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Did hominins from 300 kya use fire to enhance tools?


That’s what some archaeologists surmise:

It was a crucial turning point in human evolution when Homo sapiens—or one of our species’ hominin relatives—first controlled fire not only as a safeguard from predators, but also for sculpting tools from stone.

Now scientists believe they have found evidence of this level of mastery. In an analysis published in Nature Human Behaviour, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, both in Israel, make the case that more than 300,000 years ago, hominins living in Qesem Cave, a small cavern in what is today Israel, succeeded in controlling fire to enhance the production of tools.

The study suggests that the cave’s inhabitants—which hominin resided there remains unknown—used and controlled fire in one way to produce simple stone tools called flakes and another to produce blades. The researchers demonstrated that these tools must be heated to different temperatures.

Mohammed El-Said, “Ancient Humans Used Fire to Make Stone Tools” at Sapiens

Those hominins get smarter every time we run into them.


Haha, joke! I bet the article actually meant "hominids" rather than hominims! It does make a difference. But on the other hand, this was only an anthropology magazine. -Q Querius
Aside from the stone tools mentioned here, presumably the hominins used fire to harden their wooden spears, arrows, etc. Thus the title of this piece seems almost obvious. It is well known that putting a carved wooden point in or close to a fire makes it harder and hence, "enhanced". But of course, those tools would not have survived for 300,000 years. Fasteddious
At least in the unpaid abstract, the study doesn't specify how the fires were different. Drafting? Seems like you'd need a structure with inlet and outlet, or a cave with a natural chimney, to get a good forge going. Those structures, or the smoke in the cave's outlet, might be detectable. polistra
They really want desperately for one of our key turning points in evolution to evolve before us it’s kind of annoying AaronS1978
This seems more speculation then anything But it’s from sapient so what would I suspect AaronS1978
This post I made a while back on UD got a lot of feedback on Facebook (most of it positive), so I will repost it:
Sept. 2020 - Refutation of Human Evolution https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/debunking-another-claim-that-an-alleged-pillar-of-human-exceptionalism-has-fallen/#comment-713398 Fossil Record and Genetics

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