The Wisdom Of God’s Smile

I recently made a trip to the dentist. It’s a place I don’t particularly enjoy visiting but I understand the importance of such a profession. I had a cleaning done and made an appointment to get a couple of crowns done as a result of work I had done over a decade ago that hasn’t quite held up over time. So I have more time in the near future sitting in the dentist’s chair. Again, I see the importance of it all, but I still hate going.

As you walk through a dentist’s office or if you are just sitting in the little room with the “torture chair” in it, you notice things. I can see the tools that can only be used to pry the truth out of terrorists. I can see a computer screen with my chart on it that seems to be written in a different language. And lastly, I can see advertisements and charts on the wall that speak to different procedures. One thing you often see at a dentist’s office, is a poster speaking of wisdom teeth removal. It talks about the age that people usually are when the teeth are removed, the type of visit you can expect to have and they try to put you at ease with the knowledge that it is a straightforward and painless procedure. And it got me thinking…why do we have teeth that don’t fit and that we don’t need?

A wisdom tooth is one of the third molars in the human mouth that usually erupt through the gums between 17 and 25 years old. Oftentimes the human mouth doesn’t have enough space to allow for these teeth. The impaction (blockage from other teeth) is the reason why many people have their wisdom teeth removed. I had my wisdom teeth removed at 18 because there was not nearly enough room in my jaw to allow for these teeth. There has to be a reason why we still have teeth that serve no purpose and can create headaches (literally).

I never once thought about the reasons for this before recently. I just assumed that some people just had differently shaped mouths and couldn’t support these “extra” teeth. As it turns out, the reason for humans still having wisdom teeth is one that I would have rejected a few years ago. It is human evolution. Human evolution is in direct conflict with the creation story as the creation story claims that humans were created roughly 6,000 years ago in their present form. From the dust, man was made just as we are now. Evolution makes the claim that humans evolved from other primate forms over millions of years that resulted in who we are today. Evolution and creation are at odds. They are not compatible so even if you don’t want to, you really need to pick a side and figure out what you believe. For nearly four decades, I was on one side. Now, I am on the side of truth.

Humans have evolved from primates (or less evolved humans if that makes you feel better) who once had larger jaws than we have today. In years past, our ancient cousins had room for their wisdom teeth in their jaws. As our diets changed over the years, our jaws have shrunk. The jaws shrunk, but the teeth still remain and try to fit anyway. Quite often they don’t. They are what is known as “vestigial remnants.” Our human ancestors used their wisdom teeth to break down plant materials to make it easier to digest these materials that their bodies had difficultly digesting. Wisdom teeth are one example of a vestigial part that we still have. Other examples are the appendix, the coccyx, ear muscles (used for movement of the ear that we no longer have) and part of the eye known as the “plica semilunaris”. This is a small fold of tissue in the eye that is a remnant of the “nictitating membrane” which is essentially a third eyelid that would cover the eye to protect it while eating or going underwater. One other unusual body part that contradicts scripture would be the male nipple. Male nipples really serve no purpose (aside from sexual stimulation in some) and calls into question whether God has nipples himself. “Created in his image” would imply that if we have nipples, then God has nipples. “God’s Nipples” could be the title of a blog post all on its own, but that is not what I’m really concerned with here.

If we have body parts now that serve no purpose, why do we have them if we are created by God in our present form? When I was a believer, I would question things like our tailbone and what the purpose of it is. The apologetic reason is that we have it for support while sitting and that sort of makes sense. It makes us kind of like a tripod, but there’s a problem with that theory. The problem is when humans are born with actual tails. Some still are born with tails today. These tails are not just bones used for stability.

tail

They are actual tails. Is it rare? Yes. Does it happen? Also yes. There are documented cases of tails that are extensions of the coccyx. These tails don’t aid in the stability of the person with the tail while sitting.

Male humans have nipples that are not connected to mammary glands and are not used for breastfeeding our young. Yet we still have them. It is a result of embryology. We all start out with nipples in the womb. At some point, we develop into either a boy or a girl. Females have structures in place for the mammary glands to develop in puberty while males do not. It is determined as we develop within our mother’s wombs. According to scripture, God knows us before we are born and would seemingly know whether we would be male or female. If he knew I was going to be a male before I was born, why would he give me nipples I don’t need? I will admit to all of you here and now, I am very ticklish in that area and I can’t stand being touched there. Even a tight shirt rubs me the wrong way…literally. So I can’t imagine that God gave them to me for sexual stimulation. Besides, why would God care to give us anything to aid in that area when he makes it quite clear that most things sexual are dirty and sinful? There is no good reason for me to have them. Yet here I am with nipples that I have no use for.

The parts of the body we have but don’t need are numerous and contradict the creation story. If we are created in God’s image, does god have extra teeth, useless nipples, a tail or an appendix? Why would his perfect creation have parts it doesn’t need? Is this a result of sin as is the excuse for anything in life that is either confusing, painful or damaging in any way? Is it a result of the fall in the Garden? Did we get extra parts because we disobeyed God or are they here for some other reason?

I am not an expert on evolution or any other topic. In fact, I am new to evolution because of my lifetime of Christianity which discouraged evolutionary teaching. I am slowly coming around to accepting things that have truth backing them up instead of claims or outright lies. I can see things that I was once blind to. I can see that my mouth couldn’t accommodate wisdom teeth because my jaw is too small compared with my primate ancestors. That is where the evidence points. Yes, it contradicts everything I once believed in, but that’s just how it is. Truth does not care what your beliefs are. Truth just is. I may have lost those four wisdom teeth back when I turned 18, but I have gained much more wisdom in the years since. It is not wisdom to preach from ignorance. It is wisdom to change your views when proven wrong.

I was proven wrong.

12 thoughts on “The Wisdom Of God’s Smile

  1. Not only all you wrote … but look at the fetus as it develops. There’s a stage when it looks very much like a sea animal. Hmmmm.

    As you wrote … “Evolution and creation are at odds.” Unless, of course, you are a Christian who denies the former and embraces the latter. Because, of course … “God.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have noticed the similarities in embryos and fetuses between many species. For example, for a little while, we look a lot like dolphins. I always interpreted the similarities to be because we had a creator that made all of the different species and that was why they looked alike. But that doesn’t explain why they all changed later on to become completely different-looking animals. I always had to try to make sense of things by looking at everything through the lens of the Bible and I had to come up with a “Christian-friendly” explanation. I had to make excuses for the obvious (that we are all related creatures going all the way back to the beginning of life) in order to keep the faith I had.

      Making excuses for God is another post I am working on as it explains why so many do and say things that are contrary to the evidence before us. We need to make excuses because without them, religion will die and God will cease to be part of any discussion regarding reality.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Ben, for the sake of LGBTQ rights and support I was reading and drafting a blog-post over the last few weeks, and came across this quote with one of my historical/biblical scholars L. Michael White:

        In this two-part interview with Dr. Michael White as he explores references to homosexuality in the Old and New Testament. A great deal of pain has been caused by ignorance of the original Greek writing and meaning in the Jewish Septuagint (Old Testament), and the New Testament writings, especially from the Apostle Paul.

        The category ‘homosexuality’ is absent from the Bible and, generally, unknown in antiquity [read about king David and Jonathan, and Ruth and Naomi] for enlightenment. There is no word for homosexuality in the Bible. It is a modern construction, and depends upon an understanding of gender that arises only in modern times. Ancient understanding of sex and well as of gender are quite varied, and all different in some fundamental ways from our own.

        Here’s Dr. White’s website: https://www.lmichaelwhite.com/

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  2. Nice post, Ben. There are studies showing that evolution will eventually make our wisdom teeth disappear. http://sciencenordic.com/evolution-will-make-our-wisdom-teeth-disappear

    And this:

    “Perhaps 10 to 25 percent of Americans of European ancestry are missing at least one-third molar, Mann said. For African Americans and Asian Americans, the figure is 11 percent and 40 percent, respectively, he said. But the Inuit, a group of people who live in the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland and Alaska, have the fewest wisdom teeth; about 45 percent of them lack one or more third molar, he said. “

    https://www.livescience.com/27529-missing-wisdom-teeth.html

    Btw, had you done this test yet? I don’t have a vestigial muscle in my forearm. They also touch on some of the things you’re eloquently written. The end of the video points out the reflex grip of the human infant. The “inner monkey* of human infants can support their entire weight.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Also the hypnic jerk when you’re about to fall asleep is a reflex monkeys still have to keep them from falling from trees when they sleep.
        The hypnic jerk is also a common reaction in Christians when they hear I’m an atheist.

        Liked by 6 people

    1. Excellent comment and video, Victoria. I have tried the test for the vestigial muscle/tendon and I do have them in both arms. I also have four children so I can attest to the grip strength of all four of my little monkeys. 🙂

      It’s amazing, absolutely amazing, the things I ignored or dismissed as being “false science” when I was a Christian. I have learned so much and I learn more each and every day. Striving for knowledge instead of accepting what one group of people say is good enough, is very fulfilling. I once thought of myself as a born again being when I was a believer, but it is only after I left religion that I truly feel like a different person. And that is a very good thing.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “I once thought of myself as a born again being when I was a believer, but it is only after I left religion that I truly feel like a different person. And that is a very good thing.”

        Exactly and indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay Ben. First, my two immediate hip-jerks at this post’s images:

    1) WHOA what a smile! Is that your wife’s pearly whites and ruby-red lips when you asked her to marry you!!!???

    2) That image of a tail on a man is like a traveling circus-freak-show kind of thing, like Mr. Dark’s Pandemonium Carnival in the excellent 1983 film “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury. 😮

    But having done lots of studying of the little known rates of Inter-sexed births and how it starts very early in embryology. In fact, there are 3-4 areas around the world that have regular births of baby girls(?) that by age 12 have penises. It’s called 5-alpha reductase deficiency. Point being cellular biology, genetics, evolution continually shows us just how endlessly diverse a species we are and always changing and evolving at all points of life, beginning to end. A non-stop kaleidoscope! ❤

    Like

  4. Wow I didn’t realise wisdom teeth were vestigial, but that does make a lot of sense in retrospect. I had a couple of teeth pulled out to make room for my wisdom teeth, instead of having the wisdom teeth pulled. But, it took a while for the wisdom teeth to actually come through so I had big gaps in my gums for a while.

    Ugh, I need to make a visit to the dentist soon you reminded me lol.

    Like

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