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Anatomical Quirks

In both creation stories from Genesis 1 and 2 we read that god created light before he created man [well before he created woman] so if he did create humans he either must need some really strong glasses or is such an incompetent designer that he should be fired.I will list a few of the obvious [some not so obvious] quirks of human anatomy.

  • Aortic Arches
  • Backwards/Divided Retina
  • Blood Vessel Overlap
  • Ear Muscles
  • Epiglottis
  • Male Nipples
  • These are just a few of the numerous examples I could have listed. I will address each in turn with a short summary of why it is a problem and why it is bad design. Two of them I will discuss with more than just a summary. Last night’s article should have given you fair warning that I am going to look at the circulatory system, in this case the blood vessel overlap. If you didn’t read last night’s article, shame on you. Go read it here then come back.

    Human Embryo (7th week of pregnancy)

    Human Embryo (7th week of pregnancy)

    First up are the six Aortic Arches that form in the embryo. Why am I calling that a problem since it is an obvious holdover from our evolutionary ancestors? In our fish ancestors, these arches were used to form the gills so it is more than understandable why they remain in a human embryo. Only thing is all 4 arches are not needed in a human. Not only are there some cases where the arches do not disappear and a human baby is born with ‘gills’ but apparently the intelligent designer didn’t realize since the arches one, two and 5 disappear bilaterally and arch six disappears one the right side, that there would be an enormous and unnecessary wasting of resources. Then again, this could have been his Rube Goldbergesque joke.

    == Summary == 1543 book from the collection of...

    Optical chiasm

    The eye, the ‘shining’ example IDiots use to show irreducible complexity. There are many, many quirks with the eye alone but I only want to address one. Not even sure I labeled it correctly so I am going to dip into this in a bit of detail and if I don’t use the proper anatomical terms, blame my ex girlfriend down in Texas, she was the optometrist not me. First let me explain our retinas. Each of our retinas have a nasal side and a temporal side. The nasal side is on the nose side and the temporal side is on the side with our ear [just checking to see if your paying attention]. When we look at something, say a vase, the left side of the vase registers on the temporal side of our right retina and the right side of the vase registers on the nasal side of our right retina. Confused yet? Now let’s take a lateral jump to the left eye and we see that the left side of the vase registers on the nasal side of our left retina and the right side of the vase registers on the temporal side of our left retina. Now I am confused so let me trudge on. This is known as crossover. In humans as well as most primates, the crossover is 50%. In the animal kingdom it is usually 100%. You may wonder how our brains actually make sense of this and actually interpret this stereoscopically. If you are familiar with old stereoscopic cameras you are aware that there are two lenses that are slightly offset so they take a picture from slightly different angles and are combined to form one image. Not such a simple and elegant solution for our unintelligent designer. It is necessary for our stereoscopic vision to have the images processed on different sides of our brains otherwise the images are unclear. This can be seen in Albino humans who due to their albinism have less crossing of their axons which they make up for by crossing their eyes. In the animal kingdom all albino animals have crossed eyes. The images from each side of our retinas travels from our eyes to our brains along axons which cross at a spot named the chiasm [named after the Greek letter chi due to its similarity to an X and Xasm sounds like something from a porn movie]. To be more specific, the temporal side of our right retina crosses with the nasal side of our left retina then continues on for further vision processing in the left side of our vision system and the reverse happens for our retinas other side. This results in the axons from our right and left visual fields being processed by the opposite side of our brains visual center. Any electricians or just plain smart people want to tell me what can happen when wires cross?

    The abdominal aorta and its branches.

    Aorta In Red. Inferior Vena Cava In Blue

    Now we get to the second longer topic, blood vessel overlap which can have deadly consequences. Inside our body we have our Abdominal Aorta which not surprisingly runs through our abdomen [hence the name]. It is the principal artery in our body. Alongside it, just to the right, runs the inferior vena cava. The first and most obvious question is why is that a problem? That isn’t but what happens is. The inferior vena cava returns deoxygenated blood from our legs and to do so must form a juncture like an upside down Y. Our Abdominal Aorta supplies oxygenated blood to our legs so it to must branch off as an upside down Y. Neither in itself is a problem. Where they branch into the leg there is a problem. As the inferior vena cava branches the Abdominal Aorta does the same only going into the left leg it lays atop the inferior vena cava which can lead to thrombosis and vasoconstriction. This problem isn’t present on the right. And as a medical confirmation of this being a problem just look at Thurner-May syndrome. It is typical for someone with this syndrome to have deep vein thrombosis in the left leg and not in the right. Although a DVT is not a necessary outcome of Thurner-May it is a distinct risk. Now someone want to tell me how loving and intelligent our designer was?

    Now we come to ear muscles. Sure they enable us to entertain children by wiggling our ears. They are left over remnants from our ancestors but totally unnecessary for humans. This is an example of something that would only be done by an unintelligent designer.

    German: Larynx. 1=Stimmlippe, 2=Taschenband, 3...

    Epiglottis is #3

    The Epiglottis. The epitome of design stupidity and a deadly one at that. The development of the epiglottis is easily explained by our aquatic ancestors. Specifically those that were able to breath both in air and water. The epiglottis evolved as an aid to breathing where it would open when in air allowing breath to enter the lungs but close when in water so water couldn’t enter the lungs but was shuttled towards the gills where oxygen was extracted. In humans the epiglottis serves a vastly different purpose, one which a small piece of cartilage is not made to handle. The epiglottis closes when we eat so our food goes to our stomach instead of into our lungs [which would create myriads of trouble]. Sometimes the epiglottis doesn’t work and that is why things like the Heimlich maneuver were invented. If god did design humans, he either did so with his eyes closed or did so to give Heimlich something to invent.

    Male nipples, the famous question. Why do men have nipples? Mammary glands are the reason we are mammals and all embryos start out as female then either stay female or become male. Wait a sec, doesn’t the bible say man came first? Guess that is another of the millions of dumb mistakes in that book. Anyway back to the question. Where the ‘intelligent’ designer thought creating six Aortic Arches was a good idea then ‘suiciding’ some of them, here instead of ‘suiciding’ the male mammary glands he chose to leave them in place. Man is he inconsistent besides being an inept designer. Only reason I call it a quirk is that there are medical conditions that happen to the male mammary glands, one is called gynecomastia and that is mostly a cosmetic problem. There is another medical problem and one that occasionally kills. To be fair it affects women also. That is breast cancer. So a loving, intelligent creator gives men mammary glands they don’t need so they can get breast cancer and die?

    I just listed six small quirks of human anatomy. Three of them with possible deadly results. All six are perfectly explained by evolution yet none of them are explained by anything resembling an intelligent designer. I guess they could be explained by an unintelligent, sadistic, childlike, cruel barbarian designer but I don’t think the IDiot cult would go for that. Guess I’ll just remain what the Christians call a fool and not believe in their god.

    [tweetmeme source=”noreligionblog” only_single=false https://noreligionblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/anatomical-quirks%5D

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    15 Responses

    1. What I really don’t get is why Christians imagine an old wizened man sitting at a potters wheel shaping clay into human form. The Bible hints that all the Animals of earth were made first then man made merely to look after them in a caretaker capacity. It even hints that man was made “of the animals” which tips the hat to evolutionists. I’m Atheist or Antitheist, not anti God, merely anti religion, and the malevolent actions performed in God’s name.

      I believe an unknown force drives the universe, but I do not endow it with human characteristics or even intelligence or will. Science will explain everything one day, but for now let’s just call it the Higgs Boson.

    2. It never occured to me to ask why men had breast but religion was so ingrained in my being that I was a young adult before I realized that girls did not have 1 rib fewer than boys.

      • I remember the first time my mother took my with my grandmother to a Chinese restaurant in Brighton Beach [Brooklyn NY] and we had spare ribs. I was three years old and all night long I joked about eating girls [spare ribs]. Glad my mom and grandma weren’t prudes.

      • ..actually what I meant to say was that boy have one rib fewer than girls. Adam’s rib to make a woman…well I think you got it anyway.

    3. So I’ll be the ignorant Christian entering a discussion today…

      Perhaps you are reading a poem, Genesis, in the same way that you read a textbook?

      My friend wrote a poem. He said that his heart burnt with the fire of a thousand suns. Should I have told him that his body could not possibly perform thermonuclear fusion on such a scale? No, that would have been bizarre.

      I should have tried to grasp what he was trying to say, and respond to it appropriately.

      How about dealing with the good majority of Christians now, and throughout the ages (pre the theory of evolution,) who read Genesis as it was originally intended.

      I also am very much, “anti religion, and the malevolent actions performed in God’s name.”

      Be cool if I didn’t get labelled an idiot in your replies…

      • You can be anything you want but where did I label you an idiot? As far as how I address Genesis, last time I checked this is my blog and I am not writing to please you. Now do you care to comment on the article?

        • Ouch.

          I didn’t accuse you of labelling me an idiot. It was just a request. Pre-emptive. That’s all. I can see how it was misinterpreted. Fair enough.

          Your article repeatedly assumes a particular interpretation. I consider that interpretation faulty. As such my comment directly addresses your article. Fair?

        • No, the article dealt with anatomical quirks that are explained by evolution.

        • I think you are being very illogical. I’ll quote some claims from your post. It is impossible for you to fairly maintain that these do not assume a particular interpretation of Genesis:

          “In both creation stories from Genesis 1 and 2 we read that god created light before he created man so if he did create humans he either must need some really strong glasses or is such an incompetent designer that he should be fired.”

          “All six are perfectly explained by evolution yet none of them are explained by anything resembling an intelligent designer. I guess they could be explained by an unintelligent, sadistic, childlike, cruel barbarian designer but I don’t think the IDiot cult would go for that. Guess I’ll just remain what the Christians call a fool and not believe in their god”

          You introduce and summarise your post with comments clearly founded upon a particular interpretation of Genesis. My reply was directly on topic.

        • No your comment didn’t address the post and this is the last time I will tell you that. My blog, my article. If you don’t like my interpretation that is too bad. Do not presume you can insist I address it the way you want.

    4. Ok boss.

      “One plus one equals three. If you disagree, you must go elsewhere.”

      I’ll go elsewhere.

    5. Ok boss.

      “One plus one is three. If you disagree you must go elsewhere.”

      I might go elsewhere.

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