Almost fondly, given how amusing it all seems if you are old enough to remember when they were taken seriously. From a piece on how the concept of “pseudogenes” is likewise headed for the composter:
One central proof for unguided evolution that was offered for decades was “vestigial organs,” a variation on the junk-DNA myth. The evolutionary process supposedly littered our bodies with useless organs from our animal ancestry, just as it littered our cells with useless genes.
So ingrained was this idea of vestigial organs, it was common thinking among biologists for a century. Darwin started it, calling them “rudimentary organs” in both the Origin and The Descent of Man. He considered them difficulties for a design view, and predictions of natural selection. Robert Weidersheim made it his life’s work to catalog these evolutionary leftovers. In 1895, he published a list of over 100 body parts he deemed useless and non-functional. His list included the appendix, tonsils, wisdom teeth, and the coccyx. Even as late as the 1960s, tonsils were routinely removed from children on the grounds that they are unnecessary. When inflamed by infection, they can be harmful, but today’s family doctors know that, as part of the immune system, they are best left intact. Similarly, the appendix can be life-threatening when inflamed; but only within the last two decades have scientists come to realize that the appendix serves a vital function — that of “rebooting” the gut biota after diarrhea. Marcos Eberlin has made this point in his book Foresight and on a podcast for ID the Future. Similarly, wisdom teeth are best left in unless they are impacted. Some have argued that bad diet is behind our problems with third molars, not the supposition that the human jaw was shrinking and had no room for them, as Darwinians contended. And for sure, no one would want to sit down without a coccyx or tailbone! Important muscles are anchored to them, including muscles for elimination and childbirth.
Weidersheim’s list of vestigial organs has shrunk to very few today. He had included organs like the pituitary gland, spleen, and thymus gland whose vital functions were discovered later. Evolutionists should have deduced that the argument was flawed anyway; why would natural selection pay the energy cost of keeping useless organs around? The same applies to “junk DNA” — it makes no sense for a cell to keep copying and reading junk. And what is meant by “vestigial” in the first place? Humans can live without fingers, arms, and legs; are those vestigial? Some parts change during life history; they may be important in the embryo and then atrophy in the adult, or become functional after puberty, but are not “vestigial” at other times. Determining what constitutes a function can be subjective. On the whole, the vestigial organs argument is slippery: natural selection predicts many vestiges, but also predicts few vestiges.Evolution News, “Pseudogenes Are Going the Way of Darwin’s “Rudimentary Organs”” at Evolution News and Science Today
But evidence was never really why Darwinism was so widely accepted in the first place. It has functioned more as a way of dismissing evidence. One can, for example, explain away the human mind by citing kinship with chimpanzees.