Appendix A

Saturday, 6 October 2007

I’m fuming. Wrathful. Gnashing my teeth. Shaking with the fury. Why? Because now you won’t believe me.

I do a little creek work as well our younger readers know when they are straight and writing college applications with the help of Google, a spell-checker, and a couple of purchases at CollegeApps.com.

There are often little safe areas at the tops of the local creeks. Almost like mini-estuaries. Places where the mellower animals like the Pacific chorus frogs and certain benthic macroinvertebrates can keep their hearth and remain safe in inclement weather.

Appendix A

Staring at the gastrointestinal chart at the pedeiatrician’s a few months ago I noticed how similar the appendix is. It’s at the confluence of minor and major “water” ways. It’s a small, safe eddy, out of the unpredictable currents. I knew that was the answer. It’s where the beneficial gut flora and fauna can hide to return quickly after a bout of Norwalk or a big dose of quinine or whatever. I told a couple people my theory but I didn’t post it here because I wanted to come up with a clinical procedure—probably just do it checking historical medical records of the snipped and the whole—to prove it. I was sure I was right and I wanted to show off the fact that I solved this without the benefit of medical school.

I didn’t, so now you’ll take me for a liar but I do have something to add so you can watch documentaries and talk to a physician with a bit more discernment.

It’s expensive to drag physical parts around. To grow them, to support them, to continue to produce them when they can even cause fatal problems now and then. Of course the appendix has a use. Anyone who ever tells you something in nature is superfluous should get out of the biology game and get into theology where his talents and gift of insight firmly seat him.

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Discussion

Comments


Vagrant

Re: Appendix A

Now that is a truly interesting theory -- and of course I believe you. Synchronicity and independent lines of thought are not uncommon, nor is reason proprietary (yet). Though I'd disagree somewhat on the efficiency of organisms shedding the superfluous. Selection does move that along, but only up to a point. The apparently superfluous is another story. Are you're right that something with an unknown function isn't scrap.

There's something beautiful and pleasing in finding out something I took for granted is not a closed case.

By Vagrant on 7 October 2007 · 03:06
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Joseph

Re: Appendix A

I was unfazed when I heard the news. The accepted theory is (or was) that the appendix is a useless organ in the process of evolutionary regression, but why then does it not occur in its complete form in any of our ancestors? A vestigial structure should by definition be less formed and complete than whatever apparatus gave rise to it. At what point might it have been useful (to them or to us), and why does it now cease to be?

What did shock me was how it's taken them this long to figure things out. When I was younger, I read the Madeline book series, and I remember this one story in particular where Madline goes to the hospital to get her appendix removed. My seven year old brain knew something wasn't right. Even back when I was a good little boy who believed in God, I knew He wouldn't have put something in our bodies that didn't belong. That's unintelligent design.

I think what scientists mean when they say the appendix is useful is that we don't need it to live. And it's true, we don't. We also don't need our arms or our legs or our penises. I'm kind of attached to mine, though.

By Joseph on 1 November 2007 · 11:28
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