Thursday, October 15, 2009

Would You Like Another Helping of Quiche?

Anthropologist Peter McAllister is arguing that modern males are no match for our ancestors. picks up the story from The Scotsman. They write:

McAllister finds evidence he believes proves modern man is inferior to his predecessors in, among other fields, the basic Olympic athletics disciplines of running and jumping.

His conclusions about the speed of Australian aboriginals 20,000 years ago are based on a set of footprints, preserved in a fossilised claypan lake bed, of six men chasing prey.

An analysis of the footsteps of one of the men, dubbed T8, shows he reached speeds of 37 kph on a soft, muddy lake edge.

Bolt, by comparison, reached a top speed of 42 kph during his then world 100 metres record of 9.69 seconds at last year's Beijing Olympics.

McAllister said that, with modern training, spiked shoes and rubberised tracks, aboriginal hunters might have reached speeds of 45 kph.

His comments about Neandertals are even more embarrassing:

McAllister said that a Neanderthal woman had 10 per cent more muscle bulk than modern European man.

Trained to capacity, she would have reached 90 per cent of Schwarzenegger's bulk at his peak in the 1970s.

However, because of the quirk of her physiology, with a much shorter lower arm, he believes Neanderthal woman would have been able to "slam him to the table without a problem", he said.

As Glenn Reynolds would say: "ouch!"

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