Ten Strange Consequences Of Evolution

071210_evolution_hmed2p.hmediumThe human body in itself is a powerful piece of evidence in favor of evolution — many of our physical traits make little sense other than as leftovers from back when we were fishy or four-legged. Smithsonian Magazine examines some of the oddest and most troublesome quirks:

Hiccups: The first air-breathing fish and amphibians extracted oxygen using gills when in the water and primitive lungs when on land — and to do so, they had to be able to close the glottis, or entryway to the lungs, when underwater. We descendants of these animals were left with vestiges of their history, including the hiccup. In hiccupping, we use ancient muscles to quickly close the glottis while sucking in (albeit air, not water). One of the reasons it is so difficult to stop hiccupping is that the entire process is controlled by a part of our brain that evolved long before consciousness, and so try as you might, you cannot think hiccups away.

Backaches: The backs of vertebrates evolved as a kind of horizontal pole under which guts were slung. It was arched in the way a bridge might be arched, to support weight. Then, for reasons anthropologists debate long into the night, our hominid ancestors stood upright, which was the bodily equivalent of tipping a bridge on end. Standing on hind legs offered advantages—seeing long distances, for one, or freeing the hands to do other things—but it also turned our backs from an arched bridge to an S shape. The letter S, for all its beauty, is not meant to support weight and so our backs fail, consistently and painfully.

Read More on Smithsonian Magazine

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  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Neat…and while it is speculation, at least its based on palpable physical evidence…which separates it from the other popular theory…’fantasy land’. People keep asking for a single smoking gun missing link…no such thing exists…there are hundreds of little ones, ever so slightly different, each displaying small changes over millions of years…but simple minds cry out for simple answers…and can’t absorb anything more complicated than “the Sky King went Poof! and made it so”.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Neat…and while it is speculation, at least its based on palpable physical evidence…which separates it from the other popular theory…’fantasy land’. People keep asking for a single smoking gun missing link…no such thing exists…there are hundreds of little ones, ever so slightly different, each displaying small changes over millions of years…but simple minds cry out for simple answers…and can’t absorb anything more complicated than “the Sky King went Poof! and made it so”.

    • Just me

      Still the evidence that is always lacking is the transitional stages……….

      • James

        Read more of many books and less of just one.
        We have come to a point in our time on earth to make a choice.
        We have to recognize that there is more to the world than can fit into one book, or way of thinking.
        We should not fear new ways of thought and practice, these are the things that push us forward instead of being stuck in a pool of dogma.

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        you mean…aside from the dozens of transitional species found in the fossil record…fish with appendages morphing into feet…primates who were close to homo erectus but slightly more primitive…etc etc ad infinitum

        those finds are everywhere…scattered throughout the world and hailed only among the scientific community…where its understood that there will never be ‘one smoking gun’…because the issue just isn’t that simple…but these finds will never be interesting enough to dominate the news or penetrate into non-scientific circles.

        We will never find a single earth shattering moment where everything changed at once…it doesn’t exist. We will continue to find constant little changes that occurred species by species over hundreds of millions of years…and most people will continue to find that boring and unimpressive.

      • http://twitter.com/fathorseharry Harry Cunningham

        Except there are literally thousands! The trouble is that no matter how many transitional stages the scientists present, the creationists will say “Ah, but what about something between those two!” ad infinitum. The degree of precision creationists demand just keeps moving. It simply isn’t possibly to satisfy someone who is unwilling to be satisfied (yet of course evidence for their beliefs is literally non-existant)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1072029660 Jenni Allen

        What do creationists care about evidence? The Bible lacks evidence of all it’s claims. moreover it doesn’t even claim that the world is 6,000 years old, which is a commonly held creationist belief. That was an assumption made later by Saints and other clerics in the middle ages.

    • James

      Well said, I couldn’t agree more. A perfect example of what you are talking about is displayed by “Just me’s” comment. One of my favorite quotes goes
      “It has often and confidently been asserted,
      that man’s origin can never be known:
      Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge:
      it is those who know little, not those who know much,
      who so positively assert
      that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”
      Charles Darwin

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        Well…in people’s defense, scientific processes are convoluted, time consuming, arcane…and rarely result in broad definitive conclusions. Most people are used to ‘headline science’…short synopses of much more complicated data.

        Its natural to search for a meaningful, certain, absolute conclusion…in life, but in science its rarely that simple…and the real work is determining what newly calculated data might mean in a tangible way. The quest for funding has transformed the communication of science and experimentation into a cartoonish joke that gives a bold shocking statement as a means to get people attention and secure funds for future experiments…and this has been horribly corrupting in terms of changing what people expect from a scientific advance/discovery etc.

        Even most Darwinists understand that the theory is perpetually evolving…and the opposition to the theory has shown a belief that it was written in stone somehow over a century ago and was accepted as ironclad and unyielding…which is bunk. Our understanding of evolution has, if you’ll excuse the redundancy, evolved.

  • Brenda

    10? Where are the other 6?

  • Brenda

    10? Where are the other 6?

    • Potter

      The second page!

  • Just me

    Still the evidence that is always lacking is the transitional stages……….

  • James

    Well said, I couldn’t agree more. A perfect example of what you are talking about is displayed by “Just me’s” comment. One of my favorite quotes goes
    “It has often and confidently been asserted,
    that man’s origin can never be known:
    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge:
    it is those who know little, not those who know much,
    who so positively assert
    that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”
    Charles Darwin

  • James

    Read more of many books and less of just one.
    We have come to a point in our time on earth to make a choice.
    We have to recognize that there is more to the world than can fit into one book, or way of thinking.
    We should not fear new ways of thought and practice, these are the things that push us forward instead of being stuck in a pool of dogma.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    you mean…aside from the dozens of transitional species found in the fossil record…fish with appendages morphing into feet…primates who were close to homo erectus but slightly more primitive…etc etc ad infinitum

    those finds are everywhere…scattered throughout the world and hailed only among the scientific community…where its understood that there will never be ‘one smoking gun’…because the issue just isn’t that simple…but these finds will never be interesting enough to dominate the news or penetrate into non-scientific circles.

    We will never find a single earth shattering moment where everything changed at once…it doesn’t exist. We will continue to find constant little changes that occurred species by species over hundreds of millions of years…and most people will continue to find that boring and unimpressive.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Well…in people’s defense, scientific processes are convoluted, time consuming, arcane…and rarely result in broad definitive conclusions. Most people are used to ‘headline science’…short synopses of much more complicated data.

    Its natural to search for a meaningful, certain, absolute conclusion…in life, but in science its rarely that simple…and the real work is determining what newly calculated data might mean in a tangible way. The quest for funding has transformed the communication of science and experimentation into a cartoonish joke that gives a bold shocking statement as a means to get people attention and secure funds for future experiments…and this has been horribly corrupting in terms of changing what people expect from a scientific advance/discovery etc.

    Even most Darwinists understand that the theory is perpetually evolving…

  • http://twitter.com/fathorseharry Harry Cunningham

    Except there are literally thousands! The trouble is that no matter how many transitional stages the scientists present, the creationists will say “Ah, but what about something between those two!” ad infinitum. The degree of precision creationists demand just keeps moving. It simply isn’t possibly to satisfy someone who is unwilling to be satisfied (yet of course evidence for their beliefs is literally non-existant)

  • DeepCough

    I think it’s great that obesity is a sign of the most evolved species on the planet: humans.

  • DeepCough

    I think it’s great that obesity is a sign of the most evolved species on the planet: humans.

  • hiccups is for noobs

    “and so try as you might, you cannot think hiccups away.”

    I do this all the time, and it always work exept when i am drunk because the extra difficulty to concentrate.
    I have even taught people to do this with a next to 100% efficiency.

    For about 10 years i have not had the hiccups for more than a few seconds at a time.

    I dont know where this “fact” comes from but its just not true.

  • hiccups is for noobs

    “and so try as you might, you cannot think hiccups away.”

    I do this all the time, and it always work exept when i am drunk because the extra difficulty to concentrate.
    I have even taught people to do this with a next to 100% efficiency.

    For about 10 years i have not had the hiccups for more than a few seconds at a time.

    I dont know where this “fact” comes from but its just not true.

    • Sat

      this whole thing is crock of shit. Atheist idiots

      • Ivan

        If you really think evolution is a crock of shit, prove it. You just might win the Nobel prize. Imagine overturning everything that modern medicine is based on! Surely all of those anti-evolution types claiming to have proof would be willing to show the proof?

        Or they are just liars and fools.

        If you believe what you say, you have to justify it to yourself. How do you do that? How do you deny science in one realm and not in all others?

      • hiccups is for the religious

        I don’t know why you would think my comment has anything with atheism or religion to do (though some people seems to only se things in those two ways), it IS possible to “think your hiccups away”, that does not mean that some sandpeople a couple of thousand years ago had it right. THAT would definently be an idiots conclusion.

      • Rfw888

        faith (defined by Webster’s ) is ” belief without evidence”, stupidity is defined as “irrational or illogical behaviour”. connect your own dots…

    • Tchoutoye

      I can think hiccups away too. Just concentrate and try to predict when the next one will come… and they’re gone.

    • Same Here

      Me too! I can do it too..

  • Jwalka69

    where are the other 6?! Lets hope there is a missing one that explains how some peoples brain have not evolved as far as they should have! :)

  • Jwalka69

    where are the other 6?! Lets hope there is a missing one that explains how some peoples brain have not evolved as far as they should have! :)

    • Andrew

      See the red letters in the words “Read More on Smithsonian Magazine?”

  • Andrew

    See the red letters in the words “Read More on Smithsonian Magazine?”

  • Sat

    this whole thing is crock of shit. Atheist idiots

  • Yocumd

    Hiccuping is caused from an incident in the Vagus nerve that controls digestion (also respiration and heart beat), the process of hiccuping is simply the nerve attempting to correct a homeostatic imbalance that has occurred. Back pain, in this case lower, is cause from irritation of you erector spinae or an inter-vertebral disk, nerves innervating these areas which are under pressure send signals which tell you you back hurts when you have been sitting improperly.

  • Yocumd

    Hiccuping is caused from an incident in the Vagus nerve that controls digestion (also respiration and heart beat), the process of hiccuping is simply the nerve attempting to correct a homeostatic imbalance that has occurred. Back pain, in this case lower, is cause from irritation of you erector spinae or an inter-vertebral disk, nerves innervating these areas which are under pressure send signals which tell you you back hurts when you have been sitting improperly.

  • Ivan

    If you really think evolution is a crock of shit, prove it. You just might win the Nobel prize. Imagine overturning everything that modern medicine is based on! Surely all of those anti-evolution types claiming to have proof would be willing to show the proof?

    Or they are just liars and fools.

    If you believe what you say, you have to justify it to yourself. How do you do that? How do you deny science in one realm and not in all others?

  • hiccups is for the religious

    I don’t know why you would think my comment has anything with atheism or religion to do (though some people seems to only se things in those two ways), it IS possible to “think your hiccups away”, that does not mean that some sandpeople a couple of thousand years ago had it right. THAT would definently be an idiots conclusion.

  • Pcraffey

    you are an ignorant nigger for demeaning others. You obviously do not know anything about evolution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1072029660 Jenni Allen

    The Bible lacks evidence of all it’s claims.

  • Potter

    The second page!

  • Anonymous

    I can think hiccups away too. Just concentrate and try to predict when the next one will come… and they’re gone.

  • Rfw888

    faith (defined by Webster’s ) is ” belief without evidence”, stupidity is defined as “irrational or illogical behaviour”. connect your own dots…

  • Chris Zaun

    evolution is real and we all no it,christian conservatives can live in there nuthouse if they like.

  • Chris Zaun

    evolution is real and we all no it,christian conservatives can live in there nuthouse if they like.

  • Same Here

    Me too! I can do it too..

  • Ajskjakjskj

    10 ? where are the other eight ?

  • Ajskjakjskj

    10 ? where are the other eight ?

  • Zel

    I find this extremely unrealistic… it seems that science is trying a little to hard to push the ‘theory’ of evolution. There are plenty of medical explanations of why we hiccup, have backaches… along with the other ridiculous things they posted for this article; including that we have to have our wisdom teeth pulled because our brains are too big?…. that’s the best ‘science’ can do to persuade me to believe in their facts and truths? I think there is far too much evidence missing from the theory of evolution to begin following it blindly into believing we are are nothing more than an evolved primate… by the way, what are the primates still doing here? We humans, the evolved form, shouldn’t be living along side the weaker form… although, there is proof all throughout history there is no transition other than the evolving without one’s own species.

  • Zel

    I find this extremely unrealistic… it seems that science is trying a little to hard to push the ‘theory’ of evolution. There are plenty of medical explanations of why we hiccup, have backaches… along with the other ridiculous things they posted for this article; including that we have to have our wisdom teeth pulled because our brains are too big?…. that’s the best ‘science’ can do to persuade me to believe in their facts and truths? I think there is far too much evidence missing from the theory of evolution to begin following it blindly into believing we are are nothing more than an evolved primate… by the way, what are the primates still doing here? We humans, the evolved form, shouldn’t be living along side the weaker form… although, there is proof all throughout history there is no transition other than the evolving without one’s own species.

  • Zel

    *within [one's own species].

  • Zel

    *within [one's own species].

  • Yakmule

    I think it’s funny that the article is about evolution, but some of you people are so full of seething hatred that you made the comments about your gripes against christianity. What…did daddy not hug you enough? Some of you pathetic. Damn, we get it, some of you hate christians. Get on with the science, freaks.

  • Yakmule

    I think it’s funny that the article is about evolution, but some of you people are so full of seething hatred that you made the comments about your gripes against christianity. What…did daddy not hug you enough? Some of you pathetic. Damn, we get it, some of you hate christians. Get on with the science, freaks.

  • Sandra Clark

    This article is full of logical fallacies. The reason you cannot stop hiccupping…maybe because it’s an INVOLUNTARY action, just like you can’t stop your heart from beating (unless you kill yourself). The theory of Intelligent Design explains things in a much more reasonable and logical manner. I have studies both sides for years as a layperson (not a scientist) and even Steven J. Gould, and Isaac Asimov admit there are no (ZERO) transitional forms (fossils which are a cross between one species and another, as in a transitional form between Primates and Man, Their main claim for their theory is that there are lots of variations within a kind/family, which is Micro Evolution, and then they make a large leap to claim that because there are examples of Micro Evolution, then Macro EVolution (one kind turning into another king) is also true. Illogical! The other “fact” they bring up in support of their theory is that many/most/all “real” scientists support their theory…I think what they mean is all the scientists at Berkeley.

  • Sandra Clark

    This article is full of logical fallacies. The reason you cannot stop hiccupping…maybe because it’s an INVOLUNTARY action, just like you can’t stop your heart from beating (unless you kill yourself). The theory of Intelligent Design explains things in a much more reasonable and logical manner. I have studies both sides for years as a layperson (not a scientist) and even Steven J. Gould, and Isaac Asimov admit there are no (ZERO) transitional forms (fossils which are a cross between one species and another, as in a transitional form between Primates and Man, Their main claim for their theory is that there are lots of variations within a kind/family, which is Micro Evolution, and then they make a large leap to claim that because there are examples of Micro Evolution, then Macro EVolution (one kind turning into another king) is also true. Illogical! The other “fact” they bring up in support of their theory is that many/most/all “real” scientists support their theory…I think what they mean is all the scientists at Berkeley.