Sunday, June 14, 2009

Debunking Human Vestigiality

There are widely believed to be certain human body parts that no longer serve any function, and thus they are dubbed “vestigial”. I don’t believe in human vestigiality, but not because I don’t believe in natural selection. On the contrary, hearing evolution referred to as a "theory" along with watching a pregnant woman sustain a blow to the stomach illicit from me the same expression of horror and disgust. No, the problem I have with labeling a body part “vestigial” is that it implies an inflated level of knowledge and understanding on humanity’s part that I find to be unjustified. Scientists are notorious for reversing past discoveries,[1] and it’s only a matter of time before we ascertain the hidden functions of “vestigial” anatomical features.

However, because the scientific community is currently occupied with more pressing matters (such as finding the elusive Higgs Boson particle and inventing a military weapon that utilizes the resonance frequency of the human skull to beam the booming voice of Allah into the heads of Iraqi terrorists), I will single-handedly take on the Herculean task of determining the various functions of each supposedly human vestigial element that immediately comes to mind.

A. The Appendix

The Appendix has long been considered the epitome of the vestigial organ. But according to a well-respected online database,[2] the appendix might be responsible for “maintaining gut flora” and/or training the immune system during the fetal stage of human development. Frankly, I don’t consider either explanation plausible. It’s just as likely that the appendix is the three-dimensional manifestation of a four-dimensional organ that serves different purposes at various stages in our lives.

At the infantile stage, the hyper-appendix serves as a reservoir for mucus, saliva, baby vomit, urine, and dung. The various bodily fluids are stored in four-dimensional space, effectively hiding it from our world. The organ itself extends into hyperspace as a large fleshy sac, able to hold sixteen to twenty gallons of baby-goo. This explains how something so small could house a seemingly endless supply of nastiness.

But as we grow older, our brain physiology allows for increasing complexity and maturation. The hyper-appendix’s evolution parallels that of the mind and is actually responsible for the development of the personality. During pre-pubescence the hyper-appendix’s sac-like extension becomes departmentalized, with each cell generating an organic compound responsible for the various human personality traits.[3] The allocations of certain characteristics are dependent on sex, age, nationality, and education. Are you a young, white, affluent female? Chances are, you a bitch.

So as you can see, the scientific world needs to rethink its conventional theories regarding the appendix's supposed "purpose". Perhaps the organ is a beacon for the Flying Spaghetti Monster; you never know.

B. The Wisdom Teeth

The removal of the wisdom teeth serves simply as a rite of passage for middle-to-upper class white people. Have you ever met someone who hasn’t had his wisdom teeth removed? Don’t you just want to slap him in the face?

[1] Barbequed steak, artificial sweeteners, and UV rays are now all carcinogens, while once again gamma radiation can make you smaller, larger, super-strong, or governor of California.

[2] I am equating “respect” with “popularity”, which seems to be the working model for politics, religion, and high-school cliques.

[3] Phrenologists, it seems, were looking in the right direction. But only in a figurative sense, of course, since the organ they really wanted exists in a dimension to which they could never point.

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