Re: Identity by smell (was Re:silly walks department)

From: James Rogers (
Date: Thu Jun 08 2000 - 12:04:45 MDT

On Thu, 08 Jun 2000, Zero Powers wrote:
> >From: James Rogers <>
> >
> >I think so, though I am not 100% positive. As I said, this is something
> >I've noticed; my aggregate sample size may not be large enough to mean
> >anything, although my samples do cover a broad range of ethnic groups. I
> >do know of other people who have noticed the same thing though.
> Well I know I can smell the differences of the members of my family.

Ahhh...this is exactly what I am talking about. So are you saying you
could identify the members of your family strictly by smell? In practice,
I can only really identify by smell people I am intimately familiar with.
I don't think that we are constructed to use this as a primary means of
identification, but most animals seem to have this capability to one
extent or another. My observations about people with similar ethnicity
take into account variations or similarities in diet, lifestyles, etc
(or at least I am pretty sure they do).

Note that I am not talking about artificially added smells either, but you
probably already understood that.

> Although I've never done any conscious comparisons -- and I believe I have a
> less acute sense of smell than most.

I've always suspected that my sense of smell was relatively weak.
(Actually, a test by NASA many years ago confirmed this.)

-James Rogers

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:12:55 MDT