For Every Structure There Is a Reason . . . . | The Institute for Creation Research
For Every Structure There Is a Reason . . . .

If you're a baby boomer (or earlier) you've no doubt been presented in high school and college the story of the alleged lack of function of our appendix. Instructors called it — and continue to call it — "degenerate" or "rudimentary" — a nonfunctional vestige of evolution that modern man no longer needs.

The appendix is a finger-sized tube that attaches to the cecum (blind pouch) in our gastrointestinal tract. A disorder is appendicitis, a rapid inflammation of this structure. People who undergo abdominal surgery occasionally have their appendix removed as long as the surgeon was in that area because the patient "didn't need it." Really? How does the surgeon know that? Medical students were — and are — falsely educated in their university and medical school programs, thanks to publications such as the Atlas of Human Functional Anatomy that calls the appendix "a vestigial structure in man."1

As a zoology graduate student, I took a course in histology — the study of tissues. A course requirement was to write a paper on the ultrastructure (organization studied at the level of an electron microscope) of some tissue in the human body. I chose the appendix because, as a creationist, I did not accept the unscientific idea of vestigial structures. I determined there had to be a function for the appendix, a scientific prediction of the creation model that further research would either prove or disprove. Unfortunately, my professor dismissed my plans. This is just one more example of how evolutionism is anti-science. He and other secular biologists have regarded the appendix as not worth researching, and investigation of this lymphatic tissue languished as a result.


Recently, evolutionary activists are strangely silent regarding their insistence of the non-function of the appendix. There could be several reasons for this, but perhaps the best is that scientific research has indeed revealed an important function.

The Grolier Encyclopedia admitted, "Long regarded as a vestigial organ with no function in the human body, the appendix is now thought to be one of the sites where immune responses are initiated."2 Authors Van De Graff and Fox state, "The appendix contains masses of lymphoid tissue that may serve to resist infection."3 Kenneth Saladin states, "The appendix is densely populated with lymphocytes [a type of white blood cell] and is a significant source of immune cells."4 Anatomist Fred Martini describes the appendix as saying, "The mucosa and submucosa of the appendix are dominated by lymphoid nodules, and the appendix's primary function is as an organ of the lymphatic system."5

Vestigial structure indeed. Lymphatic tissue is important! God is not the Author of confusion, and He does not riddle the body with useless tissues or organs. Every tissue in our body has a purpose — designed by our all-wise Creator.


1. Zuidema, G., Johns Hopkins Atlas of Human Functional Anatomy, 1980, p. 86.
2. Hartenstein, Roy, Grolier Encyclopedia, 2002, Grolier Interactive Inc.
3. Van De Graff & Fox, Concepts of Human Anatomy & Physiology, 1999, p. 837.
4. Saladin, K., Anatomy & Physiology, McGraw Hill, 2001, p. 974.
5. Martini, F., Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology, Prentice Hall, 1998, p. 899.

Cite this article: Frank Sherwin, D.Sc. (Hon.). 2003. For Every Structure There Is a Reason . . . .. Acts & Facts. 32 (11).

The Latest
Can Scripture Be Trusted? | Creation.Live Podcast: Episode 8
Both believers and skeptics can find themselves asking if Scripture can be taken at its word. Is it scientifically accurate? Can its history be trusted?...

Cambrian Soft Tissue Defies Evolution
Paleontologists have discovered “early fossils [of] simple hollow tubes ranging from a few millimetres to many centimetres in length.”1...

Fruit Fly Jitters
Researchers working with fruit flies–the ubiquitous lab animal–have discovered the flies are able to undergo an amazing ocular process called...

Can Radioisotope Dating Be Trusted? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Carbon dating is a common method used to determine the ages of fossils and other materials, but carbon14 deteriorates quite quickly. How can it still...

Prepare for the Big Non-Event!
In 1950 the famed Italian physicist Enrico Fermi asked his coworkers at the lunch table the simple metaphysical question in regard to possible aliens...

Move Toward the Enemy: Fighting for Truth in Science
Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the...

Evolving Mammals?
The evolution of mammals from non-mammals, like the evolution of all other animal groups, has been, and will always be, problematic. English paleontologist...

Butterfly Variation
Butterflies have made science news again, this time in regard to a master gene called WntA: “a combined team of researchers from Cornell University...

How Old Is The Universe? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 35
Many scientists claim that the universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old by reverse-engineering the Big Bang with the assumption that this theory...

Massive Tsunamis Generated by the Flood, Not an Asteroid
Two separate studies claim massive tsunamis and earthquakes from an asteroid impact profoundly affected the rock record. One research team modeled a...