The term Vestigial, in the context of body parts, refers to features and parts of the human body that have lost their significance and/or utility over the course of human evolution. For example, the earlobe, the appendix, the coccyx, the human hair, the wisdom teeth and few other organs are functionally obsolete and are no longer required for the survival of and do not play a role in the human body. These are organs that were once absolutely needed, but evolution made it possible to ignore them.

Are there vestigial skills?

Do we have to teach our kids to read time from a clock-face? Do they really have to spend years and years getting their handwriting right? Are closed-book tests really relevant anymore?

Are the kids better off devoting that time and energy focusing on creative skills and soft skills and judgmental skills. Are the kids better off learning that oftentimes, there is not 1 solution to 1 problem? Or that none of the available solutions may in fact solve a problem? Aren’t the kids better off learning approximation and triangulation skills?

The smell of paper

This discussion is not about your agreeing with me or disagreeing with me. This is about exploring another realm, another horizon. The people that will reject the idea of vestigial skills are the people I consider that love the “smell of paper”. When Kindle first came out, people gave reasons for why they will stick to paper books — “I love the smell of paper”, “I like dog-ears”, “I like the trophy” etc.. But a significant % of them (at least in my 1st degree) have switched to electronic reading.

What are your thoughts?