactly what all Adam, Eve, and kids ate, other than their diet excluded meat. We quibble with the classic evolutionist estimate of 2+ million years, but we find it interesting that they agree with the biblical report that man went, rather suddenly, from only “veg” to both meat and “veg.”

This subject is discussed in an article published today by NPR.org (Food for Thought: Meat-Based Diet Made Us Smarter, Christopher Joyce, 8/2/10). The article also proposes that meat led to “more brains” which led to tools. Tools, say the anthropologists, created better digestion and thus more energy for the brain. What does Genesis say about that? Cain, the very first procreated human, went right to farming, and since he later went right out and built a city, he probably had some tools. It wasn’t long before his progeny were working in bronze and iron. There is definite disagreement in the two viewpoints.

Another anthropologist, Richard Wrangham of Harvard, believes that cooking (another result of a bigger brain) is the “real secret to being human” because it makes both meat and “veg” more digestible, though he remains a vegetarian. From our research, we would contend that Adam and his gang were quite knowledgeable and that fire and cooking did not need to be “discovered,” though it may not have been necessary until after the Great Flood, when meat was introduced into man’s diet, by God Himself.

Fast-forwarding to our modern world, we support the well-documented argument that both meat and “veg” are necessary in this post-Flood world to provide the “good fats” and the B vitamins, etc., that are vital to good nutrition. In fact, high-quality meat (especially grass-fed) is an important source of the good fats that our fatty brains must have to remain healthy. See TCFB and our sister HAYC websites for more information on these subjects, ancient and modern.


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