Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, MD writes:
Other than the obvious problems of crowding out basic science courses that have genuine relevance to the practice of medicine, is there any harm in teaching more evolution to medical students? History would say “yes.” Erroneous beliefs that certain mysterious “vestigial organs” were useless evolutionary leftovers, for instance, led many physicians to destroy them needlessly. Countless appendixes were removed unnecessarily on the Darwinian assumption that they were useless leftovers from our ape-ish heritage, ignoring clear evidence that the appendix functions as part of the immune system. Likewise, the thymus glands of many children were needlessly irradiated by physicians who thought the thymus—an important component of a child’s developing immune system—was a useless evolutionary vestige.