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Vestigial organs may have functions (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Vestigial organs may have functions (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CB360:

Practically all "vestigial" organs in man have been shown to have definite uses and not to be vestigial at all.


CreationWiki response:

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. "Vestigial" does not mean an organ is useless. A vestige is a "trace or visible sign left by something lost or vanished". Examples from biology include leg bones in snakes, eye remnants in blind cave fish, extra toe bones in horses, wing stubs on flightless birds and insects, and molars in vampire bats. Whether these organs have functions is irrelevant. They obviously do not have the function that we expect from such parts in other animals, for which creationists say the parts are "designed."

Talk Origins argument is flawed because similar designs are often used for radically different purposes. For example, the wheel is used in numerous applications, including locomotion, steering, bending things, adjusting power on electrical devices and much more. The fact that two organisms have similar structures that are designed to do different things is not an argument against design since humans also design in the same way. Besides, why should a designer throw away a perfectly useful design?

Vestigial organs are evidence for evolution because we expect evolutionary changes to be imperfect as creatures evolve to adopt new niches..

Talk Origins is using circular reasoning here. In most cases the idea that a given organ is vestigial, is a purely evolutionary interpretation. Simply put, you have to start with the assumption that the organism evolved from something else. The result is that the vestigial label is an interpretation but not objective evidence.

Creationism cannot explain vestigial organs They are evidence against creationism if the creator follows a basic design principle that form follows function, as H. M. Morris himself expects (1974, 70).

Those so called vestigial organs that have functions can be explained by economy of design. That is using similar parts whenever possible, this happens in design all the time. The few non-functional examples can be explained by decay.

They are compatible with creation only if anything and everything is compatible with creation, making creationism useless and unscientific.

Wrong! Developing new complex organs that have no previous genetic information, would still be incompatible with creation.

2. Some vestigial organs can be determined to be useless if experiments show that organisms with them survive no better than organisms without them.

Wrong! It demonstrates that the organ has no survival benefit for the organism, not that it is useless. Sex organs have no survival value to the individual organism; they can be removed without harming survival. In fact many animals are killed each year fighting over mates. In human society wars have been fought over women.