Freak of Nature

Episode #736

March 11, 2023

I am a freak of nature. Evolution has played funny tricks on me.


I was at a dental appointment around the age of fifteen.
After X-rays the dentist told my parents:

“Ricki was born without the seeds of wisdom teeth.”
“Is that bad?” asked my father.
“It is fairly common for wisdom teeth not to emerge … stay under the gums for a person’s entire life. It is less common for the wisdom teeth to never develop at all.”

“What are the consequences?” asked my mother.
“It is actually good news since there is no chance of the wisdom teeth crowding the others. Modern humans have narrower jaws with no room for a third set of molars. They no longer need the wisdom teeth. Early humans ate twigs and tough, raw meat. Since we no longer need the extra grinding power our bodies have evolved away from these molars. Ricki will never need his wisdom teeth surgically removed because he has none.”

Another of my abnormalities was discovered years ago when I had a bowel infection. The doctor ordered an MRI. The radiologist noted in his report,
“Patient’s vermiform appendix is absent.”
This condition is not evolutionary, such as the lack of wisdom teeth. It is likely caused by a vascular accident during fetus development in the uterus.

Since the appendix is in part a vestigial organ, humans can live without it. It developed to aid in digestion in a time when humans ate more leaves than fruit. As such, the appendix no longer serves its original purpose. 1 in 100,000 people are born without an appendix. 1 in 20 people with an appendix get potentially fatal appendicitis. Does this make me lucky?

Not so fast. The appendix still performs an important immunological function. It harbors gut flora (bacteria) useful for digesting food. When disease kills the good bacteria from the gut, it can be replenished from the appendix.  Furthermore, the appendix is lymphatic tissue and as such produces white blood cells reinforcing the immune system.

Evolution has spared me the risk of wisdom tooth surgeries. There is really no other upside or downside. A developmental mistake has robbed me of an appendix making me immune to appendicitis. Fortunately, modern fecal transplants can quickly restore the good gut bacteria and antibiotics can make up for less white cell production.

All things considered, God and Science have made it OK to be a freak of nature.


“Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing” by Ricki T Thues is now available on Amazon.
It is a Love story of Rick and Paula Thues and their 35 years of Skydiving.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.

Follow Ricki T Thues on Amazon HERE.

“Technically Human” by Ricki T Thues, the iMentor, is available on Amazon.
It is a compilation of selected episodes from this bLog which tell the story of Humanity through the eyes of the iMentor.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.
The ebook version of “Technically Human” is also available on Kobo. Click HERE.
For you Barnes and Noble Nook readers it is available for Nook. Click HERE.
The “Technically Human” ebook is also available on Apple Books . Click HERE.




  1. Victor Spindler March 9, 2023
  2. Jeff Laun March 13, 2023
    • Rick Thues March 13, 2023

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