Evolution

Traces in humans of common ancestry with fish ?

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Incontrovertible evidence of common human-fish ancestry? 😉

Here’s a piece by Michael Moseley (“Anatomical clues to human evolution from fish,” BBC News,, 5 May 2011) offering quirks of human anatomy to point to a common ancestor with fish:

The top lip along with the jaw and palate started life as gill-like structures on your neck. Your nostrils and the middle part of your lip come down from the top of your head.

Which requires great “precision.”

Like the shark our gonads also start life high up, near the liver. But unlike the shark they need to descend.

Which produces hernias in men.

A hiccup is caused by a spasm of the diaphragm, a big muscle in the chest, followed by an involuntary gulp. Both these actions have watery roots.

In fish the nerves that activate breathing take a short journey from an ancient part of the brain, the brain stem, to the throat and gills. In us, it is more complicated.

Also useless.

An interesting article in that the author makes no case for Darwinism, poor design, or vestigial organs (hiccups and philtrums are not organs) in an argument for common descent. Thoughts?

Note: Great vid of developing embryo if you can get past the Blackberry ad.

16 Replies to “Traces in humans of common ancestry with fish ?

  1. 1
    fisjon says:

    This is like proving evolution by the fact that most everything (if not everything) has eyes. Or skin. Or fur. Or can walk. Just because humans may have something in common with fish doesn’t mean we came from fish. Absurd.

    A semi-truck and a hummer both have wheels but that doesn’t mean they both came from a Ford Taurus.

  2. 2
    Chris Doyle says:

    “Gill-like structures on your neck”? Talk about flights of fantasy. The ability of a gill to extract oxygen from water for respiration is astounding and biochemically sophisticated. Our lip, jaw and palate – at any stage of their existence – do nothing of the sort and it is a downright lie to suggest otherwise.

  3. 3
    tjguy says:

    Finding a few similarities between fish and humans does NOT mean that we evolved from fish. This is not science. This is simply imagination. It is this kind of article that gives “science” a bad name. This is a good example of evolutionary science. It is worthless except to show just how little support there is for common descent.

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    Finding a few similarities between fish and humans does NOT mean that we evolved from fish.

    That’s right! Fish evolved from us!

  5. 5
    Ilion says:

    Like the shark our gonads also start life high up, near the liver.

    And the precursor reproductive germ-cells which “colonize” our gonads start their journey from a different place in the body, and migrate bu a different route and means, than do those of many other species. Within some families (and perhaps even genera) there are different means by which the gonad structure is colonized by germ-cells. Does this mean that those species don’t share a common ancestor?

  6. 6
    DrREC says:

    “Within some families (and perhaps even genera) there are different means by which the gonad structure is colonized by germ-cells.”

    Do you have a reference for this? It isn’t my field, and a good review on the comparative biology of germ cell migration would help.

  7. 7
    Ilion says:

    Do you have a reference for this? It isn’t my field, …

    If you carefully read what I wrote, you can probably see the general/generic manner in which I spoke; for it also isn’t “my field.”

    However, one might start here:, under the heading The Nonhomologous Nature of the Contemporary Germ-Cells,and then, perhaps, Google further on what information one gleans.

  8. 8
    DrREC says:

    Hmm….see, it seems like you are trying to argue for differences at the family and genus level. My memory was the mechanisms are conserved to the class or order. The linked article doesn’t convince me otherwise.

    And most relevant to the original post, it states:
    “Homology is also supported in the origin of the vertebrate gonad, which always arises from portions of the urogenital ridges….”

    True, the primordial germ cells migrate to them by different paths, but I really can’t find anything to support your claim that these differences are at the family/genus level.

    Are you certain you can back this up, or is this a bit of hyperbole?

  9. 9
    Ilion says:

    I think I get it! You’re a DarwinWorshipper for whom everything and its opposite if “proof” of the truthiness of Darwinism.

  10. 10
    DrREC says:

    “I think I get it! You’re a DarwinWorshipper for whom everything and its opposite if “proof” of the truthiness of Darwinism.”

    Not sure how we got to there. I was just asking for some support of your claim that these differences in PCG migration are at the family/genus level.

    Seems like a big claim you can’t support. I’ll consider it a misstatement on your part. I don’t think you’d willfully make something up.

  11. 11
    DrREC says:

    *PGC typo

  12. 12
    Joseph says:

    Read “Your Inner Fish” Shubin makes basically the same comments pertaining to humans having a fish ancestry because of evidence from embryology.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    I got my own ‘inner fish’ thing going on; > 🙂

    Evolution Vs. The Christian Experience – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4104600/

  14. 14
    Ilion says:

    Seems like a big claim you can’t support. I’ll consider it a misstatement on your part. I don’t think you’d willfully make something up.

    That’s OK — for I’m satisfied that I have *you* figured out. For, after all, “My memory was the mechanisms are conserved to the class or order. The linked article doesn’t convince me otherwise” — you will not be convinced by anything. For (just one) example, various of the frogs and birds and snakes, etc Davison mentions are in the same class and order(s) as other frogs and birds and snakes, etc.

    AND, more importantly, you’re doing the typical DarwinDance around the point — this difference in the very possibility of reproduction between these supposedly co-descended species argues against Darwinian “explanations.”

  15. 15
    DrREC says:

    Illion,

    Your original claim is:
    “Within some families (and perhaps even genera) there are different means by which the gonad structure is colonized by germ-cells.”

    The relevent section of JAD’s paper: “The Nonhomologious Nature of the Contemporary Germ-Cells” lists:

    Anuran vs. Urodelan amphibians: different orders
    Birds: a class with the same mechanism
    Sphenodontia vs Chelonia vs Lizards-different orders
    mammals: a class with the same mechanism

    I think you’re thinking sex determination, which comes later in the paper. But your claim on this point is not substantiated.

    “this difference in the very possibility of reproduction between these supposedly co-descended species argues against Darwinian “explanations.”

    ‘Co-descended?’-you mean having a common ancestor? And when would an evolutionist predict the non-emergence of new features and mechanisms in evolution? Is it a prediction of evolution that we breath the same way as fish? Ridiculous portrayal of the evolutionary hypothesis!

  16. 16
    Mung says:

    I guess I’m scratching my head too.

    If the “evolutionary principle” doesn’t hold at the higher taxonomic levels, why does it all of a sudden begin to hold at the lower taxonomic levels (families and perhaps even genera)?

    What new mechanism all of a sudden appeared on the scene? I’m probably not the only one to notice that you pulled some imaginary mechanism out of your evolutionary hat.

    Let’s say that we find a paper that provides an example. Will that in some way change your mind about evolution? If not, why should we bother? I don’t think Ilion is all that concerned to be “right” about the specific taxonomic level.

    It’s sufficient to show that there is no such principle and that evolutionary theory consists of whatever you need it say for the given situation. In other words, it lacks coherence in a big way. As such, it should be rejected as any kind of a general theory.

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