View Full Version : Why do things taste good?
09-02-2006, 01:39 AM
I'm not talking about licking the sour patch or anything, I'm being serious. I was just thinking about how insects are attrated to flowers, to pollenate or whatever, then I got to thinking about smell and taste. Like, what's the point. If humans did not have a sense of smell or taste, would we have died as a species? I heard that sex feels good so people would want to do it and make babies or something. I know the answer can be "that's just how it is", but that is never a definitive answer. I realize this is a sort of pointless thread, but there might be something to it, probably not though. Am I going anywhere with this to you scientists in here? Where you at My First Timbs?
09-02-2006, 03:41 AM
I was just thinking about how insects are attrated to flowers, to pollenate or whatever
No, thats not why insects are attracted to flowers.
As far as smell and taste go, its to help us tell chemicals apart. Isn't that obvious? Lets say there's alcohol in a drink. You often can't SEE it, so you use your senses of smell and taste to detect that poison and make sure that you drink as much of it as possible. If you didn't taste the stuff, you might only drink a little bit and fail to make the most of a crunk ass party.
09-02-2006, 06:18 AM
our senses serve as guides to this world we find each other in.
perhaps you do have a point that we are preprogrammed to feel things in certain ways in order to achieve a particular important task.. ie sex.
whether this is a fact is arguable.
but going back to my earlier statement...
senses are guides.. nothing more. this is because we cannot 100% rely on them.
we have all found ourselves being decepted by our senses.. (optic illusions etc)...
09-02-2006, 09:21 AM
09-04-2006, 08:24 AM
09-04-2006, 10:26 AM
so you keep comin back for more!
things don't taste good
you just tell yourself it does
09-05-2006, 09:55 AM
i dunno the body and brain i think needs certain elements, so it makes you percieve thru taste that what youre eating is good
yknow i like eating meat, vegetables etc, which is healthy food
My First Timbs
09-06-2006, 06:55 PM
excellent question and topic..
this area of biology is often studied but even more often it is overlooked and not paid the serious attention it deserves
to answer ur question quikly without getting into the specifics of the olfactory mechanism.... as with evry compnonet of a living creature, things are only persist to be in complete existence if they are evolutionarily beneficial... evoultionary benefit denotes that it aids survival.
taste is a direct component of smell. few creatures have rudimentary senses of what we would define as "taste" but most vertebrates have well defined senses of smell
basically and bluntly the purpose of smell is merely to be able to detect unfamilar "items" as compared to already known "familiar items". Unfamiliar items may potentially provide more detriment than benefit (compared to the known ones), thus smell serves as an external way for us to "know" something about our environment which would otherwise go unknown and potentially provide harm.
human senses were basically developed thousands of years ago presumably in africa. a sense of smell allows a creature to detect if a particular food item is potentially dangerous or benficial (due to the fact that from a organic chem standpoint, normally toxic and hazardous items have volatile molecules that affect sensory organs differently than edible beneficial items).. th esense of smeel is an evolved cognition that steers one clear of harms way and at the same time allows us to make rational decisions about what would most likely be more beneficial.
rotten food or stale food as well as toxic substances will all provide more detriment than benefit if consumed, thus the sense of smell saves us by linking the smell with a now hard wired nueral network of a learned sensation of "disgust"
this subconsious hard wired, evolutionary adaptation is the same reason why one can look at something "disgusting" and then themself feel nauseous!.. the visual image fools the brain into thinking that we have potentially ingested something "toxic" and in turn prompts us to vomit..
things only "taste good" because of this same mechanism.
09-06-2006, 07:28 PM
Well put Timbs. Thank goodness shit stinks.
09-06-2006, 07:30 PM
Believe it, insects use color to decifer which flowers to pollunate. After a flower has been pollunated(some flowers) lose brilliance to let other insects know "this one's not ready yet", its the balance....But back to your question, what we don't realize as human beings we are scientist by nature, you better know your chemicals!
My First Timbs
09-06-2006, 07:57 PM
Well put Timbs. Thank goodness shit stinks.
see the thing is... it may or may not "truly" stink!
the cognition / perception of "smell" is totally relative to the creature that evolved it.
it "stinks" to us because for our human biology it would be detrimental to eat!
but to the housefly, dung beetle, echidna and sowbug, it "smells" excellent! (because it provides benefit)!
09-06-2006, 08:13 PM
Of course....Flies do prowl on pooh.
09-09-2006, 11:32 PM
timbs explained the what, but the original question is the why.
now the why is a PHILOSOPHICAL question, guess what that means? NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT ANSWER, we all just have opinions and structured beliefs as to the why.
why do things taste good? i find that when thinking there are a good couple of perspectives to choose from, theistically and non-theistically. is it because of a Supreme Being or science? personally, i'm not going to post my opinion because i don't want to see what people will have to say about it.
but take a minute and think about the WHY, are you a believer? if so this may help you find your answer. if you're not, then think about the way you believe we came to be as humans and think where in that process we had to develop a sense of good and bad taste.
there are definately many more ways of thinking, but i find these are a couple of good perspectives to take.
and remember, opinion does not equal fact.
09-10-2006, 12:15 PM
I'm not talking about licking the sour patch or anything, I'm being serious. I was just thinking about how insects are attrated to flowers, to pollenate or whatever, then I got to thinking about smell and taste. Like, what's the point. If humans did not have a sense of smell or taste, would we have died as a species? I heard that sex feels good so people would want to do it and make babies or something. I know the answer can be "that's just how it is", but that is never a definitive answer. I realize this is a sort of pointless thread, but there might be something to it, probably not though. Am I going anywhere with this to you scientists in here? Where you at My First Timbs?It's all about shapes.
We fight off infections by detecting antigens due to their shapes.
Our taste buds recognize the shapes of molecules.
Our nose sensors recognize the shapes of molecules.
These are the ways that we analyze the the physical world.
We place patterened shapes together to make since of visual images.
Blind people feel the shapes of a face to make mental pictures.
Even the sounds that we hear make a physical frequency that our minds fashion into mental shapes to picture what they are.
It's all our way of taking the physical world and making since of it.
Sex acts the same way. It's symetry and form that attracts us. Math. Since it's a daily occurance we don't have to make it complicated with formulas but it can be explained in that media.
We see, hear, touch, taste, smell based off of shapes. Micro and macroshapes.
I won't elaborate unless you want me to, because I don't want to confuse myself or anyone else any further:D
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