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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2007
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Claim CB360.1:

The human appendix is not really vestigial. It has an immunological function as part of the lymphatic system. Its lymphoid follicles produce antibodies.


Ham, Ken, and Carl Wieland, 1997. Your appendix: It's there for a reason. Creation Ex Nihilo 20(1):41-43.


  1. Vestigial does not mean functionless. The appendix appears as part of the tissues of the digestive system; it is homologous to the end of the mammalian caecum. Since it does not function as part of the digestive system, it is a vestigial part of that system, no matter what other functions it may have.

  2. The human appendix may not be functional. Its absence causes no known harmful effects (other than surgical complications from removing it). When it is present, there is a 7 percent lifetime risk of acute appendicitis, which is usually fatal without modern surgical techniques (Hardin 1999).

  3. Co-opting a part for an entirely different function, such as turning part of the intestines into part of the lymphatic system, is entirely compatible with, and even expected from, evolution. However, it argues against design because
    1. it rarely occurs with known (human) designs, and
    2. it invalidates design arguments, such as irreducible complexity.


Theobald, Douglas, 2003. The vestigiality of the human vermiform appendix A modern reappraisal.

Schwab, Sid. 2007. God of the Appendix: Of truth and worms. Surgeonsblog, Feb. 18,


  1. Hardin, D. M. Jr., 1999. Acute appendicitis: review and update. American Family Physician 60(7): 2027-2034.

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created 2003-8-2, modified 2007-2-20