A Trillion Scents from One Sense

The other day, I stopped by the cabin of Stormie Waters. She wanted to know what makes me smell. I thought mayhaps she meant my bay rum after shave, but she wondered about how the sense of smell itself works. I guess in her line of work she commences to wondering about many things.

The sense of smell and how we react is surprisingly complex. Research in genetics reveals even greater specified complexity.
Credit: Unsplash/Ruslan Zh

Believers in particles-to-perfumist evolution cannot account for the origin of the sense of smell, and they also inaccurately claim that this sense in humans is weak. Yes, other critters can smell more things better than we can, but there is a great deal going on in any creature that uses its sniffer.

Your nose picks up molecules, your brain processes and distinguishes the odors, you feel fear, disgust, pleasure, and other things so you can respond if needed. Various aromas can trigger our memories as well. The whole apparatus goes down to the genetic level, and those genes have to communicate with each other. All of this specified complexity has to be in place at the same time from the beginning. Those who want to evosplain it to you, well, tell them their tall tales don't pass the smell test. 
Humans have around 400 genes dedicated to olfactory reception. These genes reside in many different chromosomes. Scientists, including a group in Stavros Lomvardas’ lab at the University of Columbia in New York, have wondered how so few genes genetically separated so far from one another within each nerve cell nucleus coordinate to form such a formidable sense of smell. The researchers looked at the development of nose nerve cells called olfactory neurons in mice and made a startling discovery.
To read the entire article, click on "How One Sense Smells a Trillion Scents".