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Author Topic:   Vestigial Organs?
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 2853 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


(1)
Message 46 of 109 (554850)
04-10-2010 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Faith
04-10-2010 12:26 PM


Re: siple expanation?¿
Faith writes:

Isn't it true that even facts in Homer's fiction have been used by archaeologists to find real places?

Sure, but the Iliad isn't commonly used as evidence that Zeus lives on Olympus. Nor does the existance of New York provide evidence that Spiderman can be seen there swinging among the skyscrapers.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

What's the difference between a conspiracy theorist and a new puppy? The puppy eventually grows up and quits whining.
-Steven Dutch


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ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 2853 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 47 of 109 (554851)
04-10-2010 2:26 PM


New topic please?
If there's any interest, I'll start a thread on The Fall and what features of nature, if any, it can satisfactorily explain.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

What's the difference between a conspiracy theorist and a new puppy? The puppy eventually grows up and quits whining.
-Steven Dutch


  
bluescat48
Member (Idle past 2532 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


(1)
Message 48 of 109 (554945)
04-10-2010 10:59 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Faith
04-10-2010 12:26 PM


Re: siple expanation?¿
Isn't it true that even facts in Homer's fiction have been used by archaeologists to find real places?

yes, except Homer's fiction is not pure fiction but mythology. It is a fictitious account of an alleged actual occurrence. There is some evidence that there was a war between the Greek city states of the Greek peninsula & the Greek city states of Anatolia. The Illiad is a mythological account of this, much in the way the Book of Genesis is mythological account of the Fertile crescent & Canaan.


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


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rockondon
Member (Idle past 3268 days)
Posts: 40
Joined: 03-29-2010


(1)
Message 49 of 109 (555139)
04-12-2010 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Faith
04-09-2010 5:00 PM


it is easily enough explained in terms of the disease and death that the Fall brought into the world
'The Fall' is a bizarre story about an incompetent god who creates faulty humans then blames them for His mistakes. He creates a tree of knowledge for no other apparent reason then to punish people for eatting from it and the theme of punishing people for acquiring knowledge seems to be a common trend in Christianity. Using The Fall as an excuse for the mistakes in 'design' is an apologetic attempt to deny your god's incompetence by portraying him as malevalent instead. I imagine that it brings little comfort to think that God does stupid things on purpose instead of accidentally.

Vestigial structures make perfect sense in light of evolution and are great evidence of evolution. Seeing people argue that God purposely creates stupid things that often result in horrifying death and disease just goes to show the absurdity that people will go to in order to maintain absurd beliefs. If God did exist, He would surely be revolted by creationists who portray Him so monstrously, and would likely hold evolutionists in high regard for being honest and objective enough to pursue an honest understanding of His creation.


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Fiver
Junior Member (Idle past 3306 days)
Posts: 26
From: Provo, UT
Joined: 04-17-2010


(1)
Message 50 of 109 (556144)
04-17-2010 4:03 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by CosmicAtheist
04-08-2010 2:14 AM


Hey there, Cosmic Atheists, welcome to the forums.

The great trick that Creationists pull with regards to vestigial organs is to claim that "vestigial" means "useless". It does not. It means that the organs have lost their original function. The other 'uses' in vestigial organs can usually be seen in the ancestral organs as well.

For example, yes, we use our tailbone to walk and digest. So do most other mammals. That doesn't wipe out the fact that this tailbone begins post-anally in the embryo (like all other tails), and that the vertebrae type are the same as seen in other closely-related mammals.

Whale pelvises and leg bones are a good example as well. Yes, whale's reproductive muscles are anchored to the pelvis bones (just like all four-limbed creatures), but that doesn't address the clear evidence that they are vestigial, mainly by the clear progression we see: some whales are born without leg bones or pelvises (clearly disproving the creationist idea that whales need their pelvises for reproduction)... some species have only the pelvis, some have both pelvis and leg bones, and finally in the fossil record we have whales with pelvises, leg bones, and little feet (five-toed, no less! Why should they be five-toed feet, if they have no relation to land animals?)


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gragbarder
Junior Member (Idle past 3260 days)
Posts: 30
Joined: 03-19-2010


(1)
Message 51 of 109 (559226)
05-07-2010 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by CosmicAtheist
04-08-2010 2:14 AM


Contra common misconception - among both Creationists and evolutionists - the term "vestigial" does not mean useless and/or nonfunctional. "Vestigial" means something is a vestige of what it used to be in an evolutionary ancestor: basically, it is now a phylogenetic remnant, and due to its rudimentary state, it either performs no (known) function or it performs a function different from that of the ancestral, well-developed state.

quote:

“A phylogenetic remnant that was better developed in an ancestor is vestigial. The pelvic girdle of whales is said to be vestigial because ancestors of whales were tetrapods with functional tetrapod appendages. The yolk sac of the mammalian embryo is vestigial.”
(George C. Kent & Robert K. Carr, Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates: Ninth Edition, McGraw Hill, 2001, p26)

Note that the yolk sac of mammalian embryos does perform a function. So the above quote implicitly states that a structure can be both vestigial and functional.

Further, here is an explicit statement saying that a structure can perform a function and still be vestigial.

quote:

“Opponents of evolution always raise the same argument when vestigial traits are cited as evidence for evolution. ‘The features are not useless,’ they say. ‘They are either useful for something, or we haven’t yet discovered what they’re for.’ They claim, in other words, that a trait can’t be vestigial if it still has a function or a function yet to be found.

But this rejoinder misses the point. Evolutionary theory doesn’t say that vestigial characteristics have no function. A trait can be vestigial and functional at the same time. It is vestigial not because it’s functionless, but because it no longer performs the function for which it evolved.”
(Why Evolution Is True, Jerry A. Coyne, Viking, 2009, p58)


Therefore, the human coccyx is BOTH vestigial AND functional.

Edited by gragbarder, : No reason given.


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Peg
Member (Idle past 3272 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 52 of 109 (559234)
05-07-2010 7:39 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by CosmicAtheist
04-08-2010 2:14 AM


CosmicAtheist writes:

Could it be that we still have a use for them but not the same use as our ancestors once did? What would be a proper response?

the tonsils used to be routinely removed because they were believed to be vestigal. But in more recent years it was discovered that they actually play an important role in the immune system.

Just because we dont know what an organs function is, does not mean that it doesnt have a function. Its just that we havnt learnt what it is yet.

Anyway, organs of the body are the area of doctors and medical scientists...evolutionists should leave them alone in my opinion.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


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Peg
Member (Idle past 3272 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 53 of 109 (559242)
05-07-2010 8:22 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Fiver
04-17-2010 4:03 PM


Fiver writes:

The great trick that Creationists pull with regards to vestigial organs is to claim that "vestigial" means "useless". It does not. It means that the organs have lost their original function.

can you explain how an organ that has 'lost its original function' is still useful...what do you mean???


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 8.3


(1)
Message 54 of 109 (559260)
05-07-2010 11:05 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Peg
05-07-2010 8:22 PM


can you explain how an organ that has 'lost its original function' is still useful...what do you mean???

For example, ostriches still use their wings for balance in running like we use our arms, even though the wings have lost their main function of flight.

Or consider blind cave crabs. They lost their eyes, but retain their eyestalks. Which are not completely useless, because if they lost their eyestalks they'd have a couple of holes in their heads.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 8.3


Message 55 of 109 (559262)
05-07-2010 11:09 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Peg
05-07-2010 7:39 PM


the tonsils used to be routinely removed because they were believed to be vestigal.

What are they supposed to be vestiges of?

But in more recent years it was discovered that they actually play an important role in the immune system.

No.

Unlike other organs of the lymphatic system, the tonsils themselves are not proven to act as part of the immune system to help protect against infection. Some believe them to be involved in helping fight off pharyngeal and upper respiratory tract infections, but there is no conclusive evidence to that effect.

Even if they play a role, it can hardly be an important one.

Just because we dont know what an organs function is, does not mean that it doesnt have a function. Its just that we havnt learnt what it is yet.

It does imply that it must have a fairly minor role. If you can routinely cut it out and detect no effect on life expectancy, it can't be doing much.

Anyway, organs of the body are the area of doctors and medical scientists...evolutionists should leave them alone in my opinion.

I don't think we should ignore any evidence.


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DarkMatter
Junior Member (Idle past 3396 days)
Posts: 4
From: Phoenix, Az
Joined: 05-01-2010


Message 56 of 109 (559270)
05-08-2010 12:02 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Faith
04-10-2010 4:28 AM


Re: siple expanation?¿
Faith writes:

The Fall gives an explanation for disease and death so where we see disease and death the Fall is the explanation.

Please explain how the fall explains "disease and death" to me please.


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anglagard
Member
Posts: 2203
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


(2)
Message 57 of 109 (559276)
05-08-2010 2:10 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by Peg
05-07-2010 7:39 PM


One Shoe Fits All When Foot is in the Mouth
Peg writes:

Anyway, organs of the body are the area of doctors and medical scientists...evolutionists should leave them alone in my opinion.

Well, despite the obvious fact someone has never heard of genetic disease or therapy, there is an even greater problem.

Please allow me to paraphrase:

Anyway, the origin, structure, evolution, and rules of the universe are the area of physicists...religious fanatics should leave them alone in my opinion.

Anyway, the structure, reactions, and byproducts of molecular interactions are the area of chemists...religious fanatics should leave them alone in my opinion.

Anyway, the history, structure, and evolution of the earth are the area of geologists...religious fanatics should leave them alone in my opinion.

Anyway, the structure, ecology, and evolution of living organisms are the area of biologists...religious fanatics should leave them alone in my opinion.

Anyway, the meaning, trends, and truthfulness of narratives involving past human history are the area of historians...religious fanatics should leave them alone in my opinion.

Should I go on?

In the words of Clevon Little in Blazing Saddles "I must, I must"

Anyway, discerning the true meaning of scripture, doctrine, and ancient languages are the area of theologians and linguistic experts...religious fanatics should be embarrassed in my opinion.

Edited by anglagard, : Change subtitle


The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas - uncertainty, progress, change - into crimes.
— Salman Rushdie

This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us. - the character Rorschach in Watchmen


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Peg
Member (Idle past 3272 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 58 of 109 (559350)
05-08-2010 7:08 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by DarkMatter
05-08-2010 12:02 AM


Re: siple expanation?¿
DarkMatter writes:

Please explain how the fall explains "disease and death" to me please.

imperfection leads to degeneration and death because the body is not as efficient at repairing and regenerating itself. In our perfect state, our bodies would be fully capable of this and thus disease and death would not cause us problems.


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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 164 days)
Posts: 3183
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 59 of 109 (559352)
05-08-2010 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Peg
05-08-2010 7:08 PM


Re: siple expanation?¿
imperfection leads to degeneration and death..

You do realize that our universe is what it is today due to imperfections, don't you? Stars are born out of imperfections, galaxies are created out of imperfection. If everything were perfect, nothing would have ever happened because all matter would have had no reaction on each other. I say this because we are children of the universe. The stuff that makes up your body and makes you a human once belonged to some far off star, millions or billions of light years away.

Life itself thrives on the imperfection that runs rampant in this universe.


"The Bible was written to show us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go" -Galileao

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Peg
Member (Idle past 3272 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 60 of 109 (559357)
05-08-2010 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Dr Adequate
05-07-2010 11:09 PM


DrAdequate writes:

What are they supposed to be vestiges of?

I have no idea.

They are in the list of vestigals though as the the New World Encyclopedia states

new world encyclopedia writes:


It is also argued that over 100 years ago, scientists made claims that certain structures, such as the tonsils, were vestigial, simply because medical science had not advanced to the point where the function of the tonsils could be well understood. Today, the function of the tonsils in disease prevention has been identified....

DrAdequate writes:

I don't think we should ignore any evidence.

but is it really evidence for evolution???

The original concept was used as an evidence for evolution as my link above shows

In the late nineteenth century, Robert Wiedersheim published a list of 86 human organs that, he claimed, had lost their original function. He then labeled them vestigial, theorizing that they were vestiges of evolution. Since the publication of his list, the true function of some of these structures has been discovered

Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, which used such presumed vestigial structures as the muscles of the ear, wisdom teeth, the appendix, the tail bone, body hair, and the semilunar fold in the corner of the human eye as evidence for his theory. He also made the important distinction in The Origin of Species (1859), that if a structure had lost its primary function, but still retained secondary anatomical roles, it could still be described as vestigial.

The fact that vestigial structures reveal a similarity in structure and position with organs in presumed ancestors, but lack the function found in the ancestors, can be considered evidence for evolution—specifically, the "theory of descent with modification," or "theory of common descent." That is, vestigial organs support the view that all organisms have descended from common ancestors by a continuous process of branching; in other words, all life evolved from one kind of organism or from a few simple kinds

Yet as more research went into these organs it was found that many of these 'so-called' vestigial organs were actually still functioning and served useful purposes.....so they go and change the meaning of what a vestigial organ is to mean an organ that can still be used in some minor way to what it was origiinally used for.

but hey, its still evidence of evolution! How does that figure??? I thought science was about accepting whatever the evidence shows.

guess was wrong.


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 Message 55 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-07-2010 11:09 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
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