And God Created: The Human Vermiform Appendix

David Everson

When God formed man from the dust of the ground, He did not make any organ in man that did not have a function that was pleasing to Him. If, however, humans changed gradually (evolution) over millions of years from lower forms of animals, such as the lower primates, then we would expect to see structures that our early ancestors had which have no function in modern humans. Charles Darwin called these nonfunctioning organs “vestigial organs.” Modern science writers of textbooks, articles, and popular literature have accepted these evolutionary ideas without question. “From an evolutionary perspective … the human appendix has lost a major and previously essential function, namely cellulose digestion … For these reasons the human vermiform appendix is vestigial …” Douglas Theobald, Ph.D. April 2007, in the Talk Origins website. However, every once in a while, we see scientists coming up with evidence that, indeed, every organ in our body has a function and purpose as Paul wrote by inspiration in chapter 12 of his first letter to the Corinthians.

The human vermiform appendix now needs to be removed from the list of “vestigial organs” and added to the list of organs which have purpose! In research gathered from around the world, but focused at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, scientists now see that the appendix has a job and even has great promise in medicine for making man healthier in the years to come.

This organ is a small, slimy, dead-end sac that hangs at the junction between the small and large intestines. It normally gets attention only when the opening into it becomes blocked with a food particle and then becomes infected and swells (appendicitis). When this happens, the appendix can burst and cause life-threatening problems. It must be removed quickly to save the patient’s life. After it is removed, it seems to have little ill effect on the person and, so, for years scientists thought Charles Darwin had the appendix pegged right as a vestigial organ. How wrong they all were.

The appendix is now known to have multiple functions, and, indeed, a person who has lost his or her appendix is not as healthy as a person with the appendix. It serves as a storehouse for good bacteria that are so necessary in our digestive system to be healthy. If we get a severe case of diarrhea that carries out the bacteria, or we have to take strong antibiotics for infections that will kill these normal healthy bacteria. The good bacteria can be repopulated from the appendix over a few days. In addition, the appendix seems to be involved in making, directing, and training white blood cells which are a mainline part of our defense system. These functions are particularly important in young children in the early stages of building an immune system to fight off diseases. These abilities are allowing doctors to explore using the human appendix to help the body fight disease more effectively. So, we can expect to hear much more from our physicians about the appendix in years to come.

So, where does this leave the evolutionary scientists? "Maybe it's time to correct the textbooks," said researcher William Parker, an immunologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. "Many biology texts today still refer to the appendix as a 'vestigial organ,’” as quoted by Charles Q. Choi, in Live Science, on August 24, 2009. Sounds like a good idea to me!

Let's stop trying to trick our students into believing a wrong theory on wrong evidence.  We need to recognize that God did not create any organ in man that does not have a function. Let us praise Him, for we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” – Rt 1 Box 116A, Belington, WV 26256.

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