Should Our Science Textbooks Be Accurate?

Vestigial Organs

Misconception: Whales have vestigial hind limb bones.

Vestigial Organs in Whales

"...sometimes bones are present in an organism but are reduced in size and either have no use or have a less important function than they do in other, related organisms.  Such structures, which are considered to be evidence of an organism's evolutionary past, are called vestigial structures.  For example, the hind limbs of whales are vestigial structures."  HOLT BIOLOGY - Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2006, Pg. 286 


"Modern whales have - hind limbs, which have been reduced to only a few tiny internal hind-limb bones that have no function."  Holt Biology, 2001 p. 285

Facts About Whale Supposed Hind Limb Bones:

Those hind limb bones in whales are supposed to be vestigial, serve no purpose, and are left over from when whales had four legs and walked on land.  Actually, they are deeply embedded in muscle tissue, are not connected to the vertebral column, show no evidence they ever were, serve as a support to the pelvic wall, and also have muscle groups attached to them and serve as an organ anchor.  These whales cannot reproduce without them.  See Science - July 1990. 

Do Humans Have Vestigial Organs?

Loren G. Martin, professor of physiology at Oklahoma State University, believes that early in development the appendix serves as an important function of the immune system.  He believes that the appendix "teaches" the immune system to distinguish dangerous pathogens from harmless food particles.  Science Magazine

"Without the coccyx (the tailbone) and its attached muscle system, humans would need a radically different support system for their internal organs which would require numerous design changes in the human posterior,..." Vestigial Organs are Fully Functional - By Dr. Jerry Bergman & Dr. George Howe

Who Or What Are Textbook Publishers Accountable To? - I believe students deserve to be taught the truth.  If there is no evidence for something, I don't believe people should be allowed to just make stuff up, especially when there is contradictory evidence.