Cornelius Hunter has a history of struggling to understand simply concepts. Today is no different:
As with the so-called vestigial structures—another evolutionary construct—function is, ultimately, irrelevant. A structure is “vestigial,” or DNA is “junk,” not by virtue of any objective criterion dealing with function, but because evolutionists say so.
His post was primarily about so-called ‘junk DNA’, but I’ve addressed that topic in the past, so I will only mention it to note that it only ever betrays a deep ignorance when creationists talk about it. What I really want to discuss is Hunter’s mention of vestigial structures. First, let’s define our term:
[Vestigial] refers to an organ or part (for example, the human appendix) which is greatly reduced from the original ancestral form and is no longer functional or is of reduced or altered function.
Vestigial structures provide a clue to the evolutionary history of a species because they are remnants of structures found in the ancestral species.
It’s easy to see Hunter’s error. A vestigial structure need not be related to function whatsoever – and that doesn’t therefore mean that it is merely the say-so of biologists that makes it vestigial. The human ear, for instance, has vestigial muscles that don’t do anything; in our ancestors (and cousins), their function is to swivel the ear for better directional hearing. That’s vestigial, it’s evolutionary, and it’s science. DNA comparison can, does, and will show that when looked at. Furthermore, a vestigial structure can have a function while still being vestigial. For instance, whales have remnants of hind legs that clearly are not used for walking. However, they do play a role in where muscles are attached. Again, that’s vestigial, it’s evolutionary, and it’s science. Hunter just isn’t familiar with these things.
But as long as there is *some* function the creationists can claim that the vestigial organs were actually specially created to fulfil that function. Because as we all know, homology isn’t evidence of common descent but a common designer. You silly scientist you!
And deactivated DNA for traits species do not exhibit at all isn’t vestigial because, er, well, god has his reasons!