Vestigial organs are those which don't have a known purpose and are thought to be a vestige, or leftover, from an earlier version of the animal within the process of evolution. For people, vestigial organs and parts are said to include the appendix, the tailbone, and nipples on males.
Those who support long-term evolution and dismiss creationism say these parts are useless, inefficient, or stunted and would not have existed if humans were created in their present form. Do creationists have a response?
First, we must consider whether these organs actually serve no purpose. Recent studies have shown that the appendix is not vestigial in that it is used to store certain bacteria used to re-stock the digestive system after an illness. It does still need to be removed in the case of infection, but it is not without function in the design of the body.
The tailbone argument exists more in pop culture than it does in the scientific community. The coccyx (or tailbone) is the point of connection for many tendons and muscles and stabilizes the body when a person is sitting up.
As for nipples on males, critics say they do not serve to provide milk for newborns, so why have these useless organs? However, biologists who adhere to creationism say that having nipples on all humans makes the development of each person simpler—more efficient. The building blocks of DNA don't need the added complexity of different design where it is not necessary. There is one basic chest design for humans, even though the nipples only serve a function on females.
For the most part, these two explanations—that so-called vestigial organs are not vestigial or they serve to streamline the genetic code—explain the existence of vestigial organs from a creationist perspective. So, although some would say the organs are a result of natural evolution, their existence in no way disproves special creation. We can believe there is reason to these vestigial features, whether we fully understand those reasons or not (Psalm 139:14).
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