"Maybe it's time to correct the textbooks. Many biology texts today still refer to the appendix as a 'vestigial organ'," says Dr. William Parker, assistant professor of Surgical Sciences at Duke.Regarding Australasia, as Kenneth Miller has pointed out, the fact that the forms that show up so closely mimic those of placentals ought to suggest strongly that evolution does not proceed at random.
He revealed that his research team used a modern approach to evolutionary biology called cladistics, which utilizes genetic information in combination with a variety of other data to evaluate biological relationships that emerge over the ages, for their study.
He said that his study has shown that the appendix has evolved at least twice, once among Australian marsupials and another time among rats, lemmings and other rodents, selected primates and humans.
"We also figure that the appendix has been around for at least 80 million years, much longer than we would estimate if Darwin's ideas about the appendix were correct," he said.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Appendix Not Vestigial?
Charles Darwin famously stated that the appendix, that irritating organ that, often, goes bad and has to be removed was a "remnant" of a past evolutionary life. Not so fast, say researchers at Duke, University of Arizona and Arizona State. As Australian Newsnet reports: