New Scientist’s Latest Myth:"Hiccups Are A Legacy From Evolution"
A The February 8, 2003, edition of the British magazine New Scientist carried speculation by an evolutionist researcher called Christian Straus, 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 "it might possibly be." In fact, Allan Pack, an expert in respiratory neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania, stated that the claim was "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 their starting point—the theory of evolution—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 media outlets is immediately evident upon 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. Despite the fact that Straus offered no evidence at all for his claim, and the fact that the claim has not been accepted by other scientists, nevertheless, it was carried on the dailies' front pages as if it were a fact definitively proving evolution.
This story about "hiccupping" is just one example among many. Daily newspapers 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. Other recent newspaper headlines, 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