Thursday, February 11, 2010

Human Limits

With the Olympics coming up, it is a good time to think of the physical limits of human abilities. Every year, humans set new records running faster, jumping higher, lifting more weight. Yes, some of it is the result of performance enhancing drugs, but because of superior training regimens and analytic technologies that perfect form to maximum efficiency, humans are able to do things they have never been able to do.

Yet, there are places where there hasn't been significant advancement. For example, Nolan Ryan pitched a baseball more than 100 miles per hour in the late 60s/early 70s, and here it is 40 years later and still you don't have anyone throwing significantly harder. Is there a human limitation here? Are there other examples of skills or achievements, physical or otherwise, that have not been improved upon over time?