Two Noses Are Better than One
Psalm 115:4, 6
“Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:”
Did you know that most animals and humans have two noses? Most animals and humans have two very separate systems for detecting scents that work very differently from one another. These two sensory systems even detect very different types of scents.
We are all familiar with the smell of dinner cooking. However, scientists are making some surprising discoveries about our other system for detecting scents. This second system uses an organ called the vomeronasal organ, or VNO, in the nose. Rather than smelling dinner, the VNO detects pheromones. Among animals, pheromones are important for mating behavior. Mouse studies show that the VNO is wired into the brain with its own set of neurons. The research shows that mouse VNO neurons are up to 10,000 times more sensitive to pheromones than nasal neurons are to other scents. This amazing sensitivity rivals that of insects’ abilities to detect pheromones. While your nose uses many receptors to detect scents, your VNO apparently works quite differently.
The ability to detect scents is amazing enough and could hardly have developed by evolution. That we have two very different systems that fulfill very different purposes is a tribute to God’s creativity and shows that evolutionary thinking is nothing but a modern idol.
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