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John Burns' Blog

Guardian Musings

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Today’s Guardian is a wealth of useful information which provides me with a reminder of why I buy it.

First up is a story about an experiment by scientists in New York which undermines the long-held view that social interaction has been more important than diet in promoting brain development. The study suggests that eating fruit which provides more calories than from eating leaves led to larger brains in primates.   The author of the research speculates that finding fruit, logging its location, being able to get into it and remembering where it was all require brain power. The study only looked at non-human primates but a University of Reading evolutionary biologist who was not involved in the experiment has suggested that this has implications for humans in that increased calories from cooking and eating meat could have contributed to human brain development.

In my humble opinion this last conclusion is wrong.  Early humans would have been eating very little meat and in fact would have to expend lots of calories catching it.  The more likely explanation is the macrobiotic one that calories would have come from cooked whole grains which would encourage not just increased size of brain but heightened intelligence and cognitive skills. 

I’ll come back to this; I’m going to write to The Guardian to put them right.  But remember, you saw it here first.

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