This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

Issue Features
View this issue online as it looks in print
Discovery Magazine 2/1/2001

What is the Appendix in the Body For?

by  Digger Doug

Dear Ben,

That is a very good question. In fact it is so good that it puzzled doctors for many years. If you read last month’s question and answer, you will remember that many years ago organs such as the tonsils and the appendix were thought to be useless ''leftovers" of evolution. These parts were called vestigial (ve-STIJ-ē-al) organs. The word “vestigial” means a trace or a mark left by something, much like a footprint. It was thought that these “useless” organs were marks or “footprints” of evolution.

However, as doctors learned more about these organs, especially the appendix, they discovered that they are not useless after all. The appendix is a small pouch that extends off the large intestine. It also is called the vermiform (worm-shaped) appendix because it looks like a three-inch earthworm. In recent years, doctors have observed that the appendix is a tough soldier against infection, especially in people who have been exposed to some types of radiation. Inside the appendix is lymphoid (LIM-foid) tissue which helps produce white blood cells that fight disease. Also, early in a child’s life the appendix is relatively larger than it is in adults. It is during these early stages of life that the appendix appears to play an even bigger role in guarding the body from infection.

The more we learn about the human body, the more we realize that it does not have "useless" parts. In fact, the Bible teaches that humans are "fearfully and wonderfully made"(Psalm 139:14).The old familiar child's saying is true: "God doesn’t make junk!"

Copyright © 2001 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

This document may be copied, on the condition that it will not be republished in print unless otherwise stated below, and will not be used for any commercial purpose, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, excepting brief quotations, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original written content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken. Further, documents may not be copied without source statements (title, author, journal title), and the address of the publisher and owner of rights, as listed below.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
Phone (334) 272-8558

Web Store

Defending the Faith Study Bible

We are very excited to announce the NEW AP Defending the Faith Study Bible now available.

Featured Audio


Click the following link to visit our Multimedia section.

Featured Audio