Why did God design useless animal parts?

April 17, 2006 | By | 2 Replies More

Here’s a partial list:

Because I wanted to know more about these useless animal parts, I checked some popular creationist web sites:

Investigating Genesis Series advised me that the claim that any organ becomes useless as a result of evolution “rests on pure assumption.”  According to Answers In Genesis, I learned that “It’s not possible to prove that an organ is useless.”  That same site also advises that God does allow animals to evolve, but only by deteriorating, not by becoming useful.

At Creation in the Crossfire, I learned that every organ that currently appears to be useless still “has important functions.”   They are “fully functional.”  At EvoWiki, I learned that whale leg bones are not useless—they’re not “vestigial.”  They “serve as anchor points for muscles.” 

From Darwin Refuted, I learned that the whole notion of vestigial organs is “quite unscientific and is based entirely on insufficient knowledge.”  They cited an “evolutionist” named S. R. Scadding.  They forgot to mention that Scadding immediately retracted the statement on which they rely and clearly held that vestigial organs actually “provide powerful evidence for the theory of evolution.” 

Here are my conclusions:

God is quite the kidder.   I especially like that he created a tiny set of leg bones simply for attaching muscles.  I wonder for whose benefit he did that?  I’m assuming that it was some sort of private joke.

I learned that thousands of highly trained biologists are fools.  Based upon Creationist websites, I just don’t understand why biologists spend so much of their time on such “baseless assumptions.”  Maybe they get a bit disoriented doing things like inventing real life-saving drugs.  This is yet more evidence, I suppose, that biologists would be better served by constantly reciting ancient scripture instead of using their minds.

I also learned that creationists don’t like to spend much time on the above examples regarding birds, whales, moles and fish.   They’d rather talk about goose bumps, male nipples and wisdom teeth on Humans. 

The Creationists don’t seem to get worked up about plants and lower animals evolving, only humans.  For example, I’ve never actually heard a Bible thumper seem threatened by the lack of angiosperms (flowering plants) until 140 million years ago (during the Jurassic period, well after the appearance of many dinosaurs). I’ve never seen Creationists picketing botanical research centers, for instance.  Perhaps it’s not the theory of evolution that threatens them as much as applying evolution to the animals they see in the mirror every morning.  

Here’s the most distressing thing I learned: more than half of the top 20 Google results for “vestigial organ” are creationist sites loaded with misinformation.  Those creationists have got to feel proud about this.  Maybe someday, when those Creationists find themselves in failing health and when there are no real biologists to save their ailing bodies, they can reach instead for one of those old-fashioned Biblical remedies like smacking someone with the jaw bone of an ass or killing a bird in an earthen vessel over running water.

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Category: Evolution, Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Kayne says:

    Creationists scare the living hell out of me. Intelligent design is trying to muscle its way into science classes and brainwash the minds of the young. There is one theory for the creationist and that is one word: holes.

    Religion doesn't want answers, they don't want cures for disease or the secrets of our universe, they want holes in our comprehension and knowledge so they can stuff God into that hole. Answers make them look stupid, prove them wrong. They are losing more ground every day, every year, ever since the goddamn Earth had the blasphemous audacity to be round.

    I hate religion, because not only is it totally implausible, inherently ignorant and entirely laughable, it tries to control every part of our society. If people are stupid enough to deny the evidence and actually believe in a interventionist God out there, well so be it, the world is full of stupid people. But for f***'s sake, stay out of our classrooms, stay out of our politics and stay out of my face.

    Footnote: there have been over 120 studies into the relationship between religion and intelligence and all but 4 have proven that the higher the intellect of a person, the less likely they will believe fairy tales of religion and God (and two thirds were done by religious groups trying and failing to prove a point lol).

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's a nice list of human vestigial organs, from Talk Origins: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2….

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