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In the previous segment, we saw that humankind, for most of its existence, had large brains. Had the ability to produce and use tools, had complex social structures, but remained week and marginal in the ecosystem. Eventually, however, human beings, at least in the last 100,000 years, ascended to the top of the food chain and became the most powerful animals around. How did they make this, this, this junk? Perhaps the first significant step on the way to the top was the domestication of fire. We don't know exactly when were and how humans did this, to domesticate fire. But we do know from archaeological evidence that by about 300,000 years ago some humans, like neanderthals and later homo sapiens, were using fire on a daily basis. Fire had important advantages to offer humans. It gave humans a source of light in darkness. And a source of warmth in winter when it's cold. Fire also gave our ancestors the first really effective weapon against dangerous animals, like lions and bears. A fire could also be used to start changing the environment. To fit our eh, not our but our ancestor's needs, the needs of humans hundreds of thousands of years ago. People, for example, could use fire to burn down forests, and once the forest and once the flames die down then humans could walk in and collect all kinds of dead animals that were cooked in the fire and eat them, so it was an easy meal. You just burn down the forest and you come and collect a lot of food, which you can now eat. So this was another important advantage of fire, but the most important thing that fire did, the best thing about fire was that it enabled humans to cook. We don't often think about cooking as eh, one of the big steps forward in the history of humankind, but cooking was of immense importance. First of all, cooking opened entire new sections in the supermarket of Nature before humankind. I mean that, all kinds of foods that exist in nature, but that humans cannot, cannot digest, cannot eat without cooking them, such as, wheat, and rice, and potatoes. Once fire eh, once humans had control of fire, they could start eating these foods. You cannot go around an just pick, say a wheat and eat it, because you can't digest wheat in it's natural form. And similarly you cannot dig potatoes in the ground and just eat them. A cow can do it, a pig can do it, because they have a digestive system that can digest wheat, and potatoes, and rice. But humans can't. Until they had fire eh, eh, eh, to do much of the job for them, once you cook potatoes, or once you bake wheat, you can eat it and enjoy the, the, the calories and the vitamins that they can give you. So this was a, a big advantage of fire. People could start eating many new things. Another advantage was that cooking kills germs and parasites that infest food especially in meat, but also in other kinds of food. So once humans begin to cook their food,uh it protected them against all kinds of health dangers. And against all kinds of parasites. That otherwise may enter the body, and live there, and kill them. Another big advantage of fire, sorry, of cooking, is that it reduced, it reduced the time that humans have to invest in chewing their food, and the time and energy needed to digest food. Food, when it comes raw, uncooked, you have to chew it for a long time, and then it takes the stomach and the guts a long time, and, and a lot of energy, to digest them properly.