WHY ARE SOME ORGANS NOT NEEDED (THE APPENDIX)?

Answer the question below, append new answers to the top of this page.
  • Please append your name and qualification / designation after your response
  • Student researched responses MUST be cited, paraphrased, and student names must also be appended to their entries. (First Name, Last Initial)
  • Don't forget to save your entry after you are done.
  • All entries without a contributor's name will be deleted by a moderator.
  • Controversial issues that are raised here that are outside of the scope of the Alberta Curriculum, will be deleted if deemed inappropriate by the moderator.
  • Do not delete any entries without direction from a moderator, you can contact Louis.c@calgaryscienceschool.com if you would like permission to moderate, or if you have reason to remove any entries.
_
Response 1:

Why does our body have organs, like the appendix, if we don't need them? Organs like this are known as vestigial structures. This means that although we have them in our bodies, we don't actually need them. It is essential to our survival that we have organs like our heart, lungs, and skin, but some organs are a bit of a mystery as to why they're there. The group of vestigial organs includes the appendix, tonsils, hair, wisdom teeth, and gull bladder, along with many others. Although the purpose of these organs has not been exactly identified, there are some clues as to why they are there. For example, wisdom teeth would have been much more useful to our ancestors than they are to us. Most people get them removed because they take up space and get infected, but our ancestors had much flatter faces than we do, resulting in more room for these extra teeth. The wisdom teeth would have been useful for chewing raw meat and food, but since food now is much easier to eat, we don't have much use for them. It is suggested by many studies that our body used to use organs like the tonsils and appendix to help boost our immune systems in the past. So, to sum up your question, our body simply seems to have outgrown these organs as it went through evolution, but hasn't gotten rid of them quite yet. This could be compared to the old clothes you keep in the back of your closet. You've grown out of them, but you still seem to keep them for no apparent reason.

Link #1:

http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/2010/03/what-the-appendix-is-good-for-2/
Author: Emily Sohn
Date: March 17th, 2010

Link #2:

http://evidenceweb.net/pdfs/vestigial_organs.pdf
Author: Unknown, all content belongs to Copyright Creation Research
Date: 2011

Olivia, February 23rd 2012




Additional Responses:

Why do we have organs we do not need, like the appendix?

So why do we have organs like the appendix? We do not use them, or do we? In Darwin’s theory he states that there is over a dozen structures in the human body that do not serve and purpose. Now these organs are called ‘vestigial organs’. A vestige is a mark or trace of something that no longer exists. These organs once served one purpose or another to our ancestors. Think of these organs as the junk draw in your home. There are old keys that have no locks, old eyeglasses, and many other things. None of these things are useful to you so why do you keep them around? It is the same with your vestigial organs. Your cutlery draw is something you use every day. It is essential for everyday living. Just thin of how many times you open and close that draw. The utensils in that draw are useful and have a purpose. There is a lot of controversy as to if these organ really exist because so much of it is based on theory. Many others believe that though the function of an organ is not known it does not mean there is not one. So then why can people live the same way without their appendix or wisdom teeth? The only answer there is, is the Theory of Evolution. If us humans are really the descendants of primates we once used these organs. The appendix is thought to have helped digest the tough roots and plants we used to eat. Wisdom teeth helped to chew this organic matter. Over time and as we have evolved our diets have changed and therefore many other things. Though there is no slid evidence of any of this this is what we believe and is the most logical.

Citation:
Edmonds, M. Organs believed to be vestigial. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb 2012. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/human-biology/vestigial-organ1.htm>.

Austin, Cline. "Vestigial Organs - What Vestigial Organs Say about Evolution." About.com. unknown, 2002. Web. 25 Feb 2012. <http://atheism.about.com/od/evolution


Beth Durnie Feb 24 2012


_
Please report abuse of this wiki to Louis Cheng at louis.c@calgaryscienceschool.com, and note that any answers listed here are put forth in the spirit of sharing information. Not all answers are verified to be correct, and may include bias or opinion offered by contributing experts. Agents of the Calgary Science School, and the institution as a whole will not be held responsible for the content contributed by the public.