Useless Body Parts

Interesting article on body parts we could live without…

In the first chapter of The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin identified roughly a dozen anatomic traits that he gleefully described as “useless, or nearly useless, and consequently no longer subject to natural selection.”

[Examples include…]

VOMERONASAL ORGAN
A tiny pit on each side of the septum is lined with nonfunctioning chemoreceptors. They may be all that remains of a once extensive pheromone-detecting ability.

EXTRINSIC EAR MUSCLES
This trio of muscles most likely made it possible for prehominids to move their ears independently of their heads, as rabbits and dogs do. We still have them, which is why most people can learn to wiggle their ears.

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About Kevin

Kevin Jarnot is a technologist who lives just South of Boston, MA. He is currently employed as Chief Technology Officer at DebtX, a financial services technology company based in Boston.
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One Response to Useless Body Parts

  1. Bubba Nicholson says:

    Useless Body Parts? Vomeronasal or Jacobsen’s Organ: The entire upper respiratory tract is covered lushly with microvillar cells of the type known to sense pheromones in other vertebrates. Human pheromone perception is responsible for sociopathy, and “bad thinking” does not and never has caused disease. 150 mg of ordinary adult male facial skin surface lipid (sebum) when given to a delinquent criminal, runaway, or drug-seeker cures them immediately. To maintain that human pheromone reception is vestigial in the face of such evidence to the contrary (the human surface pheromone set contains more than 700 pheromone-like species including sebaleic acid found nowhere else in nature), is fundamentalist psychobabble. God rules, baby.

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