I decided to look up “appendix” today, out of curiosity. When I was a kid in school in the early 1960s, it was a known fact of science that there was no use for the appendix. (I mean the thin, finger-like pouch attached to your large intestines and located at the lower right part of your stomach, not the table of additional material at the end of a book.)
Now I am older and I find that “it ain’t necessarily so.” In recent years, one of our cathedrals of scientific knowledge has reversed old verities and announced that the appendix may have a purpose in your body après tout—which I’m sure the good Lord is relieved to hear. Duke University Medical Center has discovered that the appendix is no vestigial organ (Charles Darwin’s name for parts of the anatomy that are holdovers from a time before we evolved) after all but a place where friendly stomach bacteria congregate during unpleasant intestinal conditions.
The internet resource About.com introduces its article on the subject this way:
“Vestigial structures are compelling evidence for evolution. The appendix is usually the first structure we think of that has no function in humans. But is the appendix really vestigial? A research time at Duke University says the appendix just might do something besides get infected. …”
I draw your attention to the very first sentence of the above quotation—this retraction of who knows how many years of misinforming fifth graders across the fruited plain. Never mind that the writer is obliged to admit that science has got it wrong for ages and now has egg on its face, she is unembarrassed and unapologetic. Indeed, in the face of this new evidence that should make her doubt her certainty about evolution, she begins: “Vestigial structures are compelling evidence for evolution.”
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I have come to the conclusion that there is no amount of evidence or fact that can convert a person from dark thinking. And yet you and I are called to be ambassadors, to disseminate truth. How can this be? I believe the answer is that we are responsible to sow the seed, and others are responsible to water it. But only God can give the growth (1 Corinthians 3:7).