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Only way is down: Man has reached his physical peak, says French study


Mankind has had a good innings: people have become physically stronger, average life expectancy has risen in almost all nations, global population has topped 7 billion. But now scientists have issued a dire warning – the only way is down.

Humans have reached the maximum limit for physical performance, height and lifespan, according to a new scientific review conducted by the Paris Descartes University in France. 

Assessing historical records related to human physiology going back 120 years, scientists at the French university are questioning evolutionary forecasts, such as the idea that life expectancy will increase indefinitely.

“These traits no longer increase, despite further continuous nutritional, medical, and scientific progress. This suggests that modern societies have allowed our species to reach its limits,” said professor Jean-Francois Toussaint, an author of the review. “We are the first generation to become aware of this,” he said.

The newly published study indicates that, genetically, humans are unlikely to advance further in age. Interestingly, too, the paper says sporting events like the Olympic Games may become a more humdrum affair as record-breaking feats become fewer.

Perhaps more terrifying is the inference that environmental and societal changes are likely to lead to a decline in human welfare. Physical fitness in Western Europe is of particular concern as the research predicts there will be “reduced physical activity in most developed societies.”

“This will be one of the biggest challenges of this century as the added pressure from anthropogenic activities will be responsible for damaging effects on human health and the environment,” Toussaint said.

“The current declines in human capacities we can see today are a sign that environmental changes, including climate, are already contributing to the increasing constraints we now have to consider.”

However, it’s not all doom and gloom, and Toussaint argues that knowing one’s limits can be positive. “Now that we know the limits of the human species, this can act as a clear goal for nations to ensure that human capacities reach their highest possible values for most of the population,” he said. “With escalating environmental constraints, this may cost increasingly more energy and investment in order to balance the rising ecosystem pressures.”


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8 Responses to Only way is down: Man has reached his physical peak, says French study



  2. H D says:

    Hope your day get better wil k . No we’re not down it’s the rich folks being us all down . The more they try the harder I try an make my family lives better

  3. Jolly Roger says:

    Seems to me like someone is trying to prepare the public for mass sickness and death.

    “Assessing historical records related to human physiology going back 120 years..”

    They should have gone back a little further than that. Herodotus records humans regularly living to 140, and 160 years old, and I believe that the difference (earlier death in modern man) is the result of the crap we’ve been fed. Our diets haven’t contained any live enzymes, for example, for many generations. (they’re absent in any food that’s been cooked) We’ve also been growing less nutritious food out of depleted soil, and have been bombarded with one chemical experiment after another. Those factors will kill off any species.

    Eat live foods. Sprouts, wheat grass juice, and anything else that you can pick off a vine, and shove directly into your mouth. Food should be in your belly before it even knows it’s dead.

    • DL. says:

      Either that or someone is trying to prepare the public for transhumanist “enhancements” (as it was in the Days of Noah)…

    • galen says:

      Jolly, you are so right on here. This article is an attempt to program us to stop reaching. One observation cancels all that out. Consider The Olympics (beyond any corrupt politics) where we see records shattered over and over again. This can be attributed to better nutrition or training, or even to genetics where a natural champion emerges. That could suggest that one day, maybe a thousand years from now, the mile can be run in a minute or two, an acceleration we do not yet know. I say, stuff this study! Can’t imagine telling my grandchildren, “You’ll never do better than what’s already been done.” Sometimes I just hate these studies.


      • Jolly Roger says:

        by going back only 120 years with this study, they only see lives that were designed for, and shortened by, the industrial revolution.

        Pry people away from cities and into a natural life and they’ll thrive. We’re simply not eating what our bodies were designed to consume, or living in healthy environments. We’re fish out of water.

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