These are occasionally used by some atheists as an evidence against creation. The technical term for this is the "dysteleological argument" or argument from poor design against the existence of God. The formal logic might be stated this way:
- An all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator God would create organisms that have optimal design.
- Organisms have features that are suboptimal.
- Therefore, God either did not create these organisms or is not all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator.
The Appendix: Useful and in Fact Promising
Parker and his colleagues recently suggested that the appendix still served as a vital safehouse where good bacteria could lie in wait until they were needed to repopulate the gut after a nasty case of diarrhea. Past studies had also found the appendix can help make, direct and train white blood cells.I did appreciate the fact that at least one of the researchers admitted that maybe it's time to rewrite the textbooks.
In a way, the idea that the appendix is an organ whose time has passed has itself become a concept whose time is over.Hopefully, as this trendline continues, research like this will work its way into future textbook revisions sooner rather than later.
"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.'"
One final note - This is a great example of the self-correcting nature of the scientific method and that mainstream science isn't in a conspiracy against Christians. They're just following where the evidence leads. As such, Christians have nothing to fear because it's going to lead to Jesus Christ as the Creator of the universe (Col. 1:16-18; John 1:1-3).
UPDATE (8/31/09) - Reasons To Believe now has a "Science News Flash" podcast about this discovery: "The Appendix: Useful and in Fact Promising"