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Date Posted: 11:36:01 09/30/11 Fri
Author: Pahu
Subject: Vestigial Organs

Vestigial Organs

Some structures in humans were once thought to have no function but to have been derived from functioning organs in claimed evolutionary ancestors (a). They were called vestigial organs. As medical knowledge has increased, at least some function has been discovered for all alleged vestigial organs (b). For example, the human appendix was once considered a useless remnant from our evolutionary past. The appendix plays a role in antibody production, protects part of the intestine from infections and tumor growths (c), and safely stores “good bacteria” that can replenish the intestines following bouts of diarrhea, for example (d). Indeed, the absence of true vestigial organs implies evolution never happened.

a. “The existence of functionless ‘vestigial organs’ was presented by Darwin, and is often cited by current biology textbooks, as part of the evidence for evolution. ... An analysis of the difficulties in unambiguously identifying functionless structures and an analysis of the nature of the argument, leads to the conclusion that ‘vestigial organs’ provide no evidence for evolutionary theory.” S. R. Scadding, “Do ‘Vestigial Organs’ Provide Evidence for Evolution?” Evolutionary Theory, Vol. 5, No. 3, May 1981, p. 173.

b. Jerry Bergman and George Howe, “Vestigial Organs” Are Fully Functional (Terre Haute, Indiana: Creation Research Society Books, 1990).

c. “The appendix is not generally credited with substantial function. However, current evidence tends to involve it in the immunologic mechanism.” Gordon McHardy, “The Appendix,” Gastroenterology, Vol. 4, editor J. Edward Berk (Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Co., 1985), p. 2609.

“Thus, although scientists have long discounted the human appendix as a vestigial organ, a growing quantity of evidence indicates that the appendix does in fact have a significant function as a part of the body’s immune system.” N. Roberts, “Does the Appendix Serve a Purpose in Any Animal?” Scientific American, Vol. 285, November 2001, p. 96.

d. “...the human appendix is well suited as a ‘safe house’ for commensal bacteria, providing support for bacterial growth and potentially facilitating re-inoculation of the colon in the event that the contents of the intestinal track are purged following exposure to a pathogen....the appendix...is not a vestige.” R. Randal Bollinger et. al., “Biofilms in the Large Bowel Suggest an Apparent Function of the Human Vermiform Appendix,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 249, 2007, p. 826.

[From “In the Beginning” by Walt Brown ]

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