Appendix Shown to be Useful Afterall

There’s some new research out that shows the appendix has a use afterall.  This new finding is somewhat of a blow to conventional biology that has long held that the appendix does nothing more than take up space in the body.  From a design perspective, I think this is something that would be expected.  Why would a designer put in useless junk?  The simple answer is that (s)he/it wouldn’t.  Simply put, this finding helps the common design theory.


27 responses to “Appendix Shown to be Useful Afterall

  1. The study shows that the human appendix has evolved to fill a role in repopulating the gut with good bacteria after an episode that kills off most of the bacteria already there.

    How does such a showing of evolution strike a blow to conventional biology, or support design theory?

  2. professorsmith

    Mr. Darrell,
    I’m sorry, but are you arguing that the appendix was useless, but then evolved to become useful again?

  3. No. Wherever do you guys come up with such crazy ideas?

    Read the article. It says the appendix evolved to fill a specific role in immunity and good digestion. It’s a showing of evolution.

    Now, see if you can fail to dodge the issue this time: How does a showing of evolution strike a blow to conventional biology as you claim, or support design hypothesis as you claim?

  4. professorsmith

    Mr. Darrell,
    There’s only one of me here, not “You guys.”

    Yes, the evolutionists that wrote the article automatically assume that this supports evolution, as they believe that everything supports evolution. Their assertion does not make it so. So, there is no question dodging going on at all. If you want to claim that this “evolved” you’ll have to do more than simply assert that it evolved for evidence. Further, if you want to know why it supports design, I suggest you read the OP.

  5. “You guys” meaning creationists. Same amazing errors, repeated, repeatedly — as in your assumption that “vestige” means “useless,” though I hadn’t said that at all; and then you bring the argument up rather than answer the question.

    Just to be sure you stick to the creationist party line, your final answer is “go see for yourself.”

    Mammalian appendices do several things. In ungulates, for example, they house and promote bacteria and enzymes to help digest cellulose. In humans the function is quite different, as the article points out. In humans, the article asserts, the appendix has evolved to repopulate the human gut with helpful bacteria after an illness, something essential to rural, agricultural humans in isolated and tiny communities.

    So again I wonder, since the article is quite clear about evolution, and since the article says nary a thing about intelligent design, how is it a blow to conventional biology, or support for an as-yet unstated design hypothesis, especially since it advances no such theory of its own?

    If you want me not to point out that you’ve dodged the questions (twice now), how about just answering directly?

  6. professorsmith

    Mr. Darrell,
    The reason I “scolded” you over the “You guys” comment is because you are dealing with me, not with “Creationists.” This is about ID, not about Creationism, and your continual efforts to tar ID as such are simply not appreciated. Stop dealing in stereotypes and start dealing with me and my arguments.

    If the “Creationist” party line is to “go see for yourself,” then sign me up. It is better than simply blindly following the Materialist credo. Science is about “seeing for oneself” and investigation. If you submit that I should follow your word on blind faith, then I submit that you are guilty of projection.

    Lastly, I have dodged no questions, I have answered quite clearly. It is not my fault that you refuse to accept my answers either out of stubbornness or willful ignorance.

  7. It’s almost amusing to see you deny that ID is creationism, when your responses are right out of the creationist manual. Almost amusing because it’s so frustrating to talk to you guys. I ask a couple of simple questions, and you refuse to discuss the issues at all

    Here are the two questions you keep dodging: How is this paper a blow to conventional biology? How does anything in this paper support intelligent design?

    You ask me to take your word on blind faith, and when you grudgingly suggest I read the paper, and I do and find your claims completely unsupported, then you accuse me of projection.

    I’ve asked two simple questions. Why won’t you at least admit you don’t have a clue, if that’s the case? If you do have a clue, please share it.

  8. Pingback: A Reply to Mr. Darrell « Professor Smith’s Weblog

  9. Hi Prof Smith:

    Popped over from UD.

    This sounds like the very prolific, obsessive [or is it, given the amount of time required; full-time?] pro-darwinist commenter on many an ID blog, Ed Darrell. [Or maybe a clone thereof? Or is “he” just lucky noise speaking in a world where functionally specific and fine-tuned highly complex information routinely emerges by chance and necessity only, no need for agency thank you . . . cf. my linked.]

    As to his insistent slander: It’s almost amusing to see you deny that ID is creationism, when your responses are right out of the creationist manual, it suffices to say that there are many longstanding unanswered (and in some cases unanswerable) issues with the RV + NS driven by chance + necessity alone generates everything from microbes to man thesis that simply labelling those who raised them to dismiss is self-condemnatory. For, it is an atmosphere-poisoning ad hominem [in turn rooted in the slander that “Creationists” are irrational, potentially violent, would-be “theocrats” . . . all the meanwhile an ATHEO-cracy is being built before our very eyes!], rather than an answer on the merits.

    On the appendix, it was long held to be a useless left-over from evolution, one of some 180 in the human body.

    Then, over the years that number was whittled down to 6 or so.

    Now, it is going down yet again. And, lo, a Darwinist Just-so story emerges to explain: [a] the appendix has no useful purpose, or with equal facility, [b] wait, nope, it does.

    In short, we see a characteristic of a self-referentially inconsistent antecedent in logic [cf. my first linked, with the principle that a self contradiction is necessarily false as by material implication it entails any and everything and its contradiction . . .] emerging. For, with equal facility, it “explains” any and every consequent and its contrary. (In short, it is empirically irrefutable, thus not sound science.)

    Great new blog, and I hope you win tenure.

    Love Mendel and Aquinas.

    GEM of TKI

  10. professorsmith

    “[Or maybe a clone thereof? Or is “he” just lucky noise speaking in a world where functionally specific and fine-tuned highly complex information routinely emerges by chance and necessity only, no need for agency thank you . . . cf. my linked.]”

    Ha ha, that’s very funny. Well done.

    “Great new blog, and I hope you win tenure.

    Love Mendel and Aquinas.”

    Thank you and M and A thank you too.

  11. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    Apparently, the party line has changed. ID is fine with useless vestigial organs. William “The Isaac Newton of information theory” Dembski and Jonathan Wells write in the new ID textbook The Design of Life:

    Vestigial structures are entirely consistent with intelligent design, suggesting structures that were initially designed but then lost their function through accident or disuse. Nevertheless, vestigial structures also provide evidence for a limited form of evolution. From both a design-theoretic and an evolutionary perspective, a vestigial structure is one that started out functional but then lost its function. Yet, in the case of evolution, vestigiality explains only the loss of function and not its origination. Vestigiality at best documents a degenerative form of evolution in which preexisting functional structures change and lose their function.

    Ironically, products prone to “accident and disuse” might be caused by poor design. I don’t think this is the path Dembski and Wells want to follow. But bad science is only half of their problems; bad theology is the other half.

  12. professorsmith

    Mr. Tchernyshyov,
    I suppose that you are going to claim that this too is a creationist argument?

  13. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    By golly, it is! Here is an excerpt from Vestigial organs: What do they prove? by Don Batten and Jonathan Sarfati at Answers in Genesis:

    even if the alleged vestigial organ were no longer needed, it would prove devolution not evolution. The creation model allows for deterioration of a perfect creation. However the particles-to-people evolution model needs to find examples of nascent organs, i.e. those which are increasing in complexity. [emphasis in the original –OT]

    Dembski and Wells repeat this exact claim.

  14. professorsmith

    I’m glad to know that no matter what I argue that you can claim that it is a creationist argument and therefore tar me and my claims through your fallacious assertions.

  15. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    Sorry, but that’s not exactly my fault. It seems like all arguments IDers put forward are out of a creationist’s book. It’s not a smear, I have provided relevant citations every time you tried to come up with a counterexample.

    You may want to try again, professorsmith.

  16. professorsmith

    I have a feeling that no matter what I say, you will simply try to link it with creationism, so why bother. You are too set in your worldview to consider that you might be wrong.

  17. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    I admit that I may be wrong. All you need to do is provide a counterexample where IDers came up with something fresh, something that did not exist in creationist literature. So far all of your ID examples turned out to be creationist claims.

    I don’t deny that there may be something out there that is novel. But so far I haven’t seen it. ID science is a bust.

  18. professorsmith

    Ah, but the game is rigged, isn’t it? I’ve already met your burden of proof, yet it doesn’t count? Why? Because you can find someone that you label as creationist who has an idea similar enough for you that it will never be enough. You are only showing your biases.

  19. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    What do you mean “label as a creationist?” Sarfati is a dyed-in-the-wool, card-carrying, Bible-thumping YEC who views Hugh Ross as a dangerous liberal. LOL!

    And I am afraid the quote from Batten and Sarfati predates the as-yet-unpublished book by Dembski and Wells. So there.

  20. professorsmith

    You’ll find anyone, anywhere that you can “tar” with the label creationist, find an argument that might sound like what you are looking for, then apply it as somehow invalidating ID. I can’t believe we are even arguing about this, because it’s all genetic fallacy from the get-go.

    An ID prediction is confirmed, and evolutionary prediction has been disconfirmed. You’ve lost, yet again, and your reluctance to deal with the facts of the OP confirms that you would rather deal with minutia than deal with the facts on the ground and how much they don’t support your arguments.

    I think this thread has run its course. If you wish to comment further, please keep it on topic with the OP.

  21. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    Right, I’ve lost yet again! You provided half a dozen ID claims all of which turned out to be identical to old creationist stuff. You win outright! LOL!

  22. professorsmith

    I win because I’ve presented claims that are different for one, and for two because you’ve shown no reason to dismiss those claims out of hand, regardless of the source. I win because you have nothing except logical fallacy for an argument. I think it’s clear to anyone not already predisposed to a worldview, i.e. someone looking at the evidence dispassionately. That is how science is done, professor, and you would do well to remember that.

  23. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    Oh no, professor! (LOL!)

    What we do here is debates and it ain’t science. Have you ever been to a scientific conference? What’s the format of talks? How much time is scheduled for debates?

    Science is settled by doing experiments, not by debating.

  24. professorsmith

    I never claimed that debate is science. I suggest you look closer at what I said. Looking at the evidence dispassionately is how science is done. This has nothing to do with how things are done at conferences. In fact, at most conferences, there is no “debate” time, but that’s well beside the point.

  25. Pingback: Top Ten of 2007 « Professor Smith’s Weblog

  26. And GEM – one does not “win” tenure. One must meet or exceed a number of criteria, including but not limited to (depending on what your field is, what type of college/university, etc.) publications (of new research), teaching, college/university service, grant awards, etc. This is why, for example, Gonzalez did not “win” tenure – he failed to live up to the expectations of a researcher at a major research university.

    I had to laugh when I read how much money he had secured in grants in the time he had been at Iowa – it was less than the amount of grant money I had secured in the first 3 years of my employment, and I am at a teaching university where research is not even required. And he wants to play martyr…

    Sorry about the tangent…

  27. slpage,
    It’s a pretty shallow thing to attack one’s use of a word when it’s quite apparent what the meaning was. Please be more respectful.

    Further, there was nothing in the guidelines for obtaining tenure that specified how much grant money was necessary for one to bring in. It might be common practice for schools to use that as an excuse, but they generally only use it as an excuse. They will keep who they want and release who they don’t want. Plus, it’s quite obvious from the emails of the faculty involved that they didn’t care one whit about how much money he brought in. They only cared about attacking ID. Lastly, there are posts about this. If you wish to comment on this topic in the future, please do so on one of those posts.

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