Discussion Board

Topic: Evolution and scent

From: Les Peterson
Location:
Date: 11/18/2006

Dear Greg,

I enjoyed greatly the hints of the children's world-to-be you fictionalized in the Darwin Series. The adaptations of the children were a fascinating response to a continually dysfunctional, urbanizing enviornment. The scene in Darwin's Children where the girls seem to be communicating almost-what? transdimensionally?- was most intriguing.
I am, however, curious as to why you choose the scenting concept, and the development of the vomeronasal organ as a key component of this biologic/evolutionary enhancement. I, perhaps like others, have always considered the attraction by pheromones, and the vomeronasal organ to be vestigial, if you will, not a direction evolution might take, but one we as Homo sapiens might be leaving behind. How did you decide on this idea?

Re: Evolution and scent

From: Greg Bear
Date: 11/20/2006

Most current research indicates that the human pheromone receptors are far more active and important than once thought. Best references: J.V. Kohl's books on scent and human behavior, particularly THE SCENT OF EROS. We seem to have far more genes coding for these receptors than once anticipated, and they have practical effects on our lives--mate choice, for example! So--not really all that vestigial, just not to be discussed in polite company (sniff).

Re: Evolution and scent

From: Les Peterson
Location:
Date: 11/20/2006

Thanks for the clarification. It appears I have some reading to do to start getting caught up!

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