Is there a limit to human performance?

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Offline thedoc

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Is there a limit to human performance?
« on: 31/01/2012 15:44:06 »
Hello there, Naked Scientists!

I am aware of Moore's law, and hope technology can find a way around it when the time comes. What about physiology? I am not a big sports fan, but when I do get a chance to watch talented athletes, it is always so close! They train to beat their best opponents (fighting, golf, tennis, football, etc.) almost feeling random to a point (amazing people). Do we as humans hit an athletic capability wall sometime soon? Our brains seem to be overtaking our bodies pretty quickly. Invention and silicon is, and has been setting more records than muscles for some time now. Are we built to be crafty, brawny, or both? (Performance enhancing drugs, genetic engineering, and CPU overclocking are all fair game!)

G'night guys!
Asked by Pete Inchaust

                                        Visit the webpage for the podcast in which this question is answered.


« Last Edit: 31/01/2012 15:44:06 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is there a limit to human performance?
« Reply #1 on: 30/01/2012 11:41:29 »
Good question.
Certainly with athletes, one can for example have a 1-mile race.  The elite athletes run a sub-4 minute mile, and finish within seconds of each other.  And, then there are all the rest of us who struggle to do a 6 minute mile.

Mentally, the field seems to be much more varied, but perhaps there are still limits.

Chess Grand Masters are well paired with playing chess, and no grand master is too far ahead of the rest of the field.  But, it is obvious that there is also a limit to their skills, and computers can now be made that are better than the Grand Masters.

There are the Savants and Asperger's syndrome individuals that seem to be able to perform amazing feats, in very narrow fields, yet have troubles in more general situations.

In fact, I would imagine if that if one found an individual that could ace one kind of intelligence test, it would not take much to find another intelligence test that they would abysmally fail.