'Junk DNA' Intelligent Design News vestigial organs

Appendix must be important: Evolved over 30 times

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seven types of appendix/Brent Adrian

From ScienceDaily:

Although it is widely viewed as a vestigial organ with little known function, recent research suggests that the appendix may serve an important purpose. In particular, it may serve as a reservoir for beneficial gut bacteria. Several other mammal species also have an appendix, and studying how it evolved and functions in these species may shed light on this mysterious organ in humans.

Heather F. Smith, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, is currently studying the evolution of the appendix across mammals. Dr. Smith’s international research team gathered data on the presence or absence of the appendix and other gastrointestinal and environmental traits for 533 mammal species. They mapped the data onto a phylogeny (genetic tree) to track how the appendix has evolved through mammalian evolution, and to try to determine why some species have an appendix while others don’t.

They discovered that the appendix has evolved independently in several mammal lineages, over 30 separate times, and almost never disappears from a lineage once it has appeared. This suggests that the appendix likely serves an adaptive purpose. Looking at ecological factors, such as diet, climate, how social a species is, and where it lives, they were able to reject several previously proposed hypotheses that have attempted to link the appendix to dietary or environmental factors. Instead, they found that species with an appendix have higher average concentrations of lymphoid (immune) tissue in the cecum. This finding suggests that the appendix may play an important role as a secondary immune organ. Lymphatic tissue can also stimulate growth of some types of beneficial gut bacteria, providing further evidence that the appendix may serve as a “safe house” for helpful gut bacteria. Paper. (paywall) – Heather F. Smith, William Parker, Sanet H. Kotzé, Michel Laurin. Morphological evolution of the mammalian cecum and cecal appendix. Comptes Rendus Palevol, 2017; 16 (1): 39 DOI: 10.1016/j.crpv.2016.06.001 More.

The principal function of the appendix in recent decades has been to provide Darwinian propagandists with an easy example of a “vestigial” organ to point to—a function somewhat like that of “junk DNA/RNA.”  When a given claim is shown not to be true, no fear, they just cease being polite and camp on the next apparent example. There are many life forms to choose from so they can go on inhibiting fresh approaches until they retire.

If an organ that is not used by current life forms within a lineage tends to persist, might it be conserved as part of a package that can be repurposed later? That, of course, assumes a non-Darwinian approach to evolution, so the enquiring mind had better enquire about something else at present.

See also: Appendix has a use after all? Has recently retired from being “vestige of evolution” …

Appendix not even redundant, let alone vestigial?

See also: Appendix, no “vestigial organ,” is a safe house for useful bacteria, researcher says

They knew the human appendix did a job sixty years ago, actually

Your appendix: The king of vestigial organs has a job again

and

“Junk” RNA helps regulate metabolism

Junk DNA defender just isn’t doing politeness any more.

Anyone remember ENCODE? Not much junk DNA? Still not much. (Paper is open access.)

Yes, Darwin’s followers did use junk DNA as an argument for their position.

Another response to Darwin’s followers’ attack on the “not-much-junk-DNA” ENCODE findings

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20 Replies to “Appendix must be important: Evolved over 30 times

  1. 1
    OldArmy94 says:

    Funny how evolution is so sensitive it can keep a mostly-useless appendix around as a “just in case”, yet it doesn’t get rid of these major flaws that allegedly exist in the retina, etc.

    It seems the godless designer isn’t as superior to the Intelligent Designer as they would have us believe.

  2. 2
    Silver Asiatic says:

    “It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life”

    — Don’t most people believe what Darwin said there?

  3. 3
    Pearlman says:

    convergent evolution ‘evolved 30x’ 🙂
    points to One common designer/creator, not to NDT – Neo-Darwin dogma.
    also even w/ ID-YeC-RCCF we would predict adaptation and some residual parts/functions that were useful in the past and might be more useful again in the future, such as wisdom teeth that were ideal in the pre-Mabul and into the ice age environment/conditions..
    RCCF = The Recent Complex Creation Framework for understanding science in maximum available context.

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    Although the vermiform appendix is commonly considered a vestigial organ, adverse health consequences after an appendectomy have garnered increasing attention.

    We found an increased risk of a subsequent gallstone diagnosis within 5 years after an appendectomy.

    Increased Risk of Clinically Significant Gallstones following an Appendectomy: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study
    Shiu-Dong Chung, Chung-Chien Huang, Herng-Ching Lin, Ming-Chieh Tsai, and Chao-Hung Chen
    PLoS One. 11(10): e0165829.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165829

    Complex complexity.

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    Although the vermiform appendix in humans is commonly considered a vestigial organ, a certain immune function is believed to be involved based on its association with substantial lymphatic tissues.

    Findings suggest that the appendix is well-suited to serve as a “safe house” for biofilm formation to preserve and protect commensal bacteria needed in the colon.

    Increased Risk of Clinically Significant Gallstones following an Appendectomy: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study
    Shiu-Dong Chung, Chung-Chien Huang, Herng-Ching Lin, Ming-Chieh Tsai, and Chao-Hung Chen
    PLoS One. 11(10): e0165829.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165829

    Complex complexity.

  6. 6
    Dionisio says:

    More evidence has accumulated associating an appendectomy with chronic inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract closer to the appendix, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

    Cancer risks following an appendectomy were also observed in GI tract systems including colon cancer and the reproductive system including prostate cancer

    The real function of the human appendix has long been argued.

    Increased Risk of Clinically Significant Gallstones following an Appendectomy: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study
    Shiu-Dong Chung, Chung-Chien Huang, Herng-Ching Lin, Ming-Chieh Tsai, and Chao-Hung Chen
    PLoS One. 11(10): e0165829.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165829

    Complex complexity.

  7. 7
    Dionisio says:

    Although it might not be considered vital, recent studies have observed an association between removal of the appendix and GI tract diseases, such as an elevated risk for Crohn’s disease and a reduced risk for ulcerative colitis.

    In a population-based study, increased risks of malignancy in digestive systems, such as colorectal cancer, were found following an appendectomy.

    Moreover, the incidence of gall bladder cancer increased 2-fold among patients who underwent an appendectomy.

    Increased Risk of Clinically Significant Gallstones following an Appendectomy: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study
    Shiu-Dong Chung, Chung-Chien Huang, Herng-Ching Lin, Ming-Chieh Tsai, and Chao-Hung Chen
    PLoS One. 11(10): e0165829.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165829

    Complex complexity.

  8. 8
    Dionisio says:

    […] the risk of gallstones was significantly higher for patients within 5 years after an appendectomy.

    The specific pathway linking an appendectomy to gallstone formation, especially in women, deserves attention and further study.

    Future more extensive investigations possibly collecting laboratory investigations in longitudinal follow-up study design with larger sample sizes are warranted to further ascertain the link between appendectomy and its consequent risks on gallstones.

    Increased Risk of Clinically Significant Gallstones following an Appendectomy: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study
    Shiu-Dong Chung, Chung-Chien Huang, Herng-Ching Lin, Ming-Chieh Tsai, and Chao-Hung Chen
    PLoS One. 11(10): e0165829.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165829

    Complex complexity.

  9. 9
    Dionisio says:

    […] the appendix is recognized as an essential component of mammalian mucosal immune function, particularly B-lymphocyte-mediated immune responses and extrathymically derived T-lymphocytes.

    As one of the guardians of the internal body from the hostile external environment being removed after an appendectomy, the “safe house” for commensal bacteria is damaged.

    Impaired immunity may facilitate proliferation of pathogens which induce regional infectious diseases, such as Crohn’s disease.

    Further clinical or basic studies are needed to elucidate whether gallstones are consequences or comorbidities of appendicitis/an appendectomy.

    Increased Risk of Clinically Significant Gallstones following an Appendectomy: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study
    Shiu-Dong Chung, Chung-Chien Huang, Herng-Ching Lin, Ming-Chieh Tsai, and Chao-Hung Chen
    PLoS One. 11(10): e0165829.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165829

    Complex complexity.

  10. 10
    Dionisio says:

    The mechanism between the relationship with an appendectomy and subsequent disease still remains unknown.

    […] female subjects who undergo an appendectomy have a higher risk of RA than comparison female subjects.

    The vermiform appendix is part of gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) which may be considered an immune organ in a natural environment.

    An Appendectomy Increases the Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study
    Ya-Mei Tzeng, Li-Ting Kao, Senyeong Kao, Herng-Ching Lin, Ming-Chieh Tsai, and Cha-Ze Lee
    PLoS One. 10(5): e0126816.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126816

    Complex complexity.

  11. 11
    Dionisio says:

    Previous studies showed that changes in immune function after an appendectomy may be associated with a variety of diseases such as coeliac disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Clostridium difficile infection, acute myocardial infraction, and pulmonary tuberculosis.

    Some evidence has shown that the appendix may be associated with substantial lymphatic tissue which is thought to play a specific role in immune function.

    An Appendectomy Increases the Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study
    Ya-Mei Tzeng, Li-Ting Kao, Senyeong Kao, Herng-Ching Lin, Ming-Chieh Tsai, and Cha-Ze Lee
    PLoS One. 10(5): e0126816.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126816

    Complex complexity.

  12. 12
    Dionisio says:

    The role of the human appendix is still not clearly identified.

    Recent literature shows that the human appendix might be regarded as a part of the immune system because many immunoglobulin-producing cells can be detected in normal appendix mucosa.

    Therefore, due to the change of immune function after removing the human appendix, people with appendectomy are found to be associated with increased risk of pulmonary tuberculosis, colorectal cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and ischemic heart disease.

    More research is needed to examine issues related to the pathogenesis of appendectomy associated with pyogenic liver abscess.

    Appendectomy correlates with increased risk of pyogenic liver abscess
    A population-based cohort study in Taiwan
    Kuan-Fu Liao, MD, MS,a,b Shih-Wei Lai, MD,c,d Cheng-Li Lin, MS,c,e and Sou-Hsin Chien, MDa
    Medicine (Baltimore). 95(26): e4015.
    doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000004015

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Dionisio says:

    The evolutionary pressures leading to the appearance of the cecal appendix, its evolutionary relationships with the cecum, and the link between these gastrointestinal characters and ecology remain controversial.

    Comptes Rendus Palevol Morphological evolution of the mammalian cecum and cecal appendix
    Heather F. Smitha, William Parkerc, Sanet H. Kotzéd, Michel Laurine
    Comptes Rendus Palevol
    DOI: 10.1016/j.crpv.2016.06.001

    Duh!

    Complex complexity.

  15. 15
    Dionisio says:

    The fact that lymphoid tissue is associated with the appendix in humans has been previously documented (Berry, 1900; Bollinger et al., 2007), but we have now confirmed that this relationship also exists in other species, and more importantly, that both characters are correlated in mammalian evolution, thus providing additional support to the idea that the appendix serves an immunological function in mammals that have one.

    Comptes Rendus Palevol Morphological evolution of the mammalian cecum and cecal appendix
    Heather F. Smitha, William Parkerc, Sanet H. Kotzéd, Michel Laurine
    Comptes Rendus Palevol
    DOI: 10.1016/j.crpv.2016.06.001

    Duh!

    Complex complexity.

  16. 16
    Dionisio says:

    Whether this represents a purely phylogenetic effect, or in part a correlate of an ecological factor that we have not considered remains to be determined.

    Comptes Rendus Palevol Morphological evolution of the mammalian cecum and cecal appendix
    Heather F. Smitha, William Parkerc, Sanet H. Kotzéd, Michel Laurine
    Comptes Rendus Palevol
    DOI: 10.1016/j.crpv.2016.06.001

    Complex complexity.

  17. 17
    Dionisio says:

    Basically what we’re seeing here is another example of the wonderfully designed built-in framework that allows flexible (direct or indirect) adjustments of the biological systems in order to increase their adaptation and robustness while facing different kinds of environmental changes, thermodynamic noise or biochemical stress.
    Complex complexity.

  18. 18
    tjguy says:

    The appendix evolved 30 times?

    Can anyone explain how this idea fits the evolutionary paradigm?

    This is NOT what Darwin predicted. There are other organs that are claimed to have evolved even more times.

    Why is this not a falsification of the theory?

    So is this a remarkable of “convergent evolution”? That is the claim that evolutionists make in order to avoid the falsification of their theory.

    When you claim that an organ evolved over 30 different times, it’s a bit incredible! Sure. Evolutionists are willing to believe any and all claims to preserve their beloved theory, but there are other interpretations, besides the idea of convergent evolution, that fit the data just as well.

  19. 19
    Silver Asiatic says:

    tjguy

    I’ve never seen a good response to that point. The theory is obviously falsified. Evidence for common descent was supposed to be for organs which evolved just once and were transmitted through generations via inheritance.

    When that didn’t work, they came up with an absurd number of independent evolutionary events for various organs (including very complex ones like eyes). This radical contradiction is done on the same fossil evidence (so we can entirely forget about fossils as evolutionary evidence). There also remains zero experimental evidence that one appendix can evolve, but that doesn’t stop them from claiming that there were 30 different ‘evolutions’ of them.

    They’ll claim something like “all 30 appendixes are actually quite different”. LOL.

    The pathway from bacteria to human (not to mention all the other biological diversity on earth) is simply impossible to travel or calculate.

    It’s hard to imagine that so many people still believe in Darwinian theory, but indeed they do. And they retain tenured positions in the top universities in the world.

    It’s simply amazing.

  20. 20
    Dionisio says:

    Non-Coding RNA — Open Access Journal

    Non-Coding RNA (ISSN 2311-553X) is an international open access journal on non-coding RNA research dealing with elucidating the structure, function and biology of regulatory non-coding RNAs. ncRNA is published quarterly online by MDPI.

    http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ncrna

    About Non-Coding RNA

    Aims

    Non-coding RNA (ISSN 2311-553X) is an open access journal which provides an advanced forum for research studies on non-coding RNAs and their regulatory roles. It publishes primarily original research papers, short reports, communications, snapshots and conference reports. Our aim is to encourage scientists to publish their experimental and theoretical results in as much detail as possible. There is no restriction on the length of the papers. The full experimental details must be provided so that the results can be reproduced. We also encourage the publication of timely reviews and of commentaries on hot topics of interest to the non-coding RNAs community.

    http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ncrna/about

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