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New Scientists Latest Myth: “Hiccups Are A Legacy From Evolution”

An article in the February 8, 2003, edition of the British magazine New Scientist carried speculation by an evolutionist researcher called Christian Strauss, who suggested that hiccupping in human beings was a feature left over from evolution. He claimed there was a similarity between respiration in frogs and hiccupping, and suggested that this might be a feature stretching from 370 million years ago to modern man. However, Strauss offered not one piece of evidence to back this claim up, and merely engaged in speculation along the lines of “”might be.” In fact, Allan Pack, from the Pennsylvania University Respiratory Neurobiology Department, stated that the claim was a “very tough to prove.” (1)

This claim is therefore no evidence for the theory of evolution. It merely consists of mental gymnastics, in other words speculation, in a manner compatible with the theory of evolution by a number of people who have unreservedly accepted the theory beforehand. Such speculation is valueless, since the theory of evolution, their starting point, is itself invalid.

The way that some media organizations have unquestioningly reported such speculation, and even portrayed it as proven fact, is nothing but an indication of their superficiality, ignorance and prejudice. The sensationalist style used in these newspapers immediately strikes one on examining the reports. The blatant use of descriptions such as “souvenir of our ancestors” or “legacy” in their headlines is a sign of this.

The reception given the story in the newspapers is thus rather exaggerated. Strauss offered no evidence at all for his claim, and despite that it has not been accepted by other scientists it was carried on the dailies” front pages as it were a fact definitively proving evolution.

This story about “hiccupping” is just one example of many other similar ones. Many dailies in all over the world are quite capable of carrying stories, including ones about evolution, on their front pages without ever enquiring into their scientific background. Recent other headlines in the dailies, such as “Our ancestors were microbes,” “We came from Mars,” “The dinosaur flew,” and “Man”s ancestors were anteaters” are all products of the same sensationalist journalism. These dailies and New Scientist magazine ignore the fact that science has undermined the theory of evolution, and portray evolutionist gaffes which lack any scientific value whatsoever as if they were proven fact.

1- New Scientist, vol 177 issue 2381 – 08 February 2003, p. 16

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