Page 5 - Science Facts

What made us human? Some scientists think that it has to do with our ability to cook food.

Humans are the only species on earth that cook food before eating. British primatologist Richard Wrangham argues that cooking food was a very important element in the process of evolving into humans. He argues his hypothesis in his book ‘Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human’ published in 2009.

According Wrangham Homo Erectus evolved about 2000 years ago because of this unique trait. Its evolutionary effect was profound because it increased food efficiency. This meant less time was spent on foraging, chewing and digesting food. Humans therefore developed a smaller digestive tract that worked much faster. In turn that freed up more energy and enabled larger brain growth.

Cooking required control of fire. This enabled out ancestors to stay warm and to defend themselves against dangerous predators. This helped them to establish a ground based lifestyle. He points out that humans have now become so evolved for eating cooked food that we would no longer be able to maintain reproductive fitness if we only eat raw food.

Critics of Wrangham’s theory question whether there is enough archaeological proof to support his view that cooking fires were used long ago enough to have pushed the evolution of the digestive tract to the extend that he describes it.


Johannes Kepler, one of the most important early astronomers, couldn't even see the stars!

People have been in awe of the stars since the dawn of time. Civilizations planned their lives, culture, and wonders around them. It wasn't until the last few centuries that humans took astronomy seriously with the invention of the telescope to see the heavens up close. Johannes Kepler was one of the greatest contributors to astronomy, but he couldn't see a single star or planet thanks to an illness.

Kepler was born in December of 1571 as a premature child in Swabia, a wine region in southwest Germany. At the age of seven months he became sickly with smallpox. It affected his vision bad enough that he would never see the stars he relied so much on as a firm believer in astrology.

He is best known as a mathematician, theorizing on the laws of planetary motion, a solid foundation for Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation. He lived in a time where church, science, and astrology were closely related, so he believed that God had created the solar system with an intelligible plan that could be deciphered through reasoning.

Though his theories of an intricate plan were off, his work and ideas created a strong foundation for generations of astronomers to come.


Strawberries contain more Vitamin C per volume than oranges do!

Strawberries are even higher in vitamin C than oranges, with eight medium strawberries containing 160 percent of your recommended daily value (60 mg)! A medium orange contains 74 milligrams of Vitamin C, while eight average-sized strawberries provide about 96 mg. Another added benefit is that strawberries are also low in calories - just 50 per eight-strawberry serving.

Some awesome lists!

Friction matches were invented by accidental, and were never patented by the inventor.

John Walker was an Englishman born in 1781. He became a surgeon’s assistant but found that he was too squeamish to deal with surgical operations and turned to chemistry instead. He became keenly interested in finding a way of obtaining fire easily. Back then it was not yet possible to transfer a flame onto a slow burning substance, like wood.

One day he was experimenting with a mixture of sulphide of antimony, chlorate of potash, and gum. He stirred it with a wooden splint coated in sulphur. The splint caught fire upon accidental friction against the hearth, and that is how he accidentally invented friction matches.

The price of a box of 50 matches was one shilling. With each box was supplied a piece of sandpaper, folded double, through which the match had to be drawn to ignite it. He refused to patent his invention and everybody was free to make them.

In 1829 Isaac Holden independently arrived at the same idea. By that time Walker had sold no less than 250 boxes of friction matches, as recorded in his sales book. Walker never became famous or rich from his invention and was only credited for it after his death in 1852.


Scientists in Florida found human remains that date back 7,000 years—and still have brain tissue!

Finding huge, significant archeological sites doesn't always have to leave you digging in the mud for months on end. Sometimes it shows up out of nowhere, by accident. In 1982 right outside the Titusville, Florida city limits, a backhoe operator discovered very old human remains.

Turns out the bones were about 7,000 years old. They belonged a little girl who was still clutching her favorite toys: a wooden pestle-shaped object and the carapace of a small turtle. That doesn't necessarily mean the bones look their age. At first, archeologists thought they were only a few hundred years old due to their keen preservation. Radiocarbon dating proved that incorrect.

Inside the skull, a dark brown, slippery material was found. After some analysis scientists learned that it was preserved brain tissue. Other skulls contained complete brains. The tissue was taken from the skulls and placed in plastic bags flooded with nitrogen gas for DNA cloning.

From the first day of excavation it became apparent that the site was one of the most intact cemeteries of 6,000 B.C.



users online