By in Science

Is the Appendix a Vestigial Organ?

As a child, I was always told the appendix, that little organ associated with the intestinal tract, was an unimportant, essentially useless yet remaining "vestigial" organ.

The so-called Intelligentsia are often quick to render judgements, unfortunately. It's a curious thing that we are quick to accept what they say, even after they've been exposed for expressing error in the past.

Just because the function of the appendix was not understood in the past doesn't mean it was appropriate to jump to the erroneous conclusion it is of no use. As to that, clearly it would have represented a victory for those believing in evolution if it could have been proven the appendix is useless.

But exactly the opposite has occurred. For instance, take a gander at this Scientific American article on the subject. It is brief and the average intelligent person (yes, even the Intelligentsia ) can comprehend it.

What is the function of the human appendix?

Image Credit » PD Wikimedia

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MegL wrote on November 9, 2017, 12:32 PM

Very interesting. I have also seen people say that the appendix acts as a reserve of good gut bacteria to repopulate the gut after illness.

VinceSummers wrote on November 9, 2017, 12:55 PM

Yes, I saw that too, but then the claim was made that that is not a particularly useful function in mature humans. And it cited a rather ridiculous series of comments by some fellow I am unacquainted with.

lookatdesktop wrote on November 9, 2017, 6:21 PM

Most do not worry about this unless they have an operation to remove it from an attack. I for one am lucky. I never had to have mine removed.

VinceSummers wrote on November 9, 2017, 6:40 PM

I've still got mine plus I've still got my tonsils.

lookatdesktop wrote on November 10, 2017, 11:28 AM

Lucky for you. And for me too. I still have my two tonsils. I have had a few flareups with them but never serious enough for their removal.

VinceSummers wrote on November 10, 2017, 12:15 PM

Mine were supposed to be removed, but the hospital was overfilled at the time and I had to wait. During that wait, the inflammation went down. In fact, the tonsils went way down and were essentially dead and reabsorbed by my body. I know this because when I saw a physician for a free oral exam he made the statement, "Ah, I see you've had your tonsils removed." I told him, No. He re-examined the area and declared with surprise, "You are right! They've shrunk so small I can hardly see them."