Thursday, November 05, 2009

Modern Man is a Wimp

Says an Australian anthropologist. And he's absolutely correct - our species has been getting decreasingly robust over the last 10,000 years or so with changes in adaptive pressures. What I found new and interesting in this article was the analysis of running speed from some 20,000 year-old fossil footprints. Very cool.

5 comments:

steveo_uk said...

It’s amazing how much we are losing in terms of bush craft and ability. The cartoon made me smile that illustrated the article. Man has come a long way since he was once a hunter gatherer and not necessarily for the better

Gregg Barrow said...

I find it appropriate that Geithner’s picture was at the bottom of the article.
As for the content, I'll fall back on Matt’s reply to me when I was questioning our wives career choices.
“Just shut up and adjust your apron!!”

:-)
Gregg

Retrieverman said...

The same thing happens to wolves that are raised in captivity. They loose some of the mass around their jaw muscles.

The McBride line of Mexican wolf, which was euthanized because they looked like wolf-dog hybrids, may have simply been Mexican wolves that had lost the head size and jaw muscle mass that they would have had in the wild. They had been bred in captivity for generations, so that also could have led to them developing dog characteristics.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that domestication thing goes both ways! People are "selected" every bit as much as animals, and I have seen an enormous change just in my lifetime. When I was a kid, virtually ALL kids played outdoors in the woods constantly--running, climbing trees, swimming in creeks, rolling down hills only to run back up and do it again and again, etc. Fat kids were rare--you might have one or two in your class at school, and they stood out because they were unusual. Now the lean, skinny kids are the rare ones, and the majority of kids have zero interst in getting outdoors to indulge in feral bahaviour. What does this mean for our species if it continues, and spreads to even the "3rd world" countries?....L.B.

Anonymous said...

Between paranoia about childnappers keeping children from playing outdoors, the marked increase in indoor forms of entertainment, and the general discouragement of physical expression of kid-energy as 'aggressiveness' -- we have become a nation of physical wimps, no question about it. I could possibly also throw in idea that the anti-bacterial cleansers marketed to us ultimately cause decreased immunity to bacteria...