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October 10, 2007

The Appendix

The Case of the Mistaken Vestigial Organ

Have you noticed recently that when the weather is really hot, that is a sure sign of global warming; but if the weather is really cold, that, too, is a sure sign of global warming!

Well, evolutionists (those who believe humankind evolved from bacteria through fish to Gish via natural selection and mutations) are playing the same kind of game with the lowly appendix. The game is called "Heads I win; tails I win, too."

Just a few generations ago, the evolutionists decreed the human appendix a vestigial organ (i.e., a useless organ we inherited millions of years ago when it was a rabbit's useful organ) and hence proof of evolution. But now, when the appendix is shown to be indeed a useful organ to us, that is also proof of evolution, or as Brandeis University biochemistry professor Douglas Theobald puts it, "It makes evolutionary sense." Heads I win; tails I win, too!

In other words, deeming the appendix a useless organ proved Darwin was right; now that scientists have discovered the appendix actually has a function, Darwin's right again. What a country, I mean, what a theory! It never loses.

I admit, however, I was intrigued when the October 6, 2007, daily newspaper ran the following headline in the Health section: "Appendix Apparently Really Is Useful: It Makes Good Germs."

After dusting myself off from hitting the floor and taking a Tylenol to slow down my heart rate, I proceeded to read the article: "Some scientists (from Duke University) think they have figured out the real job of the troublesome and seemingly useless appendix: It produces and protects good germs for your gut. For generations the appendix has been dismissed as superfluous."

"The appendix 'acts as a good safe house for bacteria,' said Duke surgery professor Bill Parker. . . . The worm-shaped organ outgrowth acts like a bacteria factory, cultivating the good germs, Parker said."

You've got to be kidding! How many naïve Christians threw their faith overboard because the theory of evolution (only the Lord knows) but this little appendix (along with the tonsils) surely was used effectively by the evolutionists to prove their point that humans are merely evolving fish, etc. And because rabbits have an appendix, too, they must also be part of our ancestry.

Vestigial organs have been a powerful arrow in the evolutionists quiver. When the argument was initially made, the German anatomist Robert Wiedersheim insisted that there were at least 180 such organs and structures (e.g., gorilla ribs) in a human being. As Bolton Davidheiser says in his excellent Evolution and Christian Faith, "The human body came to be thought of as a walking museum of antiquity."

However, over the years the 180 figure has been pared down as certain organs were deemed not only useful, but vital. I've sometimes wondered if any evolutionist ever thought of having the 180 carved out of him (or her) so he (or she) could speed up his (or her) evolution. We'll probably never know, but if any of them did, they surely realized, although maybe a bit too late, that they had removed a few too many parts.

Of course, biology textbooks for our innocent students still portray Ernst Haeckel's photos, and I'm sure vestigial organs still merit some room, but the list has now been pared to 3! You read that right — 3! And one of the 3 has just been eliminated. In fact, in the same newspaper account, I read this: "The theory [that the appendix is useful after all] 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.'"

You mean to tell me we are now down to 1? You mean to tell me all our body parts are important? You mean to tell me that we are wonderfully made (Psalm 139)? It surely looks like it, but don't hold your breath and expect to read about that in any biology textbook soon. In them, we are just evolving fish, or as Harvard professor, William Howell, puts it, "Man . . . is a modified fish."

He's the one who also said, "We can plainly see that a tree shrew is a hairy, four-footed, air-breathing, warm-blooded, live-bearing, tree-going fish." It appears that fish play a large role in the evolutionistic scheme of things.

Of course, professor Eiseley tells us confidently that when our ancestors came down out of the trees the first time, they were chased back up again by the rodents! Those must have been silly-girl ancestors!

I will be kind. Well, I will at least try to be kind! This isn't science. This is science fiction. Just as the vestigial organ theory has gone up in smoke, so has the oxymoron evolutionary "science."

And let me predict that the latest concept of "junk" DNA will turn out to be science fiction as well. Because there is so much in our cells that we don't understand, the parts we don't understand have been labeled "junk." Any takers who want their junk parts removed so they can get on with their evolution? I'll bet when the day is done, we will discover that all parts of a living cell are vital to its life and survival.

The sad fact is that now conservatives are being asked to buy into Darwin's theory of natural selection and mutations (amoeba to fish to rabbit to monkey to man). In the October 8, 2007, issue of National Review I read the following disturbing nonsense: "Relying on this deep intellectual heritage, most major denominations in the Western World have accepted evolution as fully consistent with theistic religious faith. Thoughtful conservatives would be wise to agree."

What this writer fails to mention is the fallout of such a stance. For example, the priest to the Queen of England at the Chapel Royal in London says, "The laws of nature working on the materials created in stars with the opportunities offered by chance, given time, generate the human soul." Is this part of our rich intellectual heritage? This priest also said that "mankind is just one of the accidental products of an aimless process . . . a by-product of an unfolding purposeless accident."

Why would conservatives "be wise to agree" with Darwinian evolution when they already know that Hitler, Stalin, and a host of other participants in the slaughter of human beings have also done so? Have we so soon forgotten?

I read somewhere many years ago that Bill Buckley, when asked if he stood with Genesis or Darwin, replied "Genesis."

Did I misread him?


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