T Nation

Modern Man A WIMP Says Anthropologist

“Any Neanderthal woman could have beaten former bodybuilder and current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in an arm wrestle”
and other awesomeness found at:

Basically, the industrial revolution is blamed for making us all lazy and weak. Thoughts?

On closer reading, the article is full of “would’a, could’a, should’a.”

For example, the tracks that were found give an estimated speed that is 5 kph (about 3 mph) slower than Usain Bolt, but the author says the Aborigine would’a, could’a, should’a been able to go 8 kph faster than indicated from the tracks if he’d been on a track instead of the “soft” clay bed, and had had shoes and so forth.

Btw, I can’t see the clay as having been that mushy, else the tracks wouldn’t have survived very long. There’s no mention of how deep the prints are.

Or another example: Supposedly a Neanderthal woman would’a, could’a, should’a had 90% of Arnold’s peak muscle mass if she had “trained to capacity.”

In other words, the guy is pulling a fair amount of stuff out of his rectum.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
On closer reading, the article is full of “would’a, could’a, should’a.”

For example, the tracks that were found give an estimated speed that is 5 kph (about 3 mph) slower than Usain Bolt, but the author says the Aborigine would’a, could’a, should’a been able to go 8 kph faster than indicated from the tracks if he’d been on a track instead of the “soft” clay bed, and had had shoes and so forth.

Btw, I can’t see the clay as having been that mushy, else the tracks wouldn’t have survived very long. There’s no mention of how deep the prints are.

Or another example: Supposedly a Neanderthal woman would’a, could’a, should’a had 90% of Arnold’s peak muscle mass if she had “trained to capacity.”

In other words, the guy is pulling a fair amount of stuff out of his rectum.

[/quote]
Sweet educated rectum, however.
I thought it was a good read… The author might have a beef with Arnie, since he’s being picked on. There are/were stronger BB:s than Arnie, I wonder how ANY woman from any timeperiod would have done against Franco Columbo, for example.

[quote]archiewhittaker wrote:
“Any Neanderthal woman could have beaten former bodybuilder and current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in an arm wrestle”
and other awesomeness found at:

Basically, the industrial revolution is blamed for making us all lazy and weak. Thoughts?

[/quote]

Read Cochrane and Harpending’s new book.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
On closer reading, the article is full of “would’a, could’a, should’a.”

For example, the tracks that were found give an estimated speed that is 5 kph (about 3 mph) slower than Usain Bolt, but the author says the Aborigine would’a, could’a, should’a been able to go 8 kph faster than indicated from the tracks if he’d been on a track instead of the “soft” clay bed, and had had shoes and so forth.

Btw, I can’t see the clay as having been that mushy, else the tracks wouldn’t have survived very long. There’s no mention of how deep the prints are.

Or another example: Supposedly a Neanderthal woman would’a, could’a, should’a had 90% of Arnold’s peak muscle mass if she had “trained to capacity.”

In other words, the guy is pulling a fair amount of stuff out of his rectum.

[/quote]

Even if the author is pushing it a bit–I’ll reserve judgment on that–these are still impressive claims. Surely the average human today is not capable of running 37 kph in ANY conditions. The other stats about ancient people like Athenian rowers and Roman legionnaires are impressive as well. I vaguely recall reading other things like this before about the ancient Olympics and how many athletes of the ancient games exceeded current world records.

But the guy’s trying to sell a book, he needs to get creative here and there. Still interesting.

Neanderthals were a different species, so he is comparing apples to oranges and we are not unique because we can run and jump but because we can think and we are getting constantly better at that even though it does not always feel that way.

[quote]stokedporcupine8 wrote:
Bill Roberts wrote:
On closer reading, the article is full of “would’a, could’a, should’a.”

For example, the tracks that were found give an estimated speed that is 5 kph (about 3 mph) slower than Usain Bolt, but the author says the Aborigine would’a, could’a, should’a been able to go 8 kph faster than indicated from the tracks if he’d been on a track instead of the “soft” clay bed, and had had shoes and so forth.

Btw, I can’t see the clay as having been that mushy, else the tracks wouldn’t have survived very long. There’s no mention of how deep the prints are.

Or another example: Supposedly a Neanderthal woman would’a, could’a, should’a had 90% of Arnold’s peak muscle mass if she had “trained to capacity.”

In other words, the guy is pulling a fair amount of stuff out of his rectum.

Even if the author is pushing it a bit–I’ll reserve judgment on that–these are still impressive claims. Surely the average human today is not capable of running 37 kph in ANY conditions. The other stats about ancient people like Athenian rowers and Roman legionnaires are impressive as well. I vaguely recall reading other things like this before about the ancient Olympics and how many athletes of the ancient games exceeded current world records.

But the guy’s trying to sell a book, he needs to get creative here and there. Still interesting. [/quote]

My understanding of speed is that their are two variables: 1) stride length and 2) stride frequency. So, how is the author determining running speed with only one of these variables known?

That is why I said “estimated speed.”

One can’t make a precise calculation with only the distance between steps known, but there’s a strong correlation with speed and the estimate may not be too bad.

But if he were more accurate, he should have thrown a +/- in there.

However he seemed only interested in adding “pluses” of his own devising so as to make the Aborigine “faster than Usain Bolt.”

Similarly, he didn’t need actual evidence of a Neanderthal woman in fact obtaining the muscular size he claimed she should’a, would’a, could’a had.

But if he’d written “Well, given the thickness of the bones of Neanderthal women, I’m guessing that they could have been unusually muscular relative to Homo sapiens,” that wouldn’t be getting him press coverage, I suppose.

Nope, gotta make people of the past “faster than Usain Bolt” and – for a female! – “90% of Arnold at his peak.”

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
That is why I said “estimated speed.”

One can’t make a precise calculation with only the distance between steps known, but there’s a strong correlation with speed and the estimate may not be too bad.

But if he were more accurate, he should have thrown a +/- in there.

However he was only interested in adding “pluses” of his own devising so as to make the Aborigine “faster than Usain Bolt.”[/quote]

stride length through ballistics calculations could give you an approximate air time and hence speed. running mechanics, and structure would affect this though.

…Our brains our bigger and our muscles slightly smaller. That’s why we’re here and the Neanderthals are extinct. I thought that was fairly obvious?

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
…Our brains our bigger and our muscles slightly smaller. That’s why we’re here and the Neanderthals are extinct. I thought that was fairly obvious?[/quote]

Dont be cocky, one ill timed ice age might have killed us, and genetic markers suggest that there were times when we almost did not make it.

[quote]orion wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
…Our brains are bigger and our muscles slightly smaller. That’s why we’re here and the Neanderthals are extinct. I thought that was fairly obvious?

Dont be cocky, one ill timed ice age might have killed us, and genetic markers suggest that there were times when we almost did not make it.
[/quote]

I’m sure that’s true. But we survived and they didn’t. I assumed that was due to our intelligence and propensity to community-build. Am I wrong? Did we survive by luck alone, and then happen to suddenly become intelligent enough to do all the incredible things we now do?

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
orion wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
…Our brains are bigger and our muscles slightly smaller. That’s why we’re here and the Neanderthals are extinct. I thought that was fairly obvious?

Dont be cocky, one ill timed ice age might have killed us, and genetic markers suggest that there were times when we almost did not make it.

I’m sure that’s true. But we survived and they didn’t. I assumed that was due to our intelligence and propensity to community-build. Am I wrong? Did we survive by luck alone, and then happen to suddenly become intelligent enough to do all the incredible things we now do?[/quote]

If you pay attention to TV. cave-men are every bit as capable and intelligent as we are. An insurance company told me.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
orion wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
…Our brains are bigger and our muscles slightly smaller. That’s why we’re here and the Neanderthals are extinct. I thought that was fairly obvious?

Dont be cocky, one ill timed ice age might have killed us, and genetic markers suggest that there were times when we almost did not make it.

I’m sure that’s true. But we survived and they didn’t. I assumed that was due to our intelligence and propensity to community-build. Am I wrong? Did we survive by luck alone, and then happen to suddenly become intelligent enough to do all the incredible things we now do?[/quote]

Maybe we just outfucked them.

Even a slight advantage in the procreation rate might have made the difference.

Maybe we were all slightly insane and the ability of shared delusions like religion gave us just that extra edge.

Maybe we were less intelligent and just happened to copy others ideas quicker?

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
…Our brains our bigger and our muscles slightly smaller. That’s why we’re here and the Neanderthals are extinct. I thought that was fairly obvious?[/quote]

Actually seems that current evidence points to neanderthals having larger brains then ours, as well as being stronger, just less able to adapt hunting styles to the changing landscape at the end of the last ice age.

[quote]thick88 wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
…Our brains our bigger and our muscles slightly smaller. That’s why we’re here and the Neanderthals are extinct. I thought that was fairly obvious?

Actually seems that current evidence points to neanderthals having larger brains then ours, as well as being stronger, just less able to adapt hunting styles to the changing landscape at the end of the last ice age. [/quote]

Besides, I thought Neanderthals were around far longer before they died out than we have been around so far. Point being our seeming advantage–our Brain–hasn’t yet proved to be more advantageous than their advantage–brawn.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
Bill Roberts wrote:
That is why I said “estimated speed.”

One can’t make a precise calculation with only the distance between steps known, but there’s a strong correlation with speed and the estimate may not be too bad.

But if he were more accurate, he should have thrown a +/- in there.

However he was only interested in adding “pluses” of his own devising so as to make the Aborigine “faster than Usain Bolt.”

stride length through ballistics calculations could give you an approximate air time and hence speed. running mechanics, and structure would affect this though.[/quote]

Lol how does “approximate air time” give you speed?

[quote]Regular Gonzalez wrote:
DoubleDuce wrote:
Bill Roberts wrote:
That is why I said “estimated speed.”

One can’t make a precise calculation with only the distance between steps known, but there’s a strong correlation with speed and the estimate may not be too bad.

But if he were more accurate, he should have thrown a +/- in there.

However he was only interested in adding “pluses” of his own devising so as to make the Aborigine “faster than Usain Bolt.”

stride length through ballistics calculations could give you an approximate air time and hence speed. running mechanics, and structure would affect this though.

Lol how does “approximate air time” give you speed?

[/quote]

umm… because you have a time and a distance…

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
Regular Gonzalez wrote:
DoubleDuce wrote:
Bill Roberts wrote:
That is why I said “estimated speed.”

One can’t make a precise calculation with only the distance between steps known, but there’s a strong correlation with speed and the estimate may not be too bad.

But if he were more accurate, he should have thrown a +/- in there.

However he was only interested in adding “pluses” of his own devising so as to make the Aborigine “faster than Usain Bolt.”

stride length through ballistics calculations could give you an approximate air time and hence speed. running mechanics, and structure would affect this though.

Lol how does “approximate air time” give you speed?

umm… because you have a time and a distance…[/quote]

crap. I didn’t quite think that through!

I don’t have any understanding of the process by which stride frequency can be measeured from 20 thousand year old footprints, but I have a hard time believing it would be remotely accurate.

No, you don’t.

A given set of prints could be produced from long air time and more moderate speed, or short air time and more extreme speed.

I expect a range of possible speeds is known for human locomotion for any given distance between steps, but it won’t be any exact number.