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Gaping hole in the theory of "The Great Adaptation"; or How could the feast/famine principle have worked in early homonids?
 
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Published: 4 years ago
 

Gaping hole in the theory of "The Great Adaptation"; or How could the feast/famine principle have worked in early homonids?


Imagine a small family of early homo sapiens.
They managed a big kill just before the sudden onset of a protracted frozen winter; they are effectively cave-bound with minimal dried resources, having been caught out by a wildly early cold season.

Months pass, during what turns out to be the beginning of the last ice-age.

The family emerges, famished, into a landscape coming back to life: game are feeding on new shoots and massing round pooling lakes from the thaw.

The fully-fasted hunters of the group, on the point of starvation, with minds and senses and strategies sharpened by being at the limit of survival, fall upon a group of animals and manage to drive 2 or 3 large beasts into a cul-de-sac, or better, over a cliff.

They make merry, bloody slaughter.

Problem: are we to believe that this group of ravenously hungry 'sapes are going to have the inbuilt restraint to limit themselves to a progressive, slow refeeding?

I think not: I think they would do as a python does after 6 months, or a crocodile after 10 months of fasting: they are going to eat their fill. And if they get sick, they sleep it off, then return to the kill and sup a bit more prudently this time, but still, even with the memory of searing pain from massively distended belly fresh in their mind (even with this "memory" wired into the species after thousands of years of selective pressure) it strains credulity to imagine them sipping diluted blood for 2 weeks, then gingerly moving on to small amounts of bone-broth.

How does this tally with today's swarm of inconsistent ideas (often erected into diet-dogma) which counsel taking "as much time to break a fast as the duration of the fast itself"?

 

 
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