That Troubling Laryngeal Nerve? | The Institute for Creation Research
 
That Troubling Laryngeal Nerve?

The recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) in man is found branching off the tenth cranial nerve (vagus) in the chest cavity. The twelve cranial nerves are part of the beautifully designed autonomic nervous system (ANS) that controls involuntary body processes, including digestion, heart rate, and respiration. Evolutionists claim the Creator is a bad engineer, having the RLN dropping into the chest and looping around a ligament of the lung before going back up to the larynx (voice box). Evolutionist Michael Denton states, "The recurrent laryngeal nerve loops around the aorta and back up to the larynx instead of taking a more direct route."1 In other words, "Why not just have the nerve extend directly from the brain to the larynx?"

Before answering this, creationists are reminded of other past "bad design" arguments used by evolutionists that have since received good, scientific answers. Examples include the poorly designed thumb of the panda bear. The late S. J. Gould2 repeatedly cited this allegedly corrupt feature, but he ignored the fact that panda bears have been doing just fine with this supposedly inferior structure. (For a fascinating discussion of this "pseudo-thumb" see Nature 397:309.)

In past decades, evolutionists, such as Richard Dawkins, have maintained the retina of our eyes was actually "wired backward." If a Creator existed, He certainly would not have done it that way with photoreceptor cells oriented so their sensory ends are directed away from incident light. Today we hear virtually nothing about this allegedly imperfect manner of wiring. Why? Because scientists have shown our retinas are designed exactly the way they should be in order to receive photons (light) and direct the impulses via the optic nerves to the back of the brain where they are made into images. Indeed, if the eye was designed to Darwinist specifications, we would be blind. (See also: http://www.trueorigin.org/retina.asp)

Why did the Creator design the loop of the RLN? To the secular biologist, it is both strange and unnecessary, basing these judgments on the corrupt philosophy of Darwinism (macroevolution). But creation scientists and medical doctors are investigating and have several ideas. There are branches of the RLN going above and below the larynx (both branch off the vagus) that would allow some preservation of function if either one is severed. The RLN passes tightly under the aorta (the large, main artery coming from the left ventricle of the heart). Perhaps variation in the diameter of the aorta could alter the function of the RLN.

Of course, the amazing and complex field of neuroanatomy and physiology itself is an affront to Darwinism. The origin (not the present operation) of life's amazing complexity is seemingly not within the reach of merely natural processes. Let the evolutionist explain the origin and gradual evolution of our 3-pound brain from "simple" life forms while the creationist continues to investigate the puzzling RLN route. I believe we will have our answer first.

  1. Denton, Michael J., Nature's Destiny, Free Press, 1998, p. 260.
  2. Gould, S. J., "The Panda's Thumb of Technology," Natural History, January 1987, p. 14.

Cite this article: Frank Sherwin, M.A. 2005. That Troubling Laryngeal Nerve?. Acts & Facts. 34 (5).

The Latest
COVID-19
Citizenship on Earth and in Heaven
As the number of those infected with COVID-19 grows dramatically with each passing hour, governments tighten their grip, trying desperately to slow the...

NEWS
Do You Really Have a Jaguar?
It’s not right to bluff about something you don’t have.1 Yet some government bureaucrats tried to gain control of over 100,000 acres...

NEWS
Earthquake Jolts Idaho
March went out with a jolt in central Idaho. March 31 saw a magnitude 6.5 earthquake strike about 45 miles west of the town of Challis at about 6:52 pm...

COVID-19
Enjoying God’s Universe While Isolated, on a Budget
Around three thousand years, King David wrote, When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained,...

NEWS
Earthquakes Still Active in Utah
On March 18, 2020, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake shook the Salt Lake City area. Specifically, it hit underneath the town of Magna, Utah. Since that time,...

COVID-19
When Travel is Restricted, Be Honest and Trust God
Travel restrictions (imposed under federal and state disaster laws) are common this month, and they are likely to continue for some time. Many communities...

COVID-19
COVID-19 and Evangelicals
On March 27, Katherine Stewart wrote an opinion piece titled “The Road to Coronavirus Hell Was Paved by Evangelicals”1 for The New...

NEWS
It’s Bluebonnet Season!
Now is the season—late March and April—for bluebonnets to blossom in Texas!1 Establishing these beautiful flowers is difficult,...

COVID-19
Fighting Coronavirus with Your PC or Mac
As of March 26, seven hundred thousand people involved in the Folding@Home project are using their home computers to form, in effect, the world’s...

COVID-19
New Study Confirms Suggested Coronavirus Quarantine Period
Medical researchers at Johns Hopkins University have been quickly gathering data from the recent coronavirus outbreak and then evaluating health care policy...