May 20, 2002 | David F. Coppedge

Vestigial Organs Have a Function: to Smear Creationism

51; Are there body parts you could live without?  Sure; people get by without fingers, teeth, legs, or even brains (figuratively speaking).  Some people think this is proof of evolution.  New Scientist, rather than showing how new organs and structures could arise by mutation and natural selection, listed “five things humans no longer need” as evidence for Darwin’s theory.
    Laura Spinney’s article resurrects the “vestigial organs” argument for evolution, which “has come under attack from creationists anxious to deny that vestigial organs (and hence evolution) exist at all.”  Her list includes: (1) the vomeronasal organ, (2) goose bumps, (3) Darwin’s point (on the outer ear), (4) the tail bone (or coccyx), and (5) wisdom teeth.  Each of these structures, she argues, give evidence of animal ancestry and not creation.
    Incidentally, Spinney did confess that “Probably the most famous example,” the appendix, may have dropped off the list.  She said “it is now an open question whether the appendix is really vestigial.”  An entry posted here on 10/06/2007 showed how the appendix may cultivate normal flora for the gut.  The article suggested a similar function may be found for the tonsils – another erstwhile vestigial organ.  Spinney also was equivocal about goose bumps; they “may have taken on a minor new role,” like signalling emotions or heightening the pleasure of listening to beautiful music.

So here we have a fine thing; evolutionists using the loss of something as evidence that humans had bacteria ancestors.  Tell us how to get an ear, teeth, a spine, skin and a nose in the first place before picking at little bits to call useless.
    A number of questions should be raised about this old vestigial-organs argument.  Did Spinney connect any of these items with its actual effect on reproduction?  Are people with wisdom teeth dropping out of the dating game and failing to have children?  Are people with malformed bumps on their ears failing to hear the call of love?  Are people with a coccyx unable to have kids?  Is she a Lamarckian?  Does disuse itself lead to loss of structure?  Why isn’t evolution more effective at getting rid of vestigial structures if humans have been around for 300,000 years?  Stickleback fish got rid of their armor, and got it right back within human memory, according to a recent news report (SeattlePI.com) that tells us “Evolution is much faster than people give it credit for.”  Why has evolution been so slow at getting rid of useless structures in our case?  And who says they are useless, anyway?  Evolutionists told us the appendix, the pineal gland, the pituitary gland and a hundred other things were vestigial, only to have science find out they had a function after all.  How do we know that they are not wrong now about these five items?  If an organ or structure has a function at some stage in development, is it valid to call it vestigial?  If it is deformed in today’s physiology due to a congenital defect that became established in the population, but was once well adapted, is it valid to call that vestigial?  Has Spinney done any experiments to show what happens when the item is surgically removed?  Dare say she would not sit comfortably without her coccyx.  Many people were exposed to increased infections during the tonsillectomy craze of the 1960s.
    Spinney alleged that creationists have been anxious to deny that vestigial organs and evolution exist at all.  Let’s turn that ploy around.  We hereby allege that evolutionists have been anxious to deny that complex specified information and (and hence creation) exist at all.  We allege that Darwinism is a vestigial philosophy from an atheistic past.  Prove us wrong.

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