In this month’s issue of Esquire magazine, there’s a great read on the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt. What made the piece so fascinating and enlightening was this paragraph:

“Ethan Siegel, a theoretical astrophysicist at Lewis & Clark College, recently charted a graph to demonstrate that, judging by the incremental progression of the 100-meter world record over the past hundred years, Bolt appears to be operating at a level approximately thirty years beyond that of the expected capabilities of modern man.

Mathematically, Bolt belonged not in the 2008 Olympics but the 2040 Olympics. Michael Johnson, the hero of the 1996 Olympic summer games, has made the same point in a different way: A runner capable of beating Bolt, he says, ‘hasn’t been born yet.'”…….Read More

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  1. 2040 according to whose standards? According to a scientific system that is flawed in the fact that it hasn’t realized the entire scheme of things, and so therefore cannot project anything accurately. It happened in 08, meaning it clearly was meant to happen when it did……….in 2008. End of story.
    The same sports science that embraced the fact that athletes of Bolt’s stature are better fitted for the longer sprints and not the shorter ones.
    And look how Bolt dispelled that myth in 9.69 seconds. Didn’t have to say a single word. And yet, it is probably that same system that is talking about 2040. Come on. Have we not learned from the likes of Bolt or Gay who have shown us that even sans perfect technique or less than 100% fitness that we have entered a new era of athletics, that calls for us to let go of the myths that we once embraced as scientific fact?

  2. This article is right on the money. Every generation, some society in the world produces an individual that transcends their current environment and does the unthinkable. People like Darwin, Galileo, Socrates, Gregor Mendel, Sir Isaac Newton, Michelangelo, and Albert Einstein, were so far ahead of their time they were ridiculed and persecuted because the masses of their times could not comprehend their thinking.

    Who doesn’t remember the first time they say the Thriller music video or when they saw Michael Jackson do the moonwalk. He was ahead of his time. He was able to move and do dances that were inconceivable before he did them.

    Then in sports, we have athletes like Tiger Woods, Jackie Robinson, and Jesse Owens, who had to be physically superior to the other players just to be able to break through the color barrier and cross that line just to compete in a whites only setting, when, quite frankly, the society at large was not ready for them to do so. They were the trailblazers of their times.

    Usain Bolt is ahead of his time, the way Michael Jordan was ahead of his. Not only has he broken a slew of “untouchable” and/or inconceivable world records in just 2 years, but he managed to do so while defying the law of physics. The body with the greatest amount of mass is supposed to have the least amount of acceleration. He has the most.

    For goodness sake, the guy even has scoliosis.

    I think that when a sprinter is capable of defying the second law of motion, overcome his large amount of mass and inertia, and even his own physical disability to become the fastest and most dominant sprinter mankind has ever produced, then making a claim that he is ahead of his time is more than correct; that he did so without the pampering, dollars, and cushy training facilities that the US sprinters get may mean that saying he’s ahead of his time is actually an understatement.

  3. Stacy, excellent comment my dear I couldnot agree with you more. Nathaniel, you make a interesting point but I think you are missing the whole picture. Generally the science is still right but bolt happen to be a statistical outlier. The baisc science of sprint boils down to two basic factors stride lenght and leg speed or frequency.A shorter compact sprinter ( ideally 5ft 10) will for the most time have a better start( virtue of is lowering center of gravity) and higher leg speed than a taller sprinter. However, the taller sprint with a longer stride lenght will cover more ground per unit time and therfore in most cases it is the start and higher leg turn over that gives a shorter sprinter the advantage over the taller sprinter.So overall the theory is still sound but bolt happen to be the exception because he has not only an amazing stride lenght but also his leg frequency is just as high as the shorter runner…. quiet a rare phenomenon for a tall athlete. This is why Bolt could still get a lousy start and still when a race.Reaction time make no difference to him neither is other technical aspect of top-end speed, drive phase, maintenace phase and deceleration phase that other runners have to execute properly.

    Tyson Gaye has a higer top- end speed than bolt but, by the time Tyson hit the roof bolt already eaten up the distance with his long strides.When Jim Hines ran the first sub-10(9.95) in mexico in 1968 it took 28 years and four men( Calvin Smith, Lewis, Burrel and Bailey) to lower the 100m by 11/100 of a second. Bolt by himself did that in one year(9.69-9-58).It is this history and statistics why the scientists concluded that Bolt is way ahead of his time. The next best athlet to lower the 100m mark by a signicant one-time performance was Carl Lewis in 1991 and he only was able to lower it by 4/100 of a second(9.90-9.86) . Even Ben Johnson at the hieght of his juiced -up career didnot even come close.

    The tallest 100m runner before bolt who came along and was a consistent good runner was Francis Obekewulu. He is 6ft 4inches.Asafa is 6ft 2inches and Wallace spearman is also over 6ft. However, let us not fool ourselves to believe we are going to see all of a sudden basket-ball height type of sprinters coming out of the wood work. Bolt is rare. His perormance cannot be copied, repilcated or imitated. I am glad I am alive to see this rare human specimen …so lets sit back and enjoy the show.

  4. I hear both of you very clearly. But at this point, if we accept the fact that Bolt is one of a kind and a rarity, then we will never realize the potential of athletes of varying physical statures. We need to remember that in many cases, a particular stature of athletes is encouraged to engage in a particular sport by virtue of what science tells us is conducive to a particular sport. The biophysical laws that we embrace as absolute aren’t as such. Science is a social order itself, meaning it is up for challenge and inquiry, and subsequent expunging of these laws that we once held as true need to be thrown out
    From a scientifc standpoint, Bolt’s performances serve as a testament to the fact that he is not one of a kind: that in fact there are many out there- some who have been convinced to take up another sport because they one thought

  5. because they once thought that weren’t built to do it.

    Oh and the moonwalk and its likenesses had been around long before Michael decided to do it(1932 actually). He learned from James brown, to say the least.

    Bayreuth, I understand where you’re coming from with the stride length, stride frequency concept: it lends itself as the gospel of high speed running. But again, is it warranted to assume that this amount of theory holds true for everyone except Bolt, Obikwelu and a select group of other long levered runners out there? Who’s to say, seriously so, that if the three of us were to pick NBA and volleyball players 6’4″ and over to train in the sprints, or even tall athletes who don’t play sports, that we wouldn’t encounter a myriad of players who posses the same abilities as Bolt. I mean I’ve seen NBA players with the agility and explosiveness of athletes 9 to 12 inches shorter. I think the feats of Bolt Powell and Obikwelu and Spearmon are telling us something profound. And it’s not that these men are one of a kind. It’s telling us that over these next few years, our mouths are about to get wider, and that the paradigm of science is gonna have to shift just a bit

    Science and the use of statistics are systematic ways in which to explain our world, but we’ll always miss part of the puzzle, at which point we need to reassess what it is we are trying to explain

    Oh and Bolt’s vast improvement in time is the synergy that occured as a result of a number of aspects of his training that he and his coach capitalized upon. To name a few, an improvement in his sprint form coupled with increased overall strength. Then add his age old speed endurance, and as of late, his arsenal of blazing starts. Then ultimately add a relaxed approach, and a humble outlook to his capabilities, and we will continue to see “magic” from him. Bolt has become the super-runner because he is maximizing all aspects of his training. Wallace Spearmon has shown his potential . He has great PRs in all three sprints (9.96, 19.65, 45.22). Xavier Carter has that potential.( 10.00, 19.63, 44.53) Obikwelu (9.86, 19.84, 46.29) as was mentioned has that potential. I think even Tommy Smith had the potential of breaking into the 9s

    But Usain is the beginning of the beginning of more feats to come. He is a wonderful wonderful athlete and he knows it ,and yet he still acknowledges that he has competition. But yes, let us sit back and watch

  6. Wow…wrong again. You may be hearing us, but you are clearly not understanding us. First of all, I resent your constant undermining of Bolt’s abilities. Did he just come out of the blue in the last 2 years? No he has been breaking records and setting new standards since a teenager. The man has set records never before seen and achieved times thought of as unreachable (regardless of height) and you’re acting as if it’s no big accomplishment.

    Second of all, I resent your apparent disregard for track. Tennis players have great reflexes, coordination, and stamina, should we pick 3 of the tallest tennis players, have the NBA train them and assume we will get another Michael Jordan? Should we grab a few black kids out of the blue give them skates and golf clubs and assume we will produce another Shani Davis or Tiger Woods from the lot. Do you really believe that that’s the way talent works? Because if it did, every human being on the planet would be a pro athlete.

    Everyone else read this article and said good for Bolt, he is a phenomenol athlete. You read it and immediately want to disprove the factual data presented by an astrophysicist. You seem to have an issue with science, but let me clear something up for you, genetics will always produce an anomaly. An anomaly is not the norm. It is irregular and substantially different. From the beginning of pro sprinting, high-level sprinters have been a certain size, height, and build. Asafa breaking WRs was not that big a deal because he was within that norm and within the expected range of breakable records. The big todo is because Bolt is an anomaly. Neither his size nor his records are within the normal and expected range. Him being an anomaly does not disprove the science behind our expectations. Should we tell the world that HIV doesn’t develop into AIDS and kills because of the anomaly that is Magic Johnson. No we don’t because his circumstance is not the norm.

  7. As for your other point, who cares how much “potential” someone has or who you think is capable of running what. What matters is what they have actually done. What Bolt has ACTUALLY done is what no one else has ever done before. The statistics presented in the article is not junk science, it’s based on what actually happened, meaning facts. Do you really think that if we chose a hundred 6’5″ athletes with scoliosis that they would be capable of breaking records by leaps and bounds the way he has?

    The scoliosis makes him more susceptible to pain and injury than anyone else he competes against. His height and weight increases the force at which his feet hit the ground, again making him more susceptible to pain and injury. If perfectly healthy, clean (and healthy doped up) athletes have never accomplished what he has, I am at a loss as to why you feel the need to belittle his accomplishments and the science presented.

    Who the hell cares who did the moonwalk first? All that matters is who perfected it and/or made it memorable. Jackson wasn’t the first person to make a music video either, but Thriller set the bar higher. Your need to nitpick at every little thing undermines your ability to understand the actual points being made and makes you unable to see the forest for the trees. All the article is saying is that Bolt transcended what was expected and is beyond the level the other sprinters are competing at. It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

    Jackson wasn’t the first person to do the moonwalk and Bolt wasnt the first person to run nor was he the first person to break a WR. But he was the first junior to break the 20s barrier and his record margins since turning pro were the highest since digital clocking began. Again, fact not opinion.

    I really don’t care who has what potential ability, if they have not achieved his level of performance then who cares? If theyhave yet to break his world records, again who cares? The article did not mention potential, it dealt with what actually happened, so based on facts and not what may happen in the distant future, the article is right on the money. End of story.

  8. @ Nathniel. I know in the whole scheme of things there is no absolute truth and most things in life revovled around the concept of relativism.Mathematics proofs are the closest thing to absolute truth and even that is as good as the foundation and assumptions we made. Our knowedge of this world is built on scientifc investigation and observation .Most of what we know of the physical world comes through natural sciences and they are more full-proof and reliable than their cousins in the social sciences. Newtons laws of motion that is over 300 years old is universal and will be so forever, unless in the future a new different universe is created that is different from this one. Human physiology, biomechanics and locomotion is also built on solid scientific theories. We must not believe for a momemt because of exceptions, outliers and abnormal variances that crop up at times in our pursuit of knowlegde that we must now begin to question scientifc truth because it is at variance with our mode of thinking. Its like the politician who dismisses the polls because it is unfavourable to him.

    With that said, there are physical limitation to what we as human can do and whenever someone comes along and erase those thinking it get us questioning our original assumptions. Now a human will never be able to run like a cheetah because of our biological designs. We are bipeds and they are quadrupeds and that gives them a great advantage.It is also equally hard for a 5ft sprinter to run a sub-10 in a 100m because his limitations of upper body strength and stride length. Trindon Holiday is 5ft 5inches and is Pb is 10.00. I personally donot see him doing a sub-ten without hurting himself. Physical stature and ability plays an important role especially in contact sport. Height is just one factor. How much of a diffrence it makes in sports like soccer, Basketball, Volleyball tracks etc is debatable. But one thing is for sure a taller soccer player 4 out of 10 times will be a better header than a shorter player. and a 6ft 7 basketball palyer will be a better dunker than your average 6 footer.Track analysts, writers, and Journalist are so fixated on Bolt’s height …. and as a result people begining to think we are entering a new pahse of sprinting. It therefore begs the question. Is it Bolt height causing him to run faster than any other human? The debate of height and speed in track is just as inconclusive as the debate about the effect of tail wind. When Spud webb(5ft 7 inches) NBA player was dunking ball over people like Manute Bol did we hear people talking about a new phase in basketball? Nate Robinson the same thing….. these guys are exception to the rule. The reason why bolt is so special is the quantum leap in which does things. If at the next olympics 2012 and something should happen( god forbid) that bolt is unable to perform but a 7ft tall athlete from out the blue should win the 100m in say 9.8 sec people would not be as thrilled …beacuse sub-9.9 is dime a dozen times.

    But the record and data is there to see that 90% of all top elite sprinters are between 5ft9inces-6ft 1inches tall the other 10% are the anamolies.I think to try to get tall athletes and try to train them in the mold of an Usain Bolt is an execise in futility and is only useful for academic purposes. This would be akin to the NBA starting to recruit short players because of the exceptional abilities of Nate Robinson, Spud Webb or Tiny Archibald.

  9. Bayreuth, thank you for debating with me with integrity. I’m glad we can disagree with out the use of attacks, unnecessary language or resentments. I’m glad ur judgment is not clouded.
    Oh and I’ve seen tons of guys under 6’0 who could really hang with the NBA kats on the professional level. Nate Robinson, Tyrone Bogues, Spud Webb, Archibald are exceptional guys but are not a rare find.

    Obviously the recruitment of tall athletes into track is hypothetical, and to get tall athletes to fit the mold of Usain is not the point. It’s about letting taller people know that they have a choice and moreover a equal chance and excelling in sports that they were once discouraged from playing. This is not purely academics, although things can certainly be learned from it. it’s about taking a good look at our assumptions or even events in history and changing our ideas. Think about that pivotal moment(s) when Glen saw the potential in Bolt to be a great 100m runner………..

    But the idea that a person 5ft tall, or that Trindon Holliday would suffer injuries if he were to become a consistent sub ten 100m runner, is assumed given the present theoretical body of knowledge and the current training methods on which they stand. I’m not saying we’ve got it totally wrong, but like I said before, science is a social order that simply explains the phenomena that happen. Applying that science is an even further interpretation of how we can manipulate these phenomena to achieve things, in this case, the maximization of speed. So when we see what the public or scientist deem as an anomaly, or an unusual occurrence, not only does the body of knowledge expand and incorporate these instances, but the applied science needs to take heed as well. Concretely, this means that views on training methodologies
    need also to be expanded, and that older antiquated ideas need to be expunged or reassessed. I’m not saying get rid of our body of science, but the way in which it is manipulated or viewed needs to change as certain phenomena dictate. And even when assumptions are made, we need to be critical enough to question, and apply the scientific method.

    Stacy. Is not the idea that Bolt’s performances belong in 2040 a subjective view, an opinion essentially. That is my premise. It’s the collection of data that has been INTERPRETED. That’s the basis of statistics. A body of people infusing an idea into a set of data. The number one rule of statistics: correlation does not mean causation. Again, I’m not arguing the fact that people believe the 2040 bit. I know they do, which is the reason why I originally commented as such. What I did say, however, is that it is inherently flawed to measure Bolt’s performances by the current statistical data because we can only truly account for what has already happened. And with the constant improvement of training methods, we will never know to what extent the WRs and the general performances of current athletes will improve. WE DON’T. Extrapolation doesn’t work when it comes to athletics, unless athletes and coaches accept it.

    Oh and thanks for mentioning tennis. I bet many tennis players would thrive in the sprints. How bout Serena???
    Athletes from an array of sports have come to track. Asafa and Bolden played soccer originally. We know Bolt did cricket. Renaldo Nehamiah did played football. So did Bob Hayes. It’s not undermining track. it’s just acknowledging the idea that athletes from different walks of athleticism or even the lack thereof possess great abilities. It takes nothing away from our track stars because, these athletes have combined the natural talent, the work ethic and the will to achieve great feats

    Seriously sis, stop resenting things it’s killing you by the second. And your straw mans are despicable, lol. You and I both know Bolt has been a great athlete world class athletes for almost 7 years now. Undermining is no where in the equation, but let’s not overestimate him either.

    YEs and I responded to the Micheal Jackson bit because you used it as an example(things have been done or the potential for things have been shown was the point). Nitpicking…sure!

    Anyway, take care both of you.

  10. Wow…you read and either you are incapable of understanding the point or you just don’t want to. either way, you are just wrong. Sooo wrong.

    So once again, who the hell cares? Just because someone can do more than one sport does not mean they will excel at it. Serena might make a good sprinter but there is NO PROOF that she would be the next Flo Jo. Assuming she would excel is just your opinion, it’s not fact. And your opinion counts for diddly squat especially since there is no proof to back up said opinion. Usain started out in cricket and he loved it, but there was no proof that he would have excelled at that either. He was never going to be the next Brian Lara. If he had, his coach would never have pushed him into sprinting instead. You want to make the point that just because an athlete is superb at one sport they would be great at another. One would think that all you would have to do is look at the heptathletes or decathletes. They are all very good at a bunch of different things, but Jessica Ennis isn’t going to be systematically beating Blanca Vlasic in the high jump any time soon. So yes, you are undermining track and the talent that these people have. Training only brings out the talent that is already there. Training does not make the talent.

    Now, did I ever say that no other athletes were good at basketball? Just yet another example of your failure to comprehend. what I did say was that they werent ever going to be the next Michael Jordan no matter how hard they trained. You think that just because an athlete played another sport that that’s enough. Most athletes love and do another activity than the one they make their money with. It means nothing. Asafa switched from football because he didn’t excel enough at it. So your point is ridiculous. Think it through before you write it down.

    I mention your nitpicking because it is causing you to make extremely stupid responses. If you bothered to read my statement instead of jumping to your usually wrong conclusions, you would have noticed that I never once said Jackson was the first person to do the moonwalk. You are the only one who could read that sentence and take that allusion from it because you just want to argue your points regardless of how wrong you are. I never said he was the first person to do the moonwalk just like I never said or even implied that he was the first person to make a music video. A thinking person would have understood that I am talking about him setting the bar higher by how he did them. I didn’t know I had to point out the obvious as if I’m talking to a 2 year old. But now I know I need to do that.

    Though all of this is moot, becaue here is a well written and detailed article based on all the historical data and facts re WR over the years, which is simply saying that Bolt’s WRs are unusual, unexpected, and phenomenol. There is nothing in the article that isn’t true. We all know it’s true, because if he wasn’t an anomaly, or if these times were within the norm, Bolt would not be getting half the attention he is getting now. There is nothing to argue, but you had to find a way.

    Your incessant need to cause an argument and/or a confrontation where there isnt one, regardless of how incorrect you are is why I will take the extrapolation of an astrophysicist over your opinion any day.

  11. I will always love you sis, no matter how caustic your comments may be sometimes. But you can take my opinions and use em as toilet paper for all I care, lol
    But seriously, all I’m askin you to have is an open mind, even to what may SEEM to you like bs. Because the fact of the matter is, you and I don’t know as much as we think we know, or quite possibly we know more than we think and our eyes will soon be opened. Can I at least get an AMEN on that??!!

    I’m just telling you the ideals of science. No matter how systematic and choice one can become in conducting experiments, making hypotheses and theories, and collecting, organizing and assessing data, there will always be some sort of bias that is unknown until some phenomenon sheds light on that bias. So the key is to accept the fact that ultimately, we don’t know exactly what is occurring; we can only use what we have experienced to best explain what is occurring, until some new experience compels us to modify our explanation

    Newtonian physics has been deemed by many scientists, Einstein included, to be less than applicable in human terms. This means that there are obviously some inconsistencies(if you will) in incorporating this body of science in training regimens, and yet virtually all athletic training regimens that I know of by top coaches use Newtons laws as a basis. This sounds problematic. To what extent? I don’t know, but according to what I’ve read from several physicists, by using Newtonian physics as a basis, the biophysical aspects of the athletes are being treated objectively and not subjectively. In essense, Newton’s laws don’t address the athlete as a human being
    Oh and I think you read into my comments a bit much. I never said anything about an athlete necessarily being good at one sport simply because they play another. I clearly said, these athletes posses great abilities, and these abilities could probably be translated into other sports, one of them possibly sprinting. There’s is a very distinctive difference. I also clearly said that maybe taller athletes or athletes of “unconventional” body types or conditions won’t be as discouraged from aspiring to be sprinters because of feats such as Bolt’s

    And to begin with, I wasn’t disagreeing with you about what the article says. But you have to admit that such an idea as “his performances belongs in 2040” is an opinion.

    lol,But don’t even try it with the MJ bit, because you spoke about inconceivability which wouldn’t be a quality mentioned if it weren’t done for the first time in the eyes of someone. But let me stop while I’m at it, lmao

    God Bless you. That’s my piece. Good night Stacy. I’m really starting to wonder what a debate in person would be like?? I guess the Lord never gives us more than we can bear, lol


  12. Didn’t BunnyG tell you to put down the crack pipe? You apparently didn’t take his advice because you are obviously still delusional or maybe you just love making idiotic comments.

    Let me start with the MJ thing. Like I said, because I was under the opinion I was arguing with an adult with the faintest sliver of intelligence and reasoning skills, I didnt see the need to point out the obvious, but since I now know that your comprehension and reasoning skills are now so obviously non-existitent, I will be more careful to keep that in mind, and not just assume you have any sense. It never did dawn on me that I had to assume such a level of mental ineptitude that I would have to waste to time to say that Michael Jackson wasn’t the first person to do the moonwalk and he wasn’t the first person to make a music video, or even the first person to dance with any semblance of skill, but it was my fault for making the assumption that you weren’t a complete idiot. My bad.

    So considering how wrong you could get such a simple thing, written in plain black and white, is it any wonder that you could be wrong about yet another interpretation (your interpretation) of an article. As if your own well documented history of bias and lack of comprehension would overrule the findings of an astrophysicist.

    Your other comments are nothing short of hilarious. It’s not the first time that when you have been shown and proven to be WRONG or hypocritical or flat out lying that you attempt to backtrack on your original statements. I’m sure it won’t be your last.

    Now, the whole point of this article is that Bolt is an anomaly. There have been many other tall sprinters who tried the short sprints and did not excel there but they excelled and the longer sprints. Hence the pattern of sprint heights. Their training focuses on the distances they excel at and are willing to discipline themselves to train at. Duh. Bolt was not the first tall sprinter nor will he be the last. But the point you are (maybe purposefully) missing is, the times he is able to achieve are abnormal. Again, Duh. His times are significantly lower than anything ever produced before. And given the progress of WR times recorded to date and the rate of change, noone expected to see such a huge drop in times for another 30 years. How can that be so difficult for you to comprehend? Tall or short, it matters not, his times are just different. Hence the word anomaly. Just like we wouldn’t push athletes to train in decrepit gyms or on subpar tracks and assume that by doing so they will become the fastest man of all time the way Asafa and Usain did, don’t assume we have to push tall athletes into short sprints because of one anomaly. It’s nonsensical. If it was the norm, and if previous tall sprinters had excelled there, we would have seen more of them in championship lineups. Hell, there have been short people who were good at basketball, but they are not the norm. They are the…a n o m a l y. For the most part, the best basketball players are above a certain height. Just like the best sprinters have been below a certain height. I don’t know how much more I can dumb down this conversation so that you can get it, but I have a niggling feeling given your history of blind bias, that if this article was written about Tyson Gay or any other American sprinter, you would have absolutely no problem with it.

  13. @ Nathaniel my brother you are now philosophisizing the point.Newtonian mechanics or classical physics laws of motion is perfectly applicable to all bodies in motion wether the motion is self-generated(humans)or caused by a force . The mathematics works the same for both.The same formulae that are used today to lauch satellites, rockets and space shuttle etc is the some old formula :F=M*A that newton developed.A human being running down a track in a 100m and a car doing the same thing uses the small classical mechanics formulae if for instant you want to find their average speed or instantaneous speed or the time taken. A Human object or body undergoing investigation dealing with the physical laws of motion does not lend itself to the type of subjectivity you would experience with other areas like social enquiries. So for you to say that other esteem scientists had issues with these laws as it relates to living things, I really dont get that point.

    Einstein discoveries didnot somehow replace newtonian physics but explain it in a more indepth manner especially in the area of gravity and the speed of light.Because Newton himself couldnot explain gravity. Now at the quantum level things kind of get a little fuzzy for eveybody even the great Einstein but then again we donot live in the quantum world. But my point is that their is no flaws or subjectivity -that you allude to- when applying the laws of motion to an animate object in motion…because what you are measuring is not some subjective qualitative factor but rather an objective and quantifiable one.

  14. Hah, the math is flawed. There is no mechanism to account for the rate cnange. If you extrapolate back in time at a rate of 1.2 seconds every 70 years you get the world’s fastest human running the 100 in 28.4 in 1710. Yeah, right! Besides, the sampling is too small. The guy who can beat Bolt may have already been born and died in poverty or war, or is alive today but plays cricket. Stupid analysis based on bad math.

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