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Not So Useless After All?

August 24, 2009

As someone who accepted the conventional wisdom postulated by Charles Darwin that the appendix was vestigial, I am all of a sudden slightly regretting my instruction to the Czech doctors to “cut it out.”  Apparently, the little bugger is not so useless.

[Darwin] was not aware that appendicitis, or inflammation of the appendix, is not due to a faulty appendix, but rather due to cultural changes associated with industrialized society and improved sanitation. “Those changes left our immune systems with too little work and too much time their hands – a recipe for trouble,” says Parker.

Kind of like what George Carlin said about us sanitation-crazed kids who let our immune systems become indolent:

Besides, what d’ya think you have an immune system for? It’s for killing germs! But it needs practice, it needs germs to practice on. So if you kill all the germs around you, and live a completely sterile life, then when germs do come along, you’re not gonna be prepared. And never mind ordinary germs, what are you gonna do when some super virus comes along that turns your vital organs into liquid shit?! I’ll tell you what your gonna do … you’re gonna get sick. You’re gonna die and your gonna deserve it because you’re fucking weak and you got a fuckin’ weak immune system!

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