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Five Things Humans No Longer Need - Comments

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 1 by DamnDirtyApe

You can have my goosebumps when you pry them out of my cold dead hands!

Otherwise, I agree. Especially on the overcrowded party that is ruined by my wisdom teeth.

And let's not forget the old favourite, the Appendix!

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:02:00 UTC | #174633

MaxD's Avatar Comment 2 by MaxD

The hell with wisdom teeth.

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:04:00 UTC | #174634

PristinePanda's Avatar Comment 3 by PristinePanda

I could do without goose bumps, thank you.
You can find a nice song about vestigial features of the human body sung by Dan Barker in # April 29, 2006 - Somewhere Over the Rainbow . . . Rhymes for the Irreverent: Freedom From Religion Foundation's Podcast. It cracks me up :D

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:13:00 UTC | #174637

movingshadow's Avatar Comment 4 by movingshadow

"And let's not forget the old favourite, the Appendix! "

Check that first paragraph ;)

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:25:00 UTC | #174646

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 5 by mordacious1

I don't know, I still like giving my wife goosebumps, it shows I'm still doing my job.

And the coccyx has a purpose. It breaks when you fall on your ass. As in: "Ben Stein's "Exposed" broke its coccyx when it fell on its ass."

"35% of people have no wisdom teeth" I didn't know that. How come I got stuck with two kids who had to have theirs removed, with an out-of-pocket cost to me of $1000 . Why couldn't they just have evolved quicker?

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:34:00 UTC | #174649

Adam Morrison's Avatar Comment 6 by Adam Morrison

Hmmm.... Does this mean that since I have my wisdom teeth in and there's not a problem and I have the space for them.... I'm some kind of ape-man?!?
Damn you Darwinists! Now I'll never get a job other than as an extra for the next planet of the apes movie... (mutters into to some random and completely nonsensical anti-evolution rant :)

Seriously though, I'm pretty sure we could come up with a remarkably long list of traits that are no longer advantageous in our species.

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:35:00 UTC | #174650

Nefrubyr's Avatar Comment 7 by Nefrubyr

I have Darwin's points on my ears. I've never noticed them on other people so I assumed I was just a freak.

It's always good to learn that one is an officially recognised category of freak.

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:36:00 UTC | #174651

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 8 by mordacious1

I think people with lots of hair on their backs should evolve already. I'm talking to you clearmind.

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:40:00 UTC | #174652

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 9 by Agrajag

I expected "Religion" to be on the list. I guess it's not properly considered to be a body part. So there!

A structure that is the object of reduced evolutionary pressure can, within limits, take on different forms. ...
A good example is the human coccyx, a vestige of the mammalian tail, which has taken on a modified function, notably as an anchor point for the muscles that hold the anus in place.

Well, *evolutionary* pressure may be reduced... :-O

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:47:00 UTC | #174656

Alkal's Avatar Comment 10 by Alkal

Hurray I am evolved.. no wisdom teeth here- the rest cost buckets in root canals and fillings though :(

The "hillocks of Hiss" sound so cool though, don't they?

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:48:00 UTC | #174657

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 11 by mordacious1

Five Things Humans No Longer Need

How about ABC News? Go internet!

edit: Add the Postal Service to the list too.

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:51:00 UTC | #174658

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 12 by Agrajag

11. Comment #184008 by mordacious1 on May 23, 2008 at 11:51 am

Add the Postal Service to the list too.

One of my favorite oxymormons, like "jumbo shrimp", "military intelligence" and "rap music". ;-)

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:54:00 UTC | #174659

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 13 by Quetzalcoatl


"painless dentistry" is a good oxymoron.

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:58:00 UTC | #174660

Stella's Avatar Comment 14 by Stella

Proof that I am highly evolved:

I have no wisdom teeth.

I just found this out when visiting a new dentist a few weeks ago. She asked me, "Did you have your wisdom teeth removed?" and I said, "No - I hope I don't need to." Apparently, I have none. She even did extra X-rays to make sure. The four back molars (one in each corner) I remember coming in late, like when I was 13 or so, and only halfway. So I figured those were wisdom teeth, but as they never bothered me, or moved, or caused pain, I just assumed they didn't need to be removed. Imagine my surprise and delight!

Fri, 23 May 2008 11:02:00 UTC | #174661

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 15 by Quetzalcoatl


Proof that I am highly evolved:

I have no wisdom teeth.

Show-off. :(

Fri, 23 May 2008 11:09:00 UTC | #174663

FelixJ's Avatar Comment 16 by FelixJ

I like having goose bumps, especially when listening to beautiful music! I'm glad I was born before we lost the gorgeous, tickling sensation :D

Fri, 23 May 2008 11:12:00 UTC | #174664

Stella's Avatar Comment 17 by Stella

Also, the female reproductive system is SOOOO inefficient. The realization of this, when its inefficiency first intruded on my otherwise blissfully happy childhood, was the first nail in god's coffin. "Intelligent designer"? - Ha! "Merciful"? - HA!

Fri, 23 May 2008 11:14:00 UTC | #174665

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 18 by al-rawandi

#6 Religion.

Fri, 23 May 2008 11:17:00 UTC | #174667

Fire1974's Avatar Comment 19 by Fire1974

I lucked out of have wisdom teeth, but then I was cursed with an inflamed appendix that had to be removed 2 years ago.

I guess "The Lord" intended for me to have a short, painless life. Quack!!!

It seems impossible to me that anyone could know even the basics of anatomy and physiology and still be a creationist. Does anyone know of a creationist who's gotten through Med-School?

Fri, 23 May 2008 11:19:00 UTC | #174668

Geodesic17's Avatar Comment 20 by Geodesic17

Any god that would design vestigal wisdom teeth is a total asshole.

Fri, 23 May 2008 11:38:00 UTC | #174670

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 21 by mordacious1

My appendix played a huge role in turning me to atheism. My family was moving from NY to CA when I was 5. I was doubled up in the back seat by the time we reached IL but my parents wouldn't take me to a Dr. Finally, they did, but the Dr. told my mom that the appendix had burst a long time ago and that I probably wouldn't make it. Thanks to the medical staff I did. A few years later when I was 7 or 8 my mom told me that the only reason I survived was that she had prayed to the virgin mary. I thought about that and decided it was nonsense. She wouldn't admit it was her fault, but god had saved me. By 12 years I was turned off by all religion, and by 15 I was a full blown atheist. So in my case, the appendix did have a purpose.

Fri, 23 May 2008 11:46:00 UTC | #174672

Geodesic17's Avatar Comment 22 by Geodesic17


This kind of thinking is common. By the way, the worst place to be in a medical emergency is a Pentecostal Church service.

Fri, 23 May 2008 11:48:00 UTC | #174673

Frankus1122's Avatar Comment 23 by Frankus1122

He suggests that when the body size of mammals reduces rapidly their jaws become too small to house all their teeth, and overcrowding eventually results in selection for fewer or smaller teeth (International Congress Series, vol 1296, p 74). This seems to be happening in Homo sapiens.

I don't understand how this is happening.
Am I less likely to reproduce because I have wisdom teeth? Are homo sapiens with wisdom teeth generally less likely to reproduce because they have wisdom teeth?
If that is not the case (and I don't see how wisdom teeth or lack thereof would influence reproductive success) then what is the mechanism that is causing homo sapiens to evolve in this direction?

Fri, 23 May 2008 12:00:00 UTC | #174680

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 24 by aquilacane

My wise-ass teeth came in at 17 and didn't cause a problem. They took them out anyway (cash grab) under a local. As for Darwin's Point, I've seen it on many friends and thought nothing of it.

I have noticed that for many people the brain is becoming a vestigial organ. Not much thinking going on with the majority of the human race, I think we'll discover we're better off being stupid in numbers than smart and alone.

Fri, 23 May 2008 12:03:00 UTC | #174681

Teratornis's Avatar Comment 25 by Teratornis

Goose bumps could make a comeback, if humans who live outside the tropics decide to genetically engineer themselves to grow seasonal fur again. That would allow for enormous energy savings, as it would no longer be necessary to heat buildings to subtropical temperatures year-round. It would only be necessary to keep the water pipes above freezing.

Animals like the arctic fox have such efficient fur that they don't even need buildings.

Allowing buildings to cool in winter would also help eliminate many pest organisms which crave warmth as much as humans currently do: bedbugs, dust mites, roaches, etc.

Our heat craving leads to many unnecessary deaths each year. Building fires and carbon monoxide poisoning can result from malfunctioning furnaces.

I wonder if infectious diseases like colds and influenza spread faster inside heated buildings. Over the years, as I have trained myself to live with progressively less heat each winter, I've also noticed that I get sick less often. But I read somewhere that as people reach middle age, they tend to build up immunity to more cold and flu viruses, having had more years of exposure to the various strains in circulation. Thus my anecdotal observation may not isolate the effect of living in a colder house for about five months out of the year. But at least a cold house does not make me sicker.

Fri, 23 May 2008 12:19:00 UTC | #174686

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 26 by Agrajag

24. Comment #184031 by Frankus1122 on May 23, 2008 at 1:00 pm
Are homo sapiens with wisdom teeth generally less likely to reproduce because they have wisdom teeth?

Don't we hear that the less-wise have more children? ;-)

19. Comment #184018 by al-rawandi on May 23, 2008 at 12:17 pm
#6 Religion.

Ahem... 9. Comment #184006 by steveroot

14. Comment #184011 by Quetzalcoatl on May 23, 2008 at 11:58 am
"painless dentistry" is a good oxymoron.

Generally yes, and it makes a good dental joke. However, and excuse the OT, about 1/3 of the root canal treatments I do are without anesthesia and, yes, they *are* painless!

Fri, 23 May 2008 12:21:00 UTC | #174687

Teratornis's Avatar Comment 27 by Teratornis

Comment #184032 by aquilacane:

I have noticed that for many people the brain is becoming a vestigial organ. Not much thinking going on with the majority of the human race, I think we'll discover we're better off being stupid in numbers than smart and alone.

You'll probably be as surprised I was, then, to discover there is objective evidence that people could actually be getting smarter, or at least getting better at taking tests which try to measure how smart they are:

The Flynn Effect is the opposite of what one would expect from the inverse correlation between IQ and fertility in modern societies, let alone what one would expect simply from going outside and talking to people. Nevertheless the Flynn Effect is consistently measurable.

Science still has a few things left to figure out about humans.

Fri, 23 May 2008 12:27:00 UTC | #174691

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 28 by mordacious1

My root canal was the most relaxing thing I've had done in a long time, the Dr. was great. Totally painless.

Fri, 23 May 2008 12:28:00 UTC | #174692

moderndaythomas's Avatar Comment 29 by moderndaythomas


Add the Postal Service to the list too.

What's a postal service?


Does anyone know of a creationist who's gotten through Med-School?

I know a psychiatrist?

I don't have my top wisdom teeth. Half way there is better then not at all.

Actually I wonder if this kind of thing could be considered as an indicator of a gene becoming a fossil?
Our health no longer depends on the presence of large cheek teeth, so when the mutations occur and the teeth don't come, it otherwise goes unnoticed. And nature doesn't purge us from the population. In fact, the less teeth that we have in our skull translates to fewer cavities and abscesses.

Fri, 23 May 2008 12:51:00 UTC | #174702

Geodesic17's Avatar Comment 30 by Geodesic17

There is a documentary called The Ghost in Your Genes that suggests that environmental events can switch off certain genes. I do not know enough about the subject, but I do not care for their choice of metaphor.

Fri, 23 May 2008 12:55:00 UTC | #174705