The appendix is a small, worm-like attachment at the apex of the cecum. Because of its shape, it is often called the vermiform (worm-shaped) appendix. Evidence has shown that the appendix once may have taken apart in the digestion of durable matter, such as insect chitin and tree bark, but now is apparently vestigial (unnecessary) in the modern anatomy. The inflammation of the appendix is called appendicitis, and its removal is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures. The appendix is a small, tube-like structure attached to the first part of the large intestine, also called the colon. The appendix is located in the lower right portion of the abdomen, near where the small intestine attaches to the large intestine.
The function of the Appendix
Most of you are familiar with the idea that the appendix is a vestigial and useless organ. We have been told that since the appendix was left over from our evolutionary ancestry. It should be removed as soon as it gives us any trouble. In fact, some doctors have suggested removing it to keep a problem from occurring. This is a good example of how nonscientific evolutionary ideas have been detrimental to the advancement of true science. Now that considerable research has been done on the appendix, it has been found to be a complex and highly specialized organ. While there are still a lot of things we do not understand about the human appendix, scientists believe it has important functions in the following areas: embryological, physiological, microbiological (bacteriological), biochemical, immunological.
For instance, consider the following physiological function: The goblet cells which line the appendix and the adjacent cecum and colon secrete a special mucus which can be regarded as an antibacterial paint controlling the organisms which develop in the bowel, without which the body cannot truly utilize its food. Thus, most doctors now say that the appendix should not be removed. Think about it! How could these evolutionary scientists be sure it didn’t have a function, just because they didn’t yet know what the function was?