The latest news is that the appendix, believed for centuries to be useless, is finally earning status as a real organ. It was a headline story on Yahoo news, just yesterday! (http://www.yahoo.com/s/1119597)
Researchers say they have identified certain potential functions of this "vestigial" organ, so classified by none other than Darwin himself, still revered as the father of the theory of evolution. And still revered as an authority! How many more of his theories must be debunked before that changes? Who knows... but that's another story, for another day, another web site, or another belief system. It doesn't matter.
The idea now is that the humble little appendix used to be more useful in days gone by to store bacteria that could help protect one's system in a world full of horrible infectious material... all cleaned up now, of course. (Believe that?)
The Industrial Revolution changed the world, and now, according to current thinking, we just don't have all that garbage around us, threatening our health. And in keeping with that idea, the appendix no longer has enough to do, so it sits quietly, doing little or nothing, until we might need its services. Trouble is, with its life of ease, it's become lazy and shrunken and now may not be up to the demand it used to handle, much like a healthy, well-muscled football player who has retired and gone flabby.
Well, this is just another chapter in the story of medical arrogance, in my opinion. As a chiropractor for more than 35 years, I can tell you that it's always been the opinion of most alternative health professionals that everything that appears in a normal, healthy body is there for a reason... even the appendix. Only medical arrogance proclaims uselessness when they can't explain something. In typical fashion, if the big shot docs can't find a function, then it doesn't exist.
Natural healers, on the other hand, don't know all the answers either, but we are content in knowing that everything is here for a reason, and as stewards of others' health, it is our responsibility to help our clients and patients recover and maintain their best health in order to foster their best functionality... even for organs and processes we may not fully comprehend.
The medical theories are full of holes, too. The assumption that our modern lifestyle has been cleaned up is a bit off the mark. How about those folks in Third World countries who are suffering because of poor sanitation due to Western influences that completely changed their native habitats? They contract some of the most horrific tropical diseases from being unprotected in environments that aren't exactly clean. I'll bet they have "useless" appendices, too. Or, why don't they have big fat busy ones?
When exactly did our lives become so easy? I know a lot of peole who aren't lying around sipping pina coladas and feeling so good. I hear there are still some slums in the big city, too.
Oh, life has changed, all right. Some things are worse... pollution, shrinking resources, adulterated food, chemical composites called food, genetically modified "food," enormous increases in drug use (legal or not), and adulteration of our internal and external environments with radiation and so-called remedial chemicals (such as fluoride).
None of those things have changed the basic condition of the appendix as we know it today. They might, in another 80 million years of evolution, but I don't think we're going to be here... unless our "leaders" stop ruining the planet. Again, another story, for another day....
But yes, the appendix is there for a reason. I knew that.