By Constantinos Maritsas,
MA in Philosophy,

The problem of human cooking is studied in the context of the definition of ‘civilization’ on the basis of Darwin’s theory. The author defines civilization as ‘survival of the weak’. The author supposes that cooking was invented by men for women in order to be selected by them for reproduction. In other words, cooking became a selection criterion. Therefore to show her approval of a particular man, the woman created the love dance and laughter – imitations of the love act.

Keywords: civilization, cooking, laughter, love dance, evolution

Στην εργασία αυτή μελετάται το πρόβλημα της μαγειρικής του ανθρώπου στο πλαίσιο του ορισμού του «πολιτισμού» και της θεωρίας του Δαρβίνου. Ο συγγραφέας ορίζει τον πολιτισμό ως «επιβίωση του αδυνάτου». Ο συγγραφέας υποθέτει ότι το μαγείρεμα εφευρέθηκε από τους άνδρες για τις γυναίκες, προκειμένου να επιλεγούν από αυτές για αναπαραγωγή. Με άλλα λόγια, το μαγείρεμα, ως τέχνη, όπως η ζωγραφική, έγινε κριτήριο επιλογής. Ήτοι, το μαγείρεμα δημιουργήθηκε ασυναίσθητα. Αντίστοιχα, για να δείξει την έγκριση της για ένα συγκεκριμένο άνδρα, η γυναίκα δημιούργησε το χορό αγάπης και το γέλιο - απομιμήσεις της ερωτικής πράξη.


“Given the current level of our knowledge, I do not think that the question of the origin of language may find an answer” (McMahon, 2001, p. 440). The same could be said about every demonstration of human civilization. It is valid for cooking as well. The author believes thet through civilization men looked for ways to illustrate their feats to women, so that women could choose men for reproduction. First we have to determine the meaning of civilization.
In the book is analytically traced the transition of man from nature to civilization (See Maritsas, 2007). In the book the author gives a brief description of this transition. Only man himself, as is common regarded, thanks to his brain, has abolished the coercive intraspecific competition and consciously terminated the process of natural selection. Having abolished the coercive struggle, man has created a society of similar organisms — human society. But man has to find a substitute for the coercive intraspecific competition, in which male individuals have been selected by women. Since his appearance, man is the weakest and the most helpless living creature in our planet, but he has the largest brain. However, there are also many animals that are “biologically weak”: rabbits, frogs, lambs and goats. None of them has created a civilization! And man has survived, creating one! How did he do it? The author would like to stress two important steps on the way toward civilization: (1) replacement of the coercive intraspecific competition with non-violent fights; and (2) replacement of the coercive struggle for survival with a non-violent one.
So the author proposes definition of civilization which he treats as non-anthropocentric: Civilization is the survival of the weak. This definition can be applied to man, animal and every living being.
Since civilization is the survival of the weak the weak had to find ways to seduce the woman in order to copulate with her. The only way was to present himself as strong. The same holds true for animals: “Messrs. Wallace and Trimen have likewise described several equally striking cases of imitation in the Lepidoptera of the Malay Archipelago and Africa, and with some other insects. Mr. Wallace has also detected one such case with birds, but we have none with the larger quadrupeds. The much greater frequency of imitation with insects than with other animals, is probably the consequence of their small size; insects cannot defend themselves, excepting indeed the kinds furnished with a sting, and I have never heard of an instance of such kinds mocking other insects, though they are mocked; insects cannot easily escape by flight from the larger animals which prey on them; therefore, speaking metaphorically, they are reduced, like most weak creatures, to trickery and dissimulation.” (See Darwin Ch., The Origin of the Species, Chapter XIV Recapitulation and Conclusion).
In his effort to successfully imitate the strong one, i.e. to mislead the woman, the weak man discovered lie and lying: „Following the need to create it, we can already give the definitions of lie and lying: (1) The lie is the someone else’s truth; and (2) The lying is the usurpation of someone else’s truth.“ (See Maritsas, 2011).
While lying the weak man invented language and art. How did this happen? The author guesses the process of art development is as follows: The first weak man had to illustrate the false fact with the lie, “I killed the bear”. The man had gestures, yelling, masking, and natural materials at his disposal. The weak man must pretend to be the strong one, the one that really killed the bear. A generation comes, however, where the weak imitate the previous generation, not the powerful. Thus, the principle according which the weak man imitated the powerful one disappeared. The weak men prevailed, and the phrase “I killed the bear” has lost its necessity. Thus, gestures, shouts and masking became a dance, a song and clothes.
The truth: The powerful male kills the animal (see Figure 1).
The lie: The weak male presents himself as powerful (see Figure 2).
Figure 1. The truth of the powerful male.

Figure 2. The lie of the weak male as the truth of the powerful.

And the weak male always wanted to find and usurp the truth of the strong male with the purpose of being selected by the female for reproduction. 
 Thus the weak male created language and art:
 Language: Usurping the truth by the weak male from the strong male with the purpose of being selected by the females for reproduction using its own body organs as instruments. Art: Usurping the truth by the weak male from the strong male with the purpose of being selected by the females for reproduction using the nature materials as instruments. Here art is the painting, the sculpture, etc.. This definition is for every living being, animal or human.” (Maritsas, 2011).
As can be seen from the definitions, the difference between language and art is only in the materials which the weak male uses to conquer the woman.
Therefore the only criterion for whether a creation is a piece of art is its goal. If the goal is the survival of the species, than it is a piece of art, if not – then it is product of labor. The only person, who can judge if a certain product is a piece of art or not, is the female. If she falls in love with the creator, then he is an artist, if not - he is simply someone doing physical work. “A piece of art, according to the common understanding, is a product of the master’s activity. Who can define, however, what master means? This is the piece of art, as the fact that “the creation raises the master’s reputation” means: the creation shows for the first time that the man of art is a master (Heidegger, 1986: 29). The carpenter is also a master, but only an artist will become the father of the female’s children.
But who is the real creator of the human (and animal – Maritsas, 2007) civilization and art? Who is the artist? The human, man or woman? Male or female? In the article Civilization and art the author defends the hypothesis that the creator of civilization and art is the weak male (See Maritsas, 2010). Moreover, the strong male did not have time and energy to waste over unnecessary activities such as art: “The deadly sin of laziness was excused too: in order to provide the catch he had to make so much effort that it was wise not to spare energy unless it was absolutely necessary”( Lorenz, 2008, p.34) The strong male had to ensure his own survival, this of the female and … the weak male. It is namely the weak males who are the creators of art.
Therefore, the woman was not interested in the work of art. She was interested only in the artist; the work of art was a proof that its creator was an artist. As already mentioned, through art the ‘weak’ male tried to attract the woman and copulate with her. Thus the ‘work of art’ had to bear his own ‘signature’, to be marked as his own. The female would recognize and choose him by his work.
 ‘Food’ was a favorable field for art expression. All men offered food to women, but the artist, the creator … cooked! The clean-cut piece of meat, the washed fruit, the laying of the table were an art.

The first generation of weak men just heated the meat, the second – reheated it, the third – burned it. This was how the unconscious cooking of food began (See Fig. 3). The good ‘cook’ was more likely to be chosen by the woman for reproduction. Thus, cooking as an art, became a selection criterion: “Food in Copper. Gourmet recipes used by affluent households from the prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri on the island of Tira in the Age of Copper. Dried fish, snails, skewers, which might have been accompanied by beer once Tireans had links with Egyptians in the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC and might have been able to bring the technology to make beer from barley. Snails were brought from the island of Crete and were much appreciated. This was said by the honorary professor of Athens University and director of the excavations of Akrotiri on the island of Tira Mr. Christos Dumas, speaking in Athens Opera on the topic: "From need to pleasure. Culinary habits of Akrotiri in the Age of Copper.”[1]
That is the reason why the best cooks today are men. A restaurant menu is a theatre program. The cooks and waiters are the actors, the scene is the stage. The menu and the design are ‘the front and centre’. The clients come to the restaurant to take pleasure in a taste experience and the menu is impressive.
In other words:
Human cooking is unconsciously developed by the positive feedback:
more lies => more cooking, more cooking => more lies.

Origin of Laughter and Erotic dance

Therefore, by means of language and art the weak man demonstrated his (false) abilities to the women. However, how would a woman show her preferences for one particular man? The woman did not have language or art. How? So the woman found decision: by imitation of the erotic act in front of him using sounds and movement. Thus she created the ‘love dance’ and laughter. In other words, laughter is imitation of orgasm, a signal that the man has been chosen by the woman. To this day laughter and love dance are indicators of the woman’s acceptance of a man.
For example, these young Maasai ladies are performing a love dance before choosing someone for the night; the choice is demonstrated by putting their foot on the shoulder of one of the men watching. (See Fig. 4).

Figure 4. Love dance of Maasai women - Figure 5. Greek love dance ‘susta’.
“Susta”, the erotic face-to-face dance on the island of Crete is performed by one or more couples (a man and a woman). Facing each other they act the battle for conquering each other’s love. Using animated gestures and steps full of masculinity and desire, the man is trying to make the woman respond to his call. The woman at times encourages him, at others disappoints him with her attractive jumps full of joy, with beautiful gentle movements of the hands and passionate inclinations of the head. (See Fig. 5).


No man, from the caves or modern times, no living being, starts a procedure which will be beneficial for his species after 1,000, 10,000 or 100,000 years. No man ever thought of cooking, of taming plants and animals, of creating a language which will improve(?) people’s life in 10,000 years! Then, how did this all happen? How did man managed to tame animals and plants? Why does he speak; why does he cook? According to Richard Wrangham, homo habilis consciously decided to evolve into homo erectus, as described in his book: "I believe the transformative moment that gave rise to the genus Homo...stemmed from the control of fire, and the advent of cooked meals. Cooking increased the value of our food. It changed our bodies, our brains, our use of time, and our social lives. It also made us consumers of external energy and thereby created an organism with a new relationship to nature, dependent on fuelThe transition is first signalled at 2.6 million years ago, by... cobblestones deliberately clashed to produce a tool knife-making suggests planning, patience, cooperation, and organized behavior… Between 1.9 and 1.8 million years ago, the second critical step was taken: some habilines evolved into Homo erectus... These weaker mouths cannot be explained by Homo erectus's becoming better at hunting. Something else must have been going on. Cooking food does many things. It makes our food safer, creates rich and delicious tastes, and reduces spoilage. Heating can allow us to open, cut, or mash tough foods. But none of these advantages is as important as a little-appreciated aspect: cooking increases the amount of energy our bodies obtain from our food. The extra energy gave the first cooks biological advantages… Their genes spread, [and] their bodies responded by biologically adapting to cooked food, shaped by natural selection to take maximum advantage of the new diet. There were changes in anatomy, physiology, ecology, life history, psychology, and society.... We humans are the cooking apes, the creatures of the flame." (Wrangham, pp.2-14)
As I have already shown in this article, contrary to Richard Wrangham, first it was man who became civilized and then created cooking as an unconscious process of selection of the male by the female. Cooking can be explained on the ground of Darwin’s theory. But it is necessary to define the concept of civilization and its selection criteria. On the basis of the Darwinian theory I define civilization as “survival of the weak”. I have shown in this article that cooking, as art, have been created unconsciously by the weak male. The aim was for the weak male, the creator of civilization, to survive by means of the lie. Cooking created as a form of art, of lying.
The female, accordingly, in order to show her choice of male created the laughter and the love dance. To this day the men show himself in front of the women with their works of language and art and the women show their approval by means of laughter and love movements as an imitation of orgasm, of the love act.

Darwin, Ch.. (1997). The origin of the species (Η καταγωγή των ειδών). Patra Greece: Patra University Press.
 M. (1986). The origin of the work of art (Η προέλευση του έργου τέχνης), Athens: Dodoni.
Lorenz, K. (2008). On aggression (Так называемое зло). Moskow: Culturnaia Revoljutsia (Культурная Революция).
Maritsas, C. (2007). Civilization and natural selection 2 (Πολιτισμός και φυσική επιλογή). Sofia: Sofia University Press.

Maritsas C. (2010). Civilization and art, International Journal of Arts & Sciences, Vol. 3, Number 15, ISSN: 1944-6934, 97-104.


Maritsas C. (2011). Definition of Language and Art in the Context of the Evolution Theory, Journal of Literature and Art Studies, ISSN 2159-5836, Vol. 1, No. 3, 219 - 225.
McMahon, A. (2001). Understanding language change (Ιστορική γλωσσολογία). Athens: Metechmio.
Wrangham R. (2009) : Catching Fire: how cooking made us human, London: Profile Books.

[1] Newspaper Eleftherotypia, Athens, February, 4th, 2011.
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