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.
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.