LONDON (Reuters) - Many prehistoric Australian aboriginals could have outrun world 100 and 200 meters record holder Usain Bolt in modern conditions.
Some Tutsi men in Rwanda exceeded the current world high jump record of 2.45 meters during initiation ceremonies in which they had to jump at least their own height to progress to manhood.
Any Neanderthal woman could have beaten former bodybuilder and current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in an arm wrestle.
These and other eye-catching claims are detailed in a book by Australian anthropologist Peter McAllister entitled "Manthropology" and provocatively sub-titled "The Science of the Inadequate Modern Male."
McAllister sets out his stall in the opening sentence of the prologue.
"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...As a class we are in fact the sorriest cohort of masculine Homo sapiens to ever walk the planet."
Speak for yourself, egghead.
Sure, this makes perfect sense. When prehistoric man has few tools to work with and had to chase prey on foot, the fastest, strongest and most nimble survived, and the slow-footed starved, died out and didn't reproduce.
Yet since we Monkeys place somewhere between the first and second figure above — and have the steel-trap brains of Modern Man ... well, perhaps the comments around here should be a little more polite. You wouldn't want your mild mannered Dr. Z running over to your house and dispatching you like an antelope, now would you?