Got my wisdom teeth out yesterday. Frickin' wisdom teeth; nothing wise about 'em. An artifact of evolution. Adult humans have 32 teeth (including the wisdom teeth). These wisdom teeth are presumably so-named because they erupt around the late teens, when humans supposedly become "wise" or some such thing. Maybe naming them that is some sort of wry humor, a rite of passage, as only those with forbearance enough to survive to that [in some eras and some cultures, advanced] age deserve to gain the "wisdom" teeth.
At any rate, they're pretty useless, even detrimental. For instance, the biggest factor in my finally getting mine out was that my dentist informed me that the lower teeth, now peeking through, left nooks and crannies where food could get stuck and promote an abscess.
The reason they couldn't make it all the way through and make it to the normal, un-threatening teeth stage? Because I, like the majority of modern humans, don't have a long enough jaw to accomodate them. "Then why are they there?" you inquire. Well, they're there because evolution is a process, not a guide; there is no "invisible hand" with some sort of foresight seeing the probability that our faces would get shorter and spontaneously ridding us of those annoying third molars that don't fit. Some thousands of years ago, those third molars did fit. Think of a dog's jaw, or some similarly-snouted animal. 32 human-sized teeth in the jaw of a dog with vaguely similar cranial measurements would fit nicely (an oversimplification, I know, but bear with me). And the dog would have space for those 28 teeth, plus those blasted wisdom teeth because... (wait for it)... he has a long muzzle. Might not seem like much but consider this: we have the shortest faces of any in the vertebrates (I would venture) and we are the only ones with extra teeth. Wait, let me check that... yeah, pretty much. Most telling is that other vertebrates have these same third molars but they fit. A distinguishing characteristic of primates is the shortened face, especially as you move into the apes.
Just a quick aside; this is not (gods forbid) to cast humans or apes in any sort of "superior" role with respect to the rest of Animalia. This is simply an academic distinction between mammalian/vertebrate/chordate/animal lineages and one of them just happens to be Homo sapiens.
Still with me? Good. In that vein I would like to address creationism (more like rip it apart into itty bitty pieces but ah well, we can't have everything). I just have one point to make at this juncture: why would an intelligent designer give us these pointless, potentially harmful teeth? Among other things [that identify us as humans]... bigger brains means bigger skulls, leading to more hazardous childbirth; standing on two legs leads to numerous lower body joint problems, especially spine problems; a specialized laryngeal apparatus grants the power of speech but greatly increases the risk of choking, necessitating the chewing of food which in its turn causes myriad jaw problems, and now we're back to teeth.
So all this boils down to one thing: my mouth hurts and I'm pissed.