Human beings are very special creatures. But we are created beings among a huge assortment of other created beings. In order to examine some of that specialness I need to get a bit technical – please bear with me. You know that our created nature consists of a visible body, a mind to oversee the body and a spirit to oversee the mind and body. And when our spirit is not in control our animal mind is. So when our animal mind is in control, we behave like animals.
According to science, humans are classified as mammals. Not only do our physical bodies follow the same basic morphology as other mammals so do our minds, and when our minds are not controlled by our spirit they will lead us to behave in ways very much like other mammals. What is that behavior like? Most mammalian social structures from shrews to whales are built on groups of matriarchal hierarchies generally composed of closely related individuals with associated adult males present only on the periphery. Often those males engage with their group only for reproduction or to protect members of the group. Such protection is of course needed from predators, but more often from other adult males.
It should be apparent that the human mind is not the blank slate supposed by much of academia and medicine. They see it as being able to be molded in any way whatsoever. However, the plain unregulated mind is almost entirely subject to ordinary mammalian biology.
Mammalian social behaviors are ordered and shaped consciously and unconsciously through such things as sight, sound, smell and pheromones. The inclusion of pheromones in the list is not based on much hard physical evidence. But there is enough empirical evidence to suggest that they could be significant players.
A pheromone is a substance secreted externally by almost every kind of animal. In that way it is similar to an odor, but different in that while it may not be consciously detectable its function is to influence the behavior of other animals – usually of the same species. There are alarm pheromones, status pheromones, sex pheromones, and many others each affecting specific behaviors. Scientists have long debated whether humans actually produce and respond to pheromones.
Attempts to physically collect and identify human pheromones have not been very successful. One piece of hard evidence that does exist, however, is a small bit of tissue called the Jacobson’s organ. That organ is present in most mammals and has been identified in the nasal septum of humans. That organ is known to be the receptor for pheromones, but whether it is fully functional in humans is not yet known.
While isolating and identifying human pheromones is difficult, provisionally accepting their presence may provide clues to human behaviors that are otherwise hard to explain.
For example, why do unexpected or unwanted relationships form and fade between people? Could it be that pheromones are involved? Why do some people seem to immediately control a group while others are submissive? Can some animals actually smell fear or disease in humans? It may not be an odor they are detecting, but a pheromone instead. Why are close family members less likely to be sexually attractive to each other? Why do mixed families often have trouble getting along? Are pheromones responsible?
Even if the issue of pheromones is blurry, it still warrants interest because if they exist in humans, they can stimulate animal behaviors that can lead to grievous and painful situations. It would be true that, just as there are blind and deaf people, there would be those unaffected by pheromones. On the other hand, some might be nearly overpowered by the tiniest hint of a pheromone. If pheromones exist, then simply counseling people through their issues might not work very well.
If pheromones do exist and are not detectable through normal human senses, then how can we avoid or even control their influence? The simplest and possibly the most effective way for most of us is to minimize or avoid situations where negative issues might come into play. (see 1 Pet 5:8-9, 1 Cor 6:18, Col 3:5)
What do you think?
Copyright © 2022 Sam Dronebarger
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