Feeds

Neanderthal woman could whup Schwarzenegger

Modern man is big wuss, claims anthropologist

Build a business case: developing custom apps

An anthropologist has described modern man as “the sorriest cohort of masculine Homo sapiens to ever walk the planet”, with even Arnold Schwarzenegger at his muscular peak no match for a Neanderthal woman in the arm-wrestling stakes.

According to Peter McAllister, in Manthropology: the Science of Inadequate Modern Man, so completely wussy have we become that were Usain "Lightning" Bolt to go head-to-head with an ancient Australian aboriginal, it'd be silver medal position for the Jamaican sprinter.

The prologue of McAllister's book warns blokes just how much of a humiliation they're in for, opening with: "If you're reading this then you - or the male you have bought it for - are the worst man in history. No ifs, no buts - the worst man, period.”

Chaps are then reminded that a Roman soldier was able to march one-and-a-half marathons in a single day, Rwandan Tutsi men could jump higher then the current world record of 2.45 metres, and Huichol Indian dads in Mexico tied strings to their 'nads so that their other half could give a quick tug during labour enabling them to share the childbirth experience.

Regarding the inadequacy of Schwarzenegger, McAllister studied the remains of "La Ferrassie 2", a Neanderthal lass discovered in a French cave in 1909. She boasted ten per cent more muscle than modern European men, and her upper arm strength was more than enough to "slam him to the table without a problem”.

Usain Bolt's nemesis, meanwhile, was an aboriginal man running barefoot on the shore of a lake in New South Wales around 20,000 years ago. His footprints, preserved in the soft mud, show he was sprinting at 37 km/h - not as fast as Bolt's top speed of 42 km/h, but without the benefit of "spiked shoes, a special track, a strict training regime, and money and glory to spur him on", as the Sydney Morning Herald puts it.

The reason for our decline is pretty obvious: general inactivity and a lack of hard graft. McAllister notes: "We are so inactive these days and have been since the industrial revolution really kicked into gear. These people were much more robust than we were. At the start of the industrial revolution there are statistics about how much harder people worked then.

"The human body is very plastic and it responds to stress. We have lost 40 per cent of the shafts of our long bones because we have much less of a muscular load placed upon them these days.

"We are simply not exposed to the same loads or challenges that people were in the ancient past and even in the recent past so our bodies haven't developed. Even the level of training that we do, our elite athletes, doesn't come close to replicating that."

Those parents wishing to restore the male of the species to his former glory have a few options available: start your son firing arrows from galloping horses at the age of two, the better to emulate deadly accurate 12th century Mongol bowmen; train your offspring to throw an aboriginal hardwood spear 110 metres plus (as did the original Down Under locals, putting the current javelin world of 98.48 metres into perspective); or reserve him a seat on an Athenian oar-driven vessel, whose crew could easily out-row modern oarsmen. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
ASTEROID'S SHOCK DINO-KILLING SPREE just bad luck - boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.