Surgery with an “Appy” Ending | The Doctor Weighs In

By Jeffrey Swisher, M.D.

The Doctor Weighs In
13 min readJul 19, 2021


A Physician faces his own diagnostic failure when it counts the most. A minor surgery is always something that happens to someone else.

Photo Image: iStock

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them

Genesis 1:27 New International Version

Years ago, when I was a freshman at Stanford, I acted in a few college plays. One of my favorite roles was E.K. Hornbeck, the cynical wise-cracking reporter in Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s drama Inherit the Wind[1] , about the Scopes “Monkey” trial of 1925. In this landmark case, John Scopes, a schoolteacher was put on trial for teaching Darwinian Evolution in a Tennessee high school, spurring a national conversation on the role of religion versus science in public education.

In the very last scene of the play in the narrowing beam of a spotlight, the Clarence Darrow character, Henry Drummond, picks up a copy of The Origin of the Species by Darwin in one hand and the Holy Bible in the other. Like a human balance scale, he hefts aloft each book, arms outstretched, and compares them briefly. He then dramatically slaps them together before dropping them both side by side in his briefcase — the spotlight fades to black. It is a very satisfying theatrical moment, but what is it actually trying to say?

Why the Appendix?

With all due respect to the Bible, and not to be blasphemous, in my mind, there is no comparison. If man was created in the exact image of God, so many things need to be explained away. For example, why the appendix? As a physician who spends an inordinate amount of time at all hours of the day and night anesthetizing patients for appendectomies, I have strong opinions about creationism versus evolution by natural selection.

If I had to choose just one anatomical example in favor of Mr. Darwin, it would most certainly be the human appendix. Of all the ill-tempered, crazy things that the God of Abraham is credited for having intentionally done in Genesis 1:27, placing this useless and trouble-making stump of flesh at the beginning of our colon has to be near…



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