A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Timothy Birdnow

William Shakespeare, ever an acute observer of the human condition, noted that "there are more things under Heaven and on Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" and by philosophy he meant science. Shakespeare was noting a particular tendency to arrogance in the human species, a belief in the absolute power of human ability and human reason. He appeared to agree with Socrates, who saw himself the wisest man in Greece because he knew how little he really knew.

This tendency has metastasized in recent years, at least since the Industrial Revolution. It has been attributed to Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. patent office, 1899 "Everything that can be invented has been invented." (It has never been proven that Duell ever said this, but it is illustrative of the spirit of the age.)

The point I'm driving at is that we are only just discovering how little we really know, yet so many continue to pretend we have Godlike knowledge of our universe.

Take the Pineal Gland. For years scientists thought it was a vestigal organ, the remains of a third eye that was needed when animals first made the jump from cold to warm blooded. It was, they thought, an eye that watched the sun and told the creature when to sleep and when to wake. They thought it helped regulate body temperature. Scientists couldn't find any use for it in modern creatures and adjudged it a vestige, evolutionary junk.

Turns out the pineal gland secretes the hormone melatonin, a critical harmone in the regulation of the wake/sleep cycle. It serves a very useful purpose.

In fact, the existence of "vestigal" or "junk" in biological forms has been used to prove Darwin correct. But just because we do not know the function, does that make it junk? Is "junk DNA" really junk, or is it we just don't understand why it is there?

The Appendix has been the poster boy for the Darwinist view; a leftover organ serving no useful purpose.

But it turns out they were wrong.

According to Scientific American:

""Among adult humans, the appendix is now thought to be involved primarily in immune functions. Lymphoid tissue begins to accumulate in the appendix shortly after birth and reaches a peak between the second and third decades of life, decreasing rapidly thereafter and practically disappearing after the age of 60. During the early years of development, however, the appendix has been shown to function as a lymphoid organ, assisting with the maturation of B lymphocytes (one variety of white blood cell) and in the production of the class of antibodies known as immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies. Researchers have also shown that the appendix is involved in the production of molecules that help to direct the movement of lymphocytes to various other locations in the body.

"In this context, the function of the appendix appears to be to expose white blood cells to the wide variety of antigens, or foreign substances, present in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus, the appendix probably helps to suppress potentially destructive humoral (blood- and lymph-borne) antibody responses while promoting local immunity. The appendix--like the tiny structures called Peyer's patches in other areas of the gastrointestinal tract--takes up antigens from the contents of the intestines and reacts to these contents. This local immune system plays a vital role in the physiological immune response and in the control of food, drug, microbial or viral antigens. The connection between these local immune reactions and inflammatory bowel diseases, as well as autoimmune reactions in which the individual's own tissues are attacked by the immune system, is currently under investigation."

End excerpt.

So the poster boy of Darwinian style evolution is shown to actually have a purpose, we just never knew what it was!

This arrogance has become pervasive in science, particularly the softer sciences. Climatology, for instance, is fairly dripping with intellectual conceit. The whole Global Warming scare is predicated on the fact that climatologists cannot account for how the planet experienced a modest warming, and so postulated a theory that they then verified solely with computer models. Now they refuse to get rid of it because they refuse to believe that they actually do not understand the climate.

Man is not the prime movers. Wisdom comes first from admitting how little we know.

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