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A question of genetics?

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A question of genetics?

Old 12-03-04, 05:09 AM
  #26  
rockmuncher
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Originally Posted by Rowan
One legend does live on from before even 20 years ago. If you get a chance, read up the exploits of one man Opperman. Sir Hubert is an Australian many forget to mention as one of the world's great cyclists.
True enough Rowan, and every Aussie cyclist older than 20 will probably know who is is, what he achieved, and what colour undies he wore on his extraordinary retirement ride (trick statement for newbies!!). But the question posed relates to current day, and sadly our Oppy's influence is waning against the might of modern day heroes like McEwen, OGrady, Cooke, Rogers, et al.
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Old 12-03-04, 05:16 AM
  #27  
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I always thought of Australia as a third world country......
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Old 12-03-04, 05:58 AM
  #28  
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Without a genetic gift, there is no chance to reach world class level in sports where physical excellence is a must (i.e. not golf ).

Sure, you need determination, persistance, hard work, bla, bla. But without that genetic gift, forget it. In endurance sports VO2 is one of those determining factors that separate the superior from the rest. In bodybuilding, for example, you have to have muscles that respond to resistance training (lots of fast twitch muscles).

Unfortunately these days, in many sports, without drugs you won't win either. Track (sprints, shot put, etc), weightlifting, are good examples. Does anyone here think that the lifts we witnessed in the Olympics have come from hard work only? Can anyone be naive enough to believe that women can lift those unbelieveable weights with hard work only?
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Old 12-03-04, 07:19 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by serious
Can anyone be naive enough to believe that women can lift those unbelieveable weights with hard work only?
Now you just opened another can or worms.....
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Old 12-03-04, 07:30 AM
  #30  
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Can anyone be naive enough to believe that women can lift those unbelieveable weights with hard work only?
I think you answered your own question Serious. They have a genetic gift.
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Old 12-03-04, 07:44 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Being seven feet tall is an advantage in basketball, whether you are from Poland, China, Serbia, or Nigeria. Weighing just 160 pounds, yet being able to put 500 watts of power into a bicycle for an extended period of time is an advantage whether the rider is from Columbia, Belgium, Russia, or Texas. These "advantages" belong to individuals, not to a group, or to a nation.
How true. Meguel Indurain's brother, I think his name was Predencio or something, rode bikes professionaly. He was not even close to his brother in ablility.

Last edited by galen_52657; 12-03-04 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 12-03-04, 09:44 AM
  #32  
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glevii yur spot on
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Old 12-03-04, 09:58 AM
  #33  
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glevii made quite a few coments that are really falling into the idea that I am sort of eluding to here, but my theory has sort of a twist. And that is, it is a "combination" of genetics and environment which creates the body needed to perform a specific task. However, there is a cause and effect issue I am getting at as well.

I also think it is a combination that is created out of environment. Over hundreds or thousands of years, for a specific blood line to be subjected to a specific environment, a "genetic" trait will essentially mutate into that particular bloodline.

As a result, that trait will be passed on to their posterity, even if they no longer are subjected to that environment. A good example to be simplistic, is when a marathon ruunner trains at extremely high altitude for months or even years, then goes to perform at low altitude, thus giving them a slight edge in performance over their opponents. If their bloodline was to live work, and train that envirnoment doing the same thing for hundreds of years, there bodies would develope a genetic trait that would be passed on to their offspring to provide a slightly superior cardo-vascular capability, even if one day, one of their offspring chose not to live in that environment any longer. Does this seem to make sense? In other words, our long term genetic traits are a product of our past environment, and our current capability is a product of our current environment.
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Old 12-03-04, 10:50 AM
  #34  
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Interesting thread. It seems to me that an individual's genetic profile is the set of chips they're given at conception but their environment is what determines how the chips will be spent.

Ever wonder how many potential Einsteins work the rice paddies of eastern Asia or forage for seeds on the plains of Africa but will never learn to read?

BTW the Aussies and Cubans had 6 times the Olympic medal rate than the US on a per capita basis. In fact, the US just barely made the top 10. Cultural powers at work
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Old 12-03-04, 11:00 AM
  #35  
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boyze, that's because everybody knows, we are stupid fat Ameircans who have and eat too much of everything.
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Old 12-03-04, 11:19 AM
  #36  
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I remember when this book came out-I read some reviews but haven't read the book.

Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid to Talk About It, Jon Entine
Here's a review/synopsis:
http://www.jonentine.com/reviews/fort_wayne_reply.htm

And for your counterpoint,
'Joseph Graves, Jr. is a professor of evolutionary biology at Embry-Riddle University, and author of The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium'

http://www.pbs.org/race/000_About/00...ound-01-06.htm

Graves goes into a little more depth than the synopsis. Both sides have some good points. fwiw, I know which one I believe to be (more) true.
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Old 12-03-04, 11:21 AM
  #37  
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That Mercx jr never outshone Mercx sr is hardly surprising. It is an example of the well-observed phenomenem of "return to the mean"

If a couple of great athletes or super-good-looking models chose to procreate with each other, then their offspring will be more athletic/pretier than average, but rarely more than their parents, who are on the very extreme of the normal distribution.

patriot: Genetics is something that happens in populations, not individuals. A gene/trait will be more common in a population if it results in better reproductive success. That may be because it provides a benefit within a certain environment (eg high altitude living). If you remove that environmental pressure, then over time (many generations) you would expect that gene to be less useful, less fit, and hence less frequent within the population .
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Old 12-03-04, 11:43 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Genetics "true believers" would argue that the astounding progress of Australian cycling over the past ten years proves just one thing: the genetic makeup of Australians must have changed dramatically since 1990. The success of Austrialian cycling could not possibly be the result of fifty or sixty young athletes dedicating themselves to training forty or fifty hours a week, while twenty million other Australians are putting shrimp on the barbie, watching the tele, or trying to figure out where the kangaroos came from.
The Australians got real good at doping. Hence their recent success.
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Old 12-03-04, 11:47 AM
  #39  
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Of course it would, because as generations go by, their genetic makeup will slowly evolve into something else. But, as long as that particular bloodline/population continues to be subjected to a particular stimulus, then those traits will remain for the short term. And, by short term, I mean for the first several generations, maybe even a several hundred years, as with the Western African decendents here in the States. It seems obvious to me, those traits which were passed down by there forefathers hundreds of years ago, still play a major role.
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Old 12-03-04, 11:52 AM
  #40  
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patriot, that all depends on wether or not evolutionary theory is actually true
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Old 12-03-04, 11:57 AM
  #41  
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Extomesm,

You just opened up a whole new can of worms with that one.
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Old 12-03-04, 11:59 AM
  #42  
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[QUOTE=MichaelW]That Mercx jr never outshone Mercx sr is hardly surprising. It is an example of the well-observed phenomenem of "return to the mean"

QUOTE]

I understand the point being made but the Merckx father/son combo may not be the best example to illustrate this. No one questions Eddie's place in cycling history. But Axel has been a pro rider for years, ridden a few grand tours, classics and recently won the Olympic road bronze. It would appear both riders are at the extreme tail of the human cycling capability distribution curve

Another point that shouldn't be overlooked. Most sports today are more difficult to excel at because the pool of people trying and participating in them continues to grow. The larger the pool of participants the less likely an individual has at being the "best". Take out the USers, eastern Europeans, Aussies, and Columbians from the '04 TDF and how many notches does someone like Axel move up? Not to take away from Eddie's accomplishments but he didn't have those populations in the field when he was riding and hence statistically had an easier go at it
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Old 12-03-04, 12:23 PM
  #43  
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boyze, the Mercx example is a nice example of Return to the Mean. Sr was in a different league to the peleton, able to win time and time again. He was at the very extreme of the normal distribution. Jr is a jobbing pro, good at his job, much better than the average but not outstanding in his field. He is in the top end of the normal distribution.
Can you name any outstanding athletes (or people from any field) who have been outclassed by their children? There are countless examples of the children of great and outstanding people who are better than average but not as good as their parents.
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Old 12-03-04, 12:25 PM
  #44  
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No Caucasian has ever run 100 meters in under 10 seconds....

The East German "Olympic Machine" relied heavily on doping, and even with all that, they couldn't get under 10 seconds...

One only has to look at the Running Backs in the NFL
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Old 12-03-04, 12:36 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by 2Rodies
These kids didn't just learn to play sports well they inherited it from their parents.
Maybe. Or maybe they learned to play sports well because they grew up in an environment where sports were important, and their parents encouraged them. It's hard to say, really.
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Old 12-03-04, 12:43 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Smoothie104
No Caucasian has ever run 100 meters in under 10 seconds....

The East German "Olympic Machine" relied heavily on doping, and even with all that, they couldn't get under 10 seconds...

One only has to look at the Running Backs in the NFL
You mean officially - i.e. not with a wind asissted time.

"Macrozonaris had his greatest triumph of his young career in late June [2002] at the Canadian Championships as he became the first man since Glenroy Gilbert in 1994 other than Bruny Surin or Donovan Bailey to win the 100 metres. Macro ran 9.96w in the heats and held off strong opponents to win the final in 9.91w becoming the first ever white sprinter to break ten seconds twice under any condition."

If Alan Wells had started sprinting earlier (didn't start until he was 24) he'd have done it too!

Last edited by MacMan; 12-03-04 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 12-03-04, 01:06 PM
  #47  
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I think what MacMan showed is what i would definitely agree with, and that is, with every area of sports, there will always be an exception to the rule of a specific group of people. Another example I joked about in an earlier post is the Jamaican bobsled team. It is rare, but some groups do have the exceptional few that in fact possess the abilities to excel in a particular area. But, even though people of African background are getting more and more heavily dedicated to, and enjoying winter sports, they are, and will be dominated by caucasians for a long long time. Mainly because I do believe that in that area of sports, the caucasians will generally have a small inheritted genetic advantage, just as Africans do for football and basketball.
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Old 12-03-04, 01:35 PM
  #48  
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i agree that genetics play a part in someone's ability to succeed in a certain sport but i also believe that someone's geographic culture plays a large part in someone's success in sports. i know there are exceptions to the rule as with anything but i believe the culture is a huge motivating force. for instance, in the usa, soccer (or football to everyone but americans), is not a very popular sport like football or baseball. so when we lose in the world cup in soccer it's more of a good try guys maybe next time. however, when we lose basketball games in the olympics, people started moaning and groaning about our athletes dedication. the point i am trying to make is that cultural pressure is placed upon each group of athletes to perform well in their countries traditional strong sport.
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Old 12-03-04, 02:30 PM
  #49  
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problem is alanbike you are looking at it through "everybody is a winner" glasses. The fact is, while all humans are the same animal, they are localized and have been for a long time. Pangea wasn't just a few years ago. If you started two sloth colonies, one in Asia, one in Europe, gave it a few thousand years, I guarantee they would be different. It's called adaptation, evolution... and animals (and people) have been doing it long before parents were telling their kids they could "be anything you want if you put your mind to it".. No matter it wants to a penguin can't fly. But that don't make it a rabbit.

CL
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Old 12-03-04, 02:35 PM
  #50  
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because seeing humans as "group members" instead of as "individuals" is the cause of most of the violence and strife that has plagued humans throughout our history.

True perhaps. I submit however, that the statement is true whether one's perspective is from within a group or from without. We seem to have a tendency to group and judge ourselves as well as others.
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