May 3, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

Can We Not Perform Similar Functions?

Researchers from King’s College London claim their data evidences the “Human [thyroid] gland probably evolved from gills.”1  According to speculation, gills were internalized as the thyroid gland when marine life evolved into land animals.  The possibility for this comes from the similar functions of gills and of the gland: both act as calcium level controls.  The gills act to pump calcium into the body.  The thyroid gland secretes parathyroid hormone when calcium levels drop, causing bone stores to release calcium.  Therefore, researchers had a basis for their work, a “reasonable” pursuit in their evolutionary mindset, according to Professor Graham.  Further support included positioning of the gills vs. the thyroid gland: in the human neck, and near the head of the fish.
    The researchers compared the gills of zebra fish with those found in various mammals.  They found the tissues development from pharyngeal pouch endoderm, an early embryonic tissue.  The tissues also express two similar genes related to development, Gcm-2, and to functioning as a gland, expressing a gene for parathyroid hormone.  This evidence suggests, the article ends, humans do have a sort of gill after all.  “[It’s] still sitting in our throats,” finished Dr. Graham.


1“Human Thyroid Gland Probably Evolved From Gills,” Science Daily. Science Daily, posted: December 7, 2004.

The information in this article is presented with an evolutionary mindset.  All creatures come from common ancestors; therefore similarities seem to indicate homology.  The thyroid gland evolved from a marine organism’s gills, as fish came first, then mammals.  Functions of the “higher organisms” somehow relate to those of “lower organisms”.  Creationists assume that organisms have similar genes due to performing certain similar functions.  Evolutionary explanations employ circular reasoning: “These animals came from common ancestry.  Why?  Because they have similar functions.”  Why do they have similar functions?  “Because they share common ancestry.”  The creationist is compelled to ask, “Should God make his creation obscure, unrelated, and unconnected, so as to be incomprehensible to the observer?”  So as to disprove evolution, should God have made every single creature with its very own oxidative pathways, tissues, and building blocks of life (i.e. nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids)?
    In I Corinthians 14, Paul reprimanded the Corinthians for their disorderly worship services, stating, “God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”  What implications does this have upon his beloved creation?  How then should we interpret what is seen?
—Rebekah E.

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