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?