22 January 2009

On hiccups

Very little to do with learning and teaching, but a possible answer to a fascinating question, and another example of what evolutionary theory can do (in this Darwin bi-centenary year). I had always believed that hiccups were totally inexplicable, there being no way in which they could contribute to the fitness of any animal; but it appears they make sense if you are a tadpole. And presumably, annoying though they are, having arrived through conferring an advantage only on this transitional phase of an amphibian's life-cycle, they have not conferred sufficient disadvantage to have been bred out of the population, even as far down as ourselves.

Thanks to Mindblog for finding it.


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