Senseless sinuses, according to Richard Dawkins: “Another consequence of our own shift from quadruped to biped concerns the sinuses, which give grief to any of us because their drainage hole is in the very last place a sensible designer would have chosen.” He then quotes Australian science broadcaster Robyn Williams quoting Professor Derek Denton: “The big maxillary sinuses or cavities are behind the cheeks on either side of the face. They have their drainage holes in their top, which is not much of an idea in terms of using gravity to assist drainage of fluid.”
Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth, Bantam Press, 2009

Editorial Comment: Sinuses are definitely not designed to work using gravity. They have a self-cleaning inner surface lining which moves fluid upwards and sideways very efficiently. This lining is called “respiratory epithelium” and includes two specialised cells that work together. One type of cell secretes mucus, a sticky fluid that traps any bacteria and other particles in the air; the other type of cell has whip-like hairs projecting from its surface, which move in an organised fashion to transport the mucus and any trapped bugs and debris towards the nose. This conveyor belt action is an active process that does not need gravity.

Sinuses only fill with fluid and cause pain when either the cilia are damaged, or the lining becomes inflamed because of infection or allergy, and secretes more fluid than the cilia can cope with. However, this is not the result of bad design. In the original good creation where Genesis informs us the world was watered by a mist every day (Genesis 2:6) there would have been no dust to cause a problem to the sinuses, and moisture in abundance to lubricate them. Since all the original bacteria were good, the germ problem never occurred.

The reason we have sinus problems is because the air in our no-longer-good world is dry and filled with dust, chemicals and bacteria, and our no-longer-good immune systems are unable to cope. If you want to blame someone for this look in a mirror – we rebelled against our Creator (Genesis 3).

Evidence News, 26 May 2010

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