Posted by: NotAScientist | October 17, 2008

People say atheists have no wisdom…

And they’re right! At least about this atheist.

This morning, around 10AM, I slipped into dreamland and had my wisdom teeth removed. That sounds so dry, so clinical, and so simple.

The fact of the matter is that I didn’t have my wisdom teeth removed. I had them DRILLED OUT OF MY SKULL! Sounds fun, no?

My family genetics was nice enough to leave me with only three wisdom teeth. Which got me thinking…science sucks, doesn’t it? I mean, not science, but the advent of medical science.

Here’s why: thanks to science, the human race will almost certainly never be rid of wisdom teeth. Don’t understand? Well, I’ll do my best.

Contrary to common belief, the human body is certainly not perfect. And I’m not just talking about my own. One of these unfortunate imperfections is in our mouths. They’re too small. The jaws are too small, anyway.

We grow four extra teeth in the back of our mouths, and for the majority of us there just isn’t enough room for them to grow in properly. Before medical science, particularly of the dental variety, those teeth would cause a lot of problems. Impacting into other teeth, pressing against nerves, causing abscesses and infections…you could even die from something as silly as wisdom teeth.

Had humans never come up with the technology that I am currently reaping the benefits of, many would die from their dental work. And while that would be a very sad thing, it would make it less likely for people who grew wisdom teeth, specifically ones that caused horrible problems, to have children who would then share those medical issues. Gradually, over many generations, humanity would either end up ‘evolving away’ wisdom teeth and/or jaws that were too small to hold them.

But thanks to dentists everywhere, that won’t happen. By removing our teeth before they kill us, these horrible dentists are allowing us to pass on our wisdom teeth genes to the next generation. Thus ensuring that they won’t be going away.

Anyway, I’m sure my medication is effecting my thinking, so if none of that made any sense, let me know!

Oh, and I’d also like to issue a challenge. I, an atheist, am using medical science to deal with my teeth and with the pain and recovery afterward. I don’t put faith in science, but I trust it a great deal.

Are there any Christians or other religious people out there who are getting their wisdom teeth out soon? I ask because I’d like to see if one would like to test if prayer and not science would help them as much as my oxycodone is helping me right now.

Let me know if you’re interested!



  1. Hi Morsecode
    Wisdom teeth problems are proof of devolution. Not evolution. Also further proving the law of entropy and it’s effects on humanity following the fall of Adam and the deterioration of the gene pool. People are not evolving which is why medicine has to continuously evolve in order to intelligently keep up with humanity’s deterioration.
    Hope you’re feeling better.

    -Internet Pastor

  2. Wow, you couldn’t be more wrong there chief.

    No such thing as devolution. There’s mutation, combination of genes, passing on of traits and natural selection.

    Wisdom teeth are remarkable evidence of evolution. The simple fact that some people are born without them shows that their family line has gone in a way that naturally selected them out.

    Every generation evolves, Pastor. I’m sorry you choose to ignore the evidence because you feel that it in some way harms your belief.

  3. yep, i only had two wisdom teeth, so i’m even more lucky. Oxycontin, i believe. I never realized that such science was detrimental, even though i believd it to be so. The same can be said of the appendix, people just have appendectamies instead of dying. It may one day even be true for AIDs, given that medicine is available for the symptoms. There are many circumstances of this. The whole medical practice is a travesty to evolution. Heart murmurs, extra chromosomes, and overall defect are now treated and passed along to future generations.
    And i can agree with the pastor on this one point, and i say this because: the average IQ in america is 110. Not impressive. The average number of kids is six. For those with an IQ of 130, the average number of kids is three. So you see, our intelligence may in fact just be a breif flash in the march of evolutionary time.
    The use of technology to deal with an immediate problem while ignoring the lasting affects is a paradigm of our economic system, perhaps all of civilizations systems… But in America, Debt is the one big industry. Insurance and credit cards are the giants, not the failing automotive industry, not our steel production, not even our obsessive need to entertain ourselves. Nope, debt and debt management.
    Dentistry is iconic for this then, because it is making use of that genetic debt to create a lucrative business. Intelligence, unnecessary. It hampers peoples ability to buy more and more useless shit. And that i think is the creme de la creme of this rant: that our intellectual debt is what feeds our wallets, which will, in the fullness of time, become useless to prevent the collapse of all the knowledge and advances we had made up until that fateful point in our history.
    Not to be bleak, there are ways to avoid this; microprocessors in the brain, genetic engineering of ouselves, and, as is becoming more prevelant, the banishment of superstition and religiosity. Hopefully the former are slowing or the latter are increasing to meet this core issue.
    Oh, and one last note about evolution of humans- Neanderthalls, once thought to be a relic of the story of human evolution, may be more important than we imagined. From studies of Neanderthall DNA (a scpecific feild that is very much in the preliminary stages), it seems that they had the ability to speak, at least rudimentarily. Also, the recombination of the disseperate proto-races of mankind may be directly linked to your dental woes. At least it’s th case with monkeys. Anyway, that also seems to point out why you haven’t made any more videos recently. hope you recover in good time and are going to be back among us once again! See ya Morse!

  4. Well, I haven’t “evolved” in a way that made my mouth small, since I have all four wisdom teeth and room to spare behind them. So, I guess that makes me wise for some reason….
    If that’s the case, then maybe more people should listen to me! Ha!
    I agree with the Internet Pastor. As a former Atheist, I understand both sides of the argument for both the existence of God and the theory of evolution (macro). Natural Selection within a species is well proven, however the evidence for a species to species change is so minute and argued that it makes one wonder why we TRY so hard to make things FIT into such a flawed theory. Of course, if I were still an Atheist I would probably be thinking that there is a lot of evidence for macro evolution, but there isn’t, it’s all either wishful theorizing, or micro/simple natural selection. I KNOW you have your beliefs and I do not intend to change them as I know mine cannot be changed easily either. All I can say is that I used to have the same thoughts but I hadn’t truly investigated it more than what school books had said back then.
    Anyway, as to your question on praying for healing versus using science. I believe any Christian or “religious” person would probably be able to articulate, in some manner, that answered prayer can obviously come in the form of scientific discovery, like dentistry… Biblically, even God “taught” the Israelites about science when he noted that circumcision should not be done until the 8th day after birth. We don’t have to wait till then now due to advances in science, but back then the 8th day was when your blood would best clot. Moses didn’t know that I’m sure, but God did. I kind of wish circumcision was never instituted myself… 🙂 Just my thoughts.
    Thanks for your comment on my blog earlier!
    I hope you heal quickly, I had my tonsils taken out at 35 and that was FUN!
    Here’s my blog about circumcision if that interested you:

  5. *Sigh*

    Thank you for showing your lack of knowledge of evolution, Tree. I expected more from someone who claims to have been an atheist.

    If you knew anything about evolution, you’d know that individuals don’t evolve. Also that there is no such thing as ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ evolution. Just evolution.

  6. Morse,
    I could say the same opening statement back at ya. Thanks for asking a question so you could beat on someone to try and make yourself feel better.
    Right, I guess I should have said that back when I was an Atheist and thought that the universe just popped into existence, we and everything around us were a complete accident, and that nothing came from something I was thinking more rationally…

    Again, thanks for helping to set me straight with your nebulous statements. No such thing as macro and micro evolution? No offense, but you better check your facts (or maybe you live on opinion alone?):

  7. Oh, and as I reread what you wrote, I sure hope you could take a small leap of logic to conclude that of course I believe individuals don’t evolve. My opening statement was simply a joke about how my family heritage had not selected against wisdom teeth!

  8. When talking to creationists, I’ve learned not to assume anything they say is a joke, no matter how much it may seem like it. Sorry.

  9. Morse,
    Hey, not problem. I want to apologize if my comments came across harsh, since I did not mean them to. In all honesty, I care way more about your thoughts on Christianity than evolution!
    Your comment on my blog made it sound like you have some interesting ideas about Christianity.

    Email me if you care to discuss.

  10. “Right, I guess I should have said that back when I was an Atheist and thought that the universe just popped into existence, we and everything around us were a complete accident, and that nothing came from something I was thinking more rationally…”

    Which is lovely to say. A shame that I don’t believe any of that, and anyone who is familiar with cosmology or biology doesn’t think that either.

    Thank you for presenting a strawman twice now however.

    Micro and macro evolution were terms made up by creationists. They don’t exist as terms in biology, and are meaningless because evolution is evolution, not micro or macro.

    If you have questions about my views, ask them. Respond to my comment, or respond here. The reason I have a blog and respond to blogs is for discussion.

  11. obviously you’re very confused treefan. here’s a helpful link.
    peruse the claims and refutations, as there are no doubt many that pertain to your line of reasoning, and others that reach beyond that into things that you may have not considered

  12. Morsec0de,
    In seeking to get a Christian to respond and argue about whether or not prayer will deal with wisdom teeth is foolish. It is a straw man, and I think that you know that.
    Biblical Christianity does not tell us that we are to simply pray and expect every problem to be resolved as if by magic.
    Perhaps you need to find out how scientific study was popularized, who battled for it, and who discovered many of the laws of nature – many of them were professing Christian Theists. They were seeking to learn about nature so that they might know more of nature’s God. Understanding that there was a Creator, they believed that He built certain laws into His universe and that the world could generally be understood by and through those laws. They believed that there was an order to Creation.
    Your straw man is simply a very unjust way to argue.
    Jason (The Pastor)

  13. It was also meant as a joke, Jason.

    Although there are Christians who believe that god will cure them and don’t use medicine.

    And Jesus says many times that all Christians have to do is pray and god will respond in kind. Not just with a ‘yes or no’, but give them what they want.

  14. morsec0de,
    I guess that’s the problem with a keyboard, isn’t it? You can’t always get the inflection that you get from a voice.
    I apologize for not recognizing the joke, although I still don’t like the joke 😉
    Yes, there are “Christians” who refuse medicine. In so doing they ignore some interesting portions of Scripture.
    Jesus does tell us to pray and that God will respond. A balanced view of relevant Scriptures will tell us that God’s response will always be what is best for us in the long run and for His glory, not necessarily what we want now. It will also show us that God gives us medicine and science so that we can have the help that we need.
    I do hope that all is better with you now. I had one pulled about ten years ago and it was months before slivers of bone quit working their way up through the gums……arggghhh!!!! That hurt!

  15. Duck!! Snipers!!

  16. Rick,
    CA325 was good info for me. I had often wondered about the peer-reviewed articles etc. This didn’t answer everything, but it added some info.

    CA341 I always thought Hovind was a little odd.

    CA622 uses a cult view of evolution to try and explain the response (Mormonism) how odd. Completely unbiblical if the intent was to “help” Christians, my assumption since Jesus is talked about.

    CB010 dismisses valid statistical analysis based on known quantities in favor of the unknown. But in radiometric dating and the like, assumptions based on known quantities are readily accepted, and unknown aspects are thrown out. Seems a bit selective.

    CB025 again favorable assumptions are kept, unfavorable are dismissed.

    CB101 – good info

    CB101.1 surely has more evidence than the “evolution of improved fitness”. Maybe they only wanted to include one reference to back up claims?

    CB102 is one I was very interested in, but it showed the theory about adding new genetic information relies on a theory that natural selection and mutation have been adequately proven to cause these large increases over time. I’m not satisfied, but what’s new?!

    CB110 Hey they use the term microevolution, you know the one that isn’t taught in any Biology textbooks and was created by Creationists!

    CB200.1 is, to me, a great summary of the little engine that could that God hid is the tiny little nooks and crannies of the world. What an incredible engine. I don’t agree with the theories/models of how it may have evolved, but the end product sure is awesome. I’m a mechanical engineer; you might need that background to get all giddy about this.

    CB400 nice try. Good luck finding the answer! That would be very intriguing to be able to explain.

    CB620 another nice try, a straw man if you will. Ignoring that population growth could have been much greater than .5% over the first 1000 years or more. In the end, here is a more complete answer

    CB704 or they share a common designer

    CB921.2 It just seems like this is being stretched for all it’s worth. Nice examples though.

    CB940.1 Playing statistical games back and forth. Kind of like chess.
    CC352 Nice to know not everyone was fooled by this hoax.

    CE231 Why didn’t we dive Cassini into the atmosphere to measure something? What a missed opportunity!

    CD701 This one is highly debated

    CF201 I think this one needs updated in response to Snellings findings….

    CF001.1 Interesting that it can apply to the microscopic level, hmmmm

    CG201 Maybe it takes divine intervention for common sense to apply, but the flood legend scenario is very compelling…

    CH050 Shows a great misunderstanding of the Christian faith throughout. Jesus was the “Word made flesh”, he didn’t dismiss the Old Testament in any way and to say so without references is dishonest and misleading. Jesus repeatedly quoted from the Old Testament and Genesis.

    CH133 The Bible is accurate on many, many points, prophecies and yes, scientific and historical statements. This answer supposes that one accurate observation doesn’t mean the Bible is accurate. Well, it sure doesn’t mean it’s NOT accurate.

    CH135.1 Again they say accuracy on one point is not enough, yet here we are on point X + (X+1) and yet it is still one point. The Bible was right, stop with the belittling already! I will agree that circumcision is NOT needed! Ouch!

    CH711 Good grief, where do they get their theological insights from? How humorous. Fun one to read!

    CH801 Nice that eyes were needed to see the Genesis account but not the “scientific” account! This is too much…

    Rick, thanks for the read. I have perused this site before but I did come across some good stuff. It didn’t ALL make me laugh, and of course it’s getting late for me now and things can be more easily laughed at in this state!

  17. morse, just called in from Razzler. Thought you were asking some very shrewd questions.

    Personally I trust God and keep my powder dry – ie, who invented science?

  18. Science was invented by people curious to know the nature of reality. Talking about thier religious persuasion is a worthless argument of authority, and essentially an ad hominem
    “personally i trust god to keep my powder dry” ok what century are you in? I’m afraid the referance goes completely over my head Nex.
    And shrewd is a compliment correct?

    Oh treefan, you were lost in all the posts between zacharias and me lol. Sorry; i’ll have to actually look at it some more to find a proper response to the things you noted. But i will in do time
    However, you made mention of Jesus who quoted the OT. indeed, but what was his source? The scriptures back then are not dissimilar to all the different denominational texts of todays christains, so there is still room for debate there…

  19. And the biggest obvious one is the one still around, the Kabbalah (several spellings), which is INCredably interesting mythos- i believe it is so regarded even by say, hessidic Jews. Back then apocriphal literature was plentiful, before and after Jesus’ life.

  20. ok treefan, having raised these points , i’ll see what i can do to allay your doubts (i have the index right here in the next window):

    CA622: cult view of evolution?? huh; it doesn’t make sence, and when was Mormonism ever invoked; not in the response on site. Zacharias is Eastern Orthadox, and he believes that most of Genisis was alegorical stories, as it would make sense, since the Fall, Cain and Abel, and the Flood are all archetypal. Oh i see, mormon sources. Well, you can practically throw that claim out the window then, Mormons are very unbiblical (i kind of consider them Neo-Catholics)

    CB010- Ok, got a video for ya on propabilities ( ), and radiometric dating seems to be attacked an awful lot, but i never understand why. It seems insulting to assume career scientists to be making such an apparantly worthless set of statements. besides, how could the universe be old (14.5-15 Billion years) and the earth say, 600,000 years? better yet, how could the Earth be Billions of years old, and life only 60,000,000 years old? Designer designer, but there isn’t a great deal of craftmanship in the biology that we see (all helical DNA, all left-handed Amino acids, all carbon-based life forms, most respire oxygen, all have skeletal structures with the same catagories- legs, arms, tail, head, abdoman, torso), most have essentially the same internal organs; and there is, after all, only 1 sentient race on this planet)

    CB025- it is actually the reverse, creationism is the Science of throwing out your peers assumptions and substituting your own; there are so many facts and figures that are associated with evolutionary biology that are completely unregarded by ID and creationism, many magnitudes above the information given by creation science. you take the majority of results and there you have the makings of a scietific model, such as the Theory (not Big Guess) of Evolution.

  21. Great post! It’s an interesting thought and quite true also: it’s likely that we will never shed our wisdom teeth through natural selection because of our dental technology.
    I have to wonder if people of a few indigenous tribes, like in the Amazon, have lost their wisdom teeth. People like that who belong to secluded minisystems are better off in the long run than we are in that they will reap benefits of evolution that we never will because of medicine.

    I have yet to get my wisdom teeth taken out, but the time is slowly approaching… not looking forward to it very much. Scary picture; I hope mine aren’t horizontal!

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