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Discovery Magazine 8/1/2004


Are There “Leftovers” of Evolution?

Have you ever seen a birthday balloon hanging on someone’s mailbox—a balloon that once had helium in it, but had been there so long that the helium had leaked out? The poor balloon sagged to the ground, all wrinkled and good for nothing. It once was a very useful, floating balloon. Now it is a useless, wrinkly mess of rubber.

Now think with me about the theory of evolution. According to evolution, animals and humans have been evolving for millions of years. Supposedly, they started out very simple, but over millions of years, have progressed into the complex creatures we see today. If this really did happen, the theory of evolution says that we should find some “leftover” structures that once were used but are not used anymore, just like the saggy, useless balloon. The “leftover” structures might be body organs or parts that were used “millions of years ago” by an animal or human, but now the creature has changed so much that the structure is no longer needed. Evolutionists call these leftovers “vestigial” organs.

A vestige is a piece or part left by something. For instance, after a war, old land mines accidentally left in a field would be a vestige of the war. Since evolutionists believe that evolution actually happened, they believe that there are leftover pieces or parts of it—vestiges. That is why evolutionists call certain body parts vestigial; they think the parts are leftovers from evolution.

There is one problem with this idea of vestigial parts: it is absolutely false! At one time, there was a list of over 100 parts of the human body that scientists believed were useless and vestigial. After years of research, however, we have learned that these parts are not leftovers of evolution. In fact, scientists have discovered that many of these parts are veryimportant. These parts looked useless to us at one time, because we had not studied them closely enough. After years of study, scientists are beginning to realize that the parts they once considered useless are quite helpful. We are also learning that just because we do not know what a body part does, that does not mean it is useless. God designed the body perfectly. There are no leftovers of evolution. As the psalmist wrote, humans are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).



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