Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Extra-Sensory Perception

Just got back from taking the eldest to school and the neighbors' two dogs are in our front yard. First time that's happened in three years. I assume they'll corral them back pretty soon. They were having a regular sniff-fest on our lawn, feasting on the various scents our own mutt emits in the area.

I always wonder what information they get out of those smells that we can't decipher. I heard somewhere that they can identify who's been passing by, how long since they've been there, whether they be friend or foe . . . and probably, like, what they ate for dinner last night. I bet if these dogs could talk, they could tell by smelling our mutt's pee out there what's wrong in his digestic tract that has kept him from eating much these last few days and given him diarrhea. The vet and I would like to know.

How do their noses get this information? Do they have more receptors? Different kinds of receptors? Do their brains have more neurons firing in the olfactory mode? Are they born with more innate information about scents stored there for use later?

And dogs hear better, too -- hear sounds that we can't. That always freaks me out a bit to think that there are sounds out there in the stratosphere that no human can hear. Are there tastes in food that our taste buds are too limited to taste, that if we were aware of them, would stop us from eating things that are bad for us? Are there things to see out there that our visual systems don't physically register? Or maybe that they register but our brains can't make sense of, so it's as if we don't see them?

Might there be things in our environment that we could feel if the nerve endings in our skin were more sensitive or developed? Or that we would "feel" through a completely different organ altogether? Are there other senses that we simply aren't aware of? I read once that we only really use about 20% of our brain capacity -- who's to say that with the other 80% functioning, we might not discover some other ways of "knowing", ways of experiencing the world that have been closed to us?

Maybe we'd hear the voice of God, the way the Old Testament prophets did. Not through our ear canals, but through another "sense". Maybe we'd see the hand of God. Not by way of the optic nerve, but we'd just know it was there, like we know the color purple -- like we "feel" the air pressure drop, or "feel" a storm coming.

Kind of makes it easier to believe the miracles in the Bible without questioning. If my dog can smell how old the neighbor's cat is through its pee, why couldn't a God-man know a way to walk on water?

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