Do You Have "Extra" Parts?
I remember reading in grade school that the human appendix is a useless organ. My textbook said that scientists thought that the appendix was once used to help digest the tree bark that our supposed ape-like ancestors ate. Does the human body have "extra" parts? Do we have organs that we no longer use because we have evolved away from needing them?
Atheists have argued that our "useless" organs prove that we weren't created. No Creator, they said, would make useless organs that can threaten our health. Creationists responded that since our knowledge of the human body is incomplete, we cannot say that an organ is useless simply because we are ignorant of its job.
In the 1890s, scientists said that the human body has about 180 organs that are useless leftovers of our past evolution. As a result, doctors used to be quick to remove a child's tonsils. Today, we know that our tonsils have several jobs and are an important part of our immune system. Our appendix has been found to serve as a backup for other organs. If your spleen is damaged, your appendix will take over some of its functions. Wisdom teeth are important in chewing food, especially when the diet includes more coarse materials.
The argument over whether we have extra parts left over from evolution has been completely won by creationists. Today, science recognizes that we have no useless leftovers from evolution.