Discussion in 'Human Science' started by KilljoyKlown, Aug 10, 2011.
That one caught me with a mouthful of soda.....
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Hey! Dying is not so bad if you leave the really stupid out of it. I only hope they didn't have any kids before they offed themselves.Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
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I've often wondered how strong Roman gladiators really were and how our best UFC fighters would fair against them in a contest of strength and endurance.
We are, by far, still the product of millenia of natural and sexual selection
Nutrition tended to be poorer. People were, on average, significantly smaller than we are now, mostly as a result of this. I'm not aware of any reason to think the average human was stronger then than now.
Sounds as though these people were acclimatized to the altitude, and hard labor. But if they were really so much stronger, why aren't they winning weight lifting competitions? Though many south Americans have excelled as mountain climbers in the Tour De France, with their small builds, and lifetimes of life at high altitudes helping them excel in the mountain stages. But this hasn't been advantage enough for them to take an overall win from the weak western athletes.
Many people in the nineteenth century, through the early twentieth century (even in the U.S.), lived lives not all that different from those of hard laboring Europeans of old. But, world class athletes have only gotten stronger and faster since records began being kept.
I guess I am glad I did not see the show. It was your post that nearly did me in.
It was also discovered that the Bushman can track a single animal until it finally drops down and be killed without having been hit with poison arrows. The human being has the ability to keep on the run longer than other animals. The Australian bushman also had the ability to sleep outside through the cold night without any cover.
civilization-overview dot com
Those gladiators were more like our modern day WWF Wrestling wrestlers. They were paid to "perform" at the Colosseum for the paying spectators every day or three depending upon weather and who was taking time off. They were actors for the most part and were given better homes to live in and better food to eat than the common citizens. Just like todays wrestlers are. They never killed each other, like many think, but did a great acting job as though they were.
Yes, there were accounts of hunting in that manner, just running their prey to death in the heat of the day. The heat being a key component, as the four legged prey are unable to cool off properly when constantly pursued.
The San also sleep out near naked on the bare earth during cold nights. It was said that they had a great tolerance for both the cold and hunger.
I have not found any really good anthropological source/book dealing with the Australian aborigine in a similar manner. But I have seen and heard accounts and demonstrations of amazing survival based skills and adaptations.
Has to have been over forty years ago now I recall a demonstration of the use of a boomerang. I can still picture a rat being picked up and returned to the aboriginal hunter at a distance near the length of a football field. I could not even see a rat at that distance. Then when thrown in a different manner for larger game, like kangaroo, the boomerang would strike with a different surface, to stun by blunt force or even knock it out.
I don't generally like this line by line discussion style. There is too much chance that the conversation be side tracked from the general intent of the poster to a series of out of context criticisms. It also takes a lot more work...
You are correct, we are still subject to evolution, just not the same kind of survival based natural selection. We are better able to protect those among us who would on their own survive, to reproduce.
Mentioning the European knights was a bit of a misdirection here as my greater meaning, in using the word ancestors, could have been equally applied to them. Still the poorer nutrition led to a shorter lifespan, in the range of 35 to 45 years. Give or take. The population as a whole were not as tall and usually a bit stockier than we generally see today. Shorter arms and legs provide a greater leverage for the muscles' and an effective increase in the apparent strength. Just basics mechanics/physics.
Wile it is obvious that the young men I referred to were acclimated to the high altitude and that did give them an advantage, they were moving their loads at a run. Something that even most of those around us could not have done even at sea level.
As to the weight lifting competition angle, you are talking burst strength. They would not perform as well in a contest that required prolonged exertion. There is also the decreased range of motion most of them experience when developing muscle mass to those extremes.
I met an older man on the same trip, to Peru. Perhaps in his mid forties. You did not have to touch his exposed arms or legs to know that they were as hard as stone. His strength molded by life and survival.
With few exceptions world class athletes would not fair well when faced with the real life circumstances of those more recent ancestors you refer to, let alone the harsher conditions faced by those of our ancestors who competed more directly with the hardships of nature, such as the San and the aborigines of Australia.
No where was I attempting to say that our ancestors had a greater physical potential. My intent was to point out that the lives we lead do not require us to reach our full potential. Sure we have athletes today that in a structured setting excel in specialized tests of strength and endurance, most of those would be hard pressed to survive under the conditions, that our ancestors dealt with on a daily basis.
My point is not that we no longer have the potential. It is that we seldom if ever are required to rise to that potential.
This discussion began as a comparison of a chimpanzee's strength and that of ourselves. The chimps strength is the product of their life style, much the same as those of our ancestors who out competed them.
Most of us today would not fair well against a rat or a squirrel, without tools. Let alone a chimp, or lions, tigers and bears.....
But all of the evidence is that the strength advantage that chimps have is genetic.
What's with all this bushman talk. I wouldn't live that kind of life even if it paid a million dollars a year. Also, it's easy to say they did all those things, but how many bushman are we talking about? All of them or a couple of exceptional fellas? And can you imagine the woman living the bushman life, probably so butt ugly they were lucky to breed at all. But let's not forget how much fun being a bushman kid must have been. But there were people that actually wanted laws passed to protect the bushman culture. Yeah! Let's not freak them out by letting them sleep in a real bed or take a shower for the first time in there lives. Just saying what they don't know won't hurt them is crazy.
This makes some good points. However, those genetic differences are only speculated to account for the comparative differences at this time. I cannot help remembering a couple of circumstances where in one case a friend with epilepsy and another case of an individual who was schizophrenic, who both normally would have been considered weak, when I the throes of their respective disabilities displayed strength far exceeding anything one could expect. In these cases their was no change in their actual muscle mass of inherent strength, it was more likely that the limitations normally in place to prevent damage were not functional. The brain can over ride normal operating parameters.
In one of those situations, the schizophrenic, a teen maybe 80 lbs. Had fallen down on the pavement hard. A friend not understanding and trying to prevent further injury, about 159 lbs. sat on his chest to prevent him from getting up and falling again. He was thrown completely clear, when the 80 lb. teen just sat up.
I'll concede there is likely some genetic differences between chimps and ourselves that contribute to strength comparisons, but those alone do not explain, the whole picture.
This is a good discussion, but I really have to run for now.
More educated speculation:
This reference is essentially the point I was trying to make. When we use muscles it really is a balance between excitation and inhibition. Walker's explanation would explain the two situations I mentioned earlier also.
I really liked that article and think they are on the right track. Humans rarely ever need that kind of strength, but those rare cases where it has been demonstrated, prove that humans do have the capacity which was probably more prononced in the primitive past.
After all wild animals may not need super strength most of the time, but when they need it to aid in procuring dinner or escaping from being dinner, a few pulled muscles are the least of their worries.
Humans are distance runners. Other animals are more likely to be sprinters. If we can avoid getting caught we can usually outrun them by simply not having to stop to catch our breath. Chimps have no reason to develop their distance running ability. They're not predators so they don't need to be able to run down a gazelle, and if some predator is chasing them they just go up into the trees where they rule their own environment.
The musculature in our lower body is much different from the other primates for two reasons. One is bipedal walking. Our gluteus maximus has been completely rerouted to provide the constant force needed to keep our knees locked--that's why our species has that signature double-hemisphere butt. The other reason is that our enormous brains are a real problem for childbirth. The human pelvis is so wide that when we transfer our weight from one leg to the other during locomotion, there is a tremendous constant back-and-forth load on the thigh muscles.
The muscles in our upper body and arms are also different from the other primates. We are the only ape who can lie comfortably on our back, with all four limbs resting on the ground! Let your imagination run rampant for a couple of minutes with the implications of that. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Maintaining muscle mass requires eating a lot of protein.
We only tamed fire a couple of hundred thousand years ago. Before that, to ingest a day's supply of nutrients by eating raw meat required three hours of chewing. If humans had more muscle tissue and needed more protein to support it, they wouldn't have enough time to hunt.
Once the Agricultural Revolution made meat more easily available, we could have increased our muscle mass, but by then we didn't need it. Instead, we just grew larger proportionately.
My imagination doesn't have to run rampant, and no I can't think of any other animal that has face to face sex or female on top. Sense I don't believe in God I do wonder how we got the special treatment. It must have been those pesky ancient aliens messing with our DNA again.Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
If they're so strong, how come people aren't breeding them and training them to perform tasks? An intelligent animal with very articulate hands and a lot of strenght could be really handy. They could put the chimps in those spam factories where the people who dig out the brains from the pig heads are getting sick all the time.
Because they might beat us up and take over the planet.
They are too smart. Also, breeding is difficult and slow in captivity. They are picky as far as the conditions they need to live happily. It's not like with dogs that breed quickly and you can go through many generations to select the most tame.
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