Appendix Not Useless, But Evolution Is
In this month’s Reason & Revelation, Dr. Houts explains that for several decades now, evolutionists have been using various worn out, disproven lines of reasoning in an attempt to bolster their increasingly fragile theory of common descent for all organisms. One of these outmoded tactics is the idea that the human body contains leftover, virtually useless vestiges that once, in our early ancestors, were vibrant organs necessary for survival. In fact, in the late 1800s, evolutionary scientists believed that the human body supported more than 180 such organs.
These “useless” vestiges of evolution, however, turned out to be nothing of the sort. Dr. Houts noted that these organs were “useless” only in the sense that scientists and medical doctors were ignorant of their functions. As the medical community applied more research to the human body, the list quickly dwindled to a tiny fraction of the original number. Today, there is not a single organ that scientists can accurately and confidently proclaim to be a useless vestige of evolution. This realization, however, has not yet trickled down to the popularizers of evolution.
Live Science posts several “Top 10” articles that give the alleged Top 10 items in a given category. For example, there is a list of the “Top 10 Killer Tornadoes” and another of the “Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth.” One of their lists is titled, “Top 10 Useless Limbs (and Other Vestigial Organs)” (Miller, 2007). Listed as number one in that article is the human appendix. Concerning the appendix, Miller wrote: “Biologists believe it is a vestigial organ left behind from a plant-eating ancestor” (2007). He then reiterated ideas that Alfred Romer penned in 1949, stating “that the major importance of the appendix would appear to be financial support of the surgical profession, referring to, of course, the large number of appendectomies performed annually” (2007).
As one would expect if God designed the human body, aspects of the body would exist that our finite human minds could assess only after years of intense research. Such is the case with the appendix. Elsewhere in this issue of R&R, Dr. Houts notes several functions and uses already known for the appendix. A recent article published in Theoretical Biology, however, adds another interesting function to the appendix’s increasing workload. Researchers from Duke University believe they have stumbled upon another reason humans have an appendix, and it is not because it is an evolutionary leftover (Borenstein, 2007).
Human digestion requires huge amounts of beneficial bacteria. Certain illnesses, however, destroy or remove both good and bad bacteria from the intestines. In order for digestion to continue, cultures of the good bacteria must be regrown to repopulate the gut. That is where the appendix comes in according to the latest research. Borenstein noted: “Diseases such as cholera or amoebic dysentery would clear the gut of useful bacteria. The appendix’s job is to reboot the digestive system in that case” (2007). Bill Parker, co-author of the latest research, said that the appendix “acts like a bacteria factory, cultivating the good germs” (Borenstein, 2007).
Evolutionists should simply admit that the idea of vestigial organs is false, they should promptly remove it from their arsenals, and reevaluate the data that supposedly prove evolution true. But that is not what happens. Because evolution is so “plastic” and can be expanded to fit any data, even data that is exactly the opposite of what has been used in the past to teach evolution is twisted as new “proof” of evolution. Borenstein quoted Brandies University biochemistry professor Douglas Theobald as saying that the explanation for the function of the appendix “seems by far the most likely” and that the idea “makes evolutionary sense” (2007). So, we are told that the appendix is a useless leftover, and that “fact” proves evolution to be true. Then we are told that the appendix has a very important function and that fact “makes evolutionary sense.” Which is it? In truth, that which proves too much proves nothing. Finding an important function for the appendix is exactly what one would expect if the human body was designed by God.
As for other organs in the human body that have been dubbed vestigial in the past, those who use the vestigial argument should proceed with extreme caution. Borenstein wrote: “The theory led Gary Huffnagle, a University of Michigan internal medicine and microbiology professor, to wonder about the value of another body part that is often yanked: ‘I’ll bet eventually we’ll find the same sort of thing with the tonsils’” (several functions of which already are known, see Bergman, 2000). The only thing that appears to be useless in this discussion is the theory of evolution and the false evidence used to support it.
Bergman, Jerry (2000), “Do Any Vestigial Organs Exist in Humans?” Technical Journal, [On-Line], URL: http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v14/i2/vestigial.asp.
Borenstein, Seth (2007), “Scientists: Appendix Protects Good Germs,” [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071006/ap_on_he_me/appendix_s_purpose;_ ylt=Ak5.0FtXAiVHNNcRPfiNLsus0NUE.
Miller, Brandon (2007), “Top 10 Useless Limbs (and Other Vestigial Organs),” [On-line], URL: http://www.livescience.com/animals/top10_vestigial_organs-1.html.