Charles Darwin sought by every means possible to establish the theory of evolution. He supported two arguments that were supposed to prove evolution-nascent organs and vestigial organs. The term, "nascent organs," means organs that are in the process of developing. If we evolved from the lower animals, somewhere along the line there would have to be some organs that were being formed. There would have to be an ear or an eye or a nose that was only partially functional. Those organs would have to start somewhere for them to fully develop. Those organs being born were called "nascent organs." No such organ has been discovered, but they would have had to exist for evolution to take place.
If evolution has occurred, there would also have to be some organs that were no longer useful. Evolutionists call these "vestigial organs." In an excellent article, "Evolution Is Religion-not Science," published in the journal, Reason and Revelation (volume 27, number 11, November 2007), Dr. Michael G. Houts has a section on "Vestigial Organs." Dr. Houts defines the expression, "vestigial organs," as follows: It is a "structure that is remnant of an organism's evolutionary past and has no function." The term is derived from the Latin word vestigium which literally means footprint. Dr. Houts further says: "The idea of vestigial structures was further promoted in 1895 by German anatomist Robert Weidersheim who claimed to have identified 186 vestigial structures in the human body." Weidersheim did not believe the vestigial organs could be explained by special creation. They could only be explained by evolution (p. 85).
Before I examine with you the idea of vestigial organs, I must read to you what the apostle Paul wrote concerning the human body. Paul compares the body of Christ to the human body. The body of Christ is one body but has many members. The same is true of the human body. Paul affirmed concerning the human body: "But now has God set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased him.... For God has tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked" (1 Cor. 12:18,24). The English Standard Version translates verse 24: "God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked."
I must also read this well known
passage from the Psalms. King David confesses to God: "Thou hast possessed
my reins (or mind or heart): thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will
praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works;
and that my soul knows right well. My substance was not hidden from thee, when
I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my
members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there
was none of them" (Psa. 139:13-16). This inspired passage and
Is it possible that secular humanists and other unbelievers choose to believe in nascent organs and vestigial organs to avoid having to believe in special creation? They would have to sacrifice their commitment to unbelief if they were to admit that God created man in his own image. Incidentally, many scientists and philosophers are being forced to admit that the human body seems to be made for our world. This is called the "anthropic principle." Is it accidental that the world is arranged just for human existence? If our world were just slightly different, human life would be impossible.
Now let us think about some of the structures in the human body that have been identified as "vestigial organs." I can remember, and so can many of you in my audience, when physicians freely removed perfectly healthy appendixes. Did those physicians believe the Darwinian foolishness that the appendix is left over from our animal ancestry? I do not know, but I am convinced that no modern physician would be so foolish as to argue that the appendix is unnecessary and can be removed with no serious thought. We know it can become infected and must be removed. But no informed scientist would call it a "vestigial structure."
Dr. Houts provides some insight into the functions of the appendix. "Recent advances in biology ... have identified numerous functions of the vermiform appendix, especially in early childhood. For example, researchers quoted in New Scientist note the following: 'Although it used to be believed that the appendix had no function and was an evolutionary relic, this is no longer thought to be true. Its greatest importance is the immunological function it provides in the developing embryo, but it continues to function even in the adult’’’.... The same article notes that during fetal development, endocrine (that is, hormone-producing) cells appear in the appendix. "These cells produce peptide hormones that control various biological mechanisms" (pp. 85-86).
In a book with the title, Evolution
Charles Darwin believed that wisdom teeth were vestigial organs. Robert Weidersheim, a German follower of Darwin, originally listed 80 vestigial organs, such as, "valves in the veins, the pineal gland, the thymus, bones in third, fourth and fifth toes, (lachrymal) tear glands, and certain female organs" (p. 719). Did you know that high school textbooks as recent as the 1960s listed over 200 useless structures in the human body? That list included the thyroid and pituitary glands. Vance Farrell comments: "Today ALL organs formerly classed as vestigial are known to have a function during the life of the organism" (p. 719).
I never heard a physician in my youth
classify the tonsils as vestigial organs, but I am sure some of them believed
it. Many doctors freely removed the tonsils from people who were having throat
trouble. Incidentally, that includes your speaker. From the earliest time I can
remember, I had serious throat problems. My doctor in
The Designer of our bodies placed the
tonsils at the beginning of the alimentary canal to help to prevent infection.
Vance Farrell quotes Science News (March 20, 1971) as
saying: "Both the tonsils and the appendix are now believed to guard us
against Hodgkin's disease" (pp. 720-721). In the late 1980s, Wendell Bird,
Bird quotes S. R. Scadding, a
Evolutionists have also insisted that
the coccygeal vertebra (better known as the coccyx) was a vestigial organ. The
coccyx is located at the lower end of the vertebra. It has the appearance of a
tail at certain stages of development. Evolutionists have argued that the
coccyx is left over from the time when we lived in the trees and used the tail
for climbing and balancing. Scientists now know how essential the coccyx is to
healthy human beings. Without the coccyx, our pelvic organs would collapse. If
we did not have a coccyx, we could not walk or sit upright.
Webster's Medical Desk Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Inc., Publishers, 1986) provides the following information on the thymus gland. It is a "glandular structure of largely lymphoid tissue that functions in cell-mediated immunity by being the site where T cells develop, that is present in the young of vertebrates typically in the upper anterior chest or at the base of the neck, that arises from epithelium of one or more embryonic branchial clefts, that tend to disappear or become rudimentary in the adult" (p. 717). To summarize this definition in very simple terms: without the thymus gland, the T cells that protect your body from infection could not develop properly (Farrell, p. 721). Vance Farrell quotes these words from The Reader's Digest (November 1966): "For at least 2000 years, doctors have puzzled over the function of the thymus gland. Modem physicians came to regard it, like the appendix, as a useless vestigial organ, which had lost its original purpose, if indeed it ever had one. In the last few years, however ... men have proved that, far from being useless, the thymus is really the master gland that regulates the intricate immune system which protects us from infectious diseases. Recent experiments have led researchers to believe that the appendix, tonsils and adenoids may also figure in the antibody responses" (p. 721).
Some evolutionists also believed that the pineal gland was a holdover from our animal ancestry. This small gland is a cone-shaped structure located in the brain. It secretes critically needed hormones, including, for example, melatonin which inhibits secretion of luteinizing hormone" (Farrell, p. 721). Some evolutionists have also argued that the thyroid gland is a vestigial organ. I know from experience just how vital the thyroid is to our well-being. Several years ago, my family doctor said I was experiencing peripheral neuropathy. My fingers and toes were very sensitive. I had trouble sleeping because just touching the bed sheet made my toes ache. The problem was hypothyroidism, that is, my thyroid gland was not producing enough thyroxin. I now take synthroid-synthetic thyroxin.
Physicians for many years learned that men and women can continue to live even after they had had their thyroid gland removed. They decided on that basis that the thyroid gland was another useless organ. They now know if the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxin, hyperactivity will result. If the thyroid gland produces too little, there will be under-activity in some body organs. If the organ is deficient at birth, a deformity called cretinism will result. The dictionary defines "cretinism" as follows: It is a "congenital abnormal condition marked by stunting and mental deficiency and caused by severe thyroid deficiency" (p. 151).
There is not a physician on earth who has enough sense to practice medicine that would call the thyroid gland "a vestigial organ." The early evolutionists did not know enough about the human body to understand the functions of the thyroid gland. If they had read their Bibles, they would have known that God did not make any mistakes when he created man. The apostle Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians, "God has tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part that lacked" (1 Cor. 12:24). It is arrogance on the part of scientists and of philosophers to claim to know what they do not. They should learn from their blunders.
Scientists at one time had not discovered the functions of the pituitary gland. They argued that it was a vestigial organ. The New Illustrated Medical and Health Encyclopedia (New York: H. S. Stuttman Co., Inc., Publishers, 1970), edited by the late Dr. Morris Fishbein, calls the pituitary gland "the most important gland of the endocrine system." According to the encyclopedia, the endocrine system regulates many important functions of the body. "These include growth, sexual development, defenses against emergencies and disease, and many metabolic processes." "When the pituitary is removed, the adrenal glands degenerate. Degeneration of the adrenals also causes Addison's disease.... Other pituitary substances are associated with the secretion of milk and the activity of the thyroid gland' (volume 14, pp. 1840-1841).
There are other so-called
"useless" or "vestigial organs" that were supposed to be
remnants of our animal ancestry, such as, human hair, wisdom teeth, ear muscles
and certain female organs. The more scientists learned about the human body,
the fewer so-called "useless" organs were identified. Scientists
should be a little less arrogant in such matters. They should wait until all
the evidence is in before they act like deity. I am reminded of Dr. Geoffrey
Simmons' great book, What Darwin Didn't Know: A Doctor Dissects the
Theory of Evolution (
I wonder if any of the evolutionists who believe there are useless organs in their bodies would be willing to have those organs removed. If someone were to suggest that the evolutionists have those organs removed, do you not believe they would be singing a different tune?
When arguments for evolution have been refuted, do evolutionists ever consider repudiating this godless theory? Dr. Simmons at one time was an atheist, but became convinced that the theory could not be scientifically sustained. He has embraced the Bible's teaching on the origin of man. His book is one of the most inspiring books on that topic I have read in many years. As Dr. Simmons makes abundantly clear, it is not possible for any evolutionary theory to explain the marvels of the human body. I shall quote again the words of King David: We are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psa. 139:14).
Is it possible that some evolutionists have decided on some basis other than science to believe and to promote the theory of evolution? Could they be angry with God? Paul told the Roman Christians: "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Rom. 1:21-22). Later in that same chapter, the apostle provides an explanation why some men reject God. "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things that are not convenient" (Rom. 1:28). We cannot embrace evolution and Christianity.