Thursday, January 9, 2014

Miracles of the brain: Smell and Taste

The brain... an endless resource whose limits still remain undiscovered.
Even a minor defect in this structure of perfect design would cause significant changes in our lives.
Modern scientific research is bringing us ever closer to the functions and mysteries of this miraculous organ...
In our daily lives, we find ourselves in the midst of thousands of tastes and smells that add immeasurable color to our lives.
Just think of an overflowing bouquet of flowers, the fresh scent of reborn soil after a spring rain, the fragrance of the people we love...
The unique tastes of all the different foods we enjoy.......
Now let's think, for just a moment, what it'd be like if these tastes and smells were no more, if they didn't exist...
Even thinking for a split-second of being deprived of them is enough to appreciate what tremendous blessings these tastes and smells are for us...
Who offers us these blessings is God, the Creator of all living things. A passage in the Qur'an says it like so:
If you tried to number God's blessings, you could never count them. God is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Qur'an, 16: 18)
Despite the overflowing variety of tastes and smells, we're able to perceive them easily, since God created these blessings along with the systems allowing us to appreciate them. These systems work flawlessly throughout our lifetimes.
This film is intended to make you better understand the awesome power and knowledge of God through a closer look at these perfect systems.
God explains His flawless creation as follows in the Qur'an:
He is God—the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Qur'an, 59: 24)
Now, let's examine the taste of smell and see for ourselves its unique design...
What we call "smell" is composed of chemical particles called molecules which evaporate from objects. For instance, what we perceive as the scent of freshly ground coffee is actually molecules from the coffee itself flying through the air.
Now, the intensity of the smell is directly proportional with the intensity of evaporation. A just-baked cake fresh out of the oven gives out a much richer scent than a stale one. This is because the cake's molecules are flying very freely through the air due to its oven-baked heat. And molecules can cover a very large area when they are released.
Although many molecules have a smell, water does not, and this characteristic is a great blessing for us, for it prevents many problems. For instance, a dry rose and a rose with water drops on it smell exactly the same.
What distinguishes various smells from each other are differences in their structures. These differences are so delicate that through the change of a single carbon atom, a pleasant smell might be turned into a repulsive one.
The smells of different foods are the result of a particular order of bonds between atoms that form the smell molecules. Each molecule is planned to perform a task. Of course this excellent design was created by God.
But how do we smell, and how do we recognize smells? Now let's find answers to these questions.
Every time we breathe, the gaseous mixture of trillions of molecules we call air floods into our nostrils. Also contained within this air mix are microscopic smell molecules. Some of the air that enters our noses is channeled into the olfactory receptors by turbinate bones. It's in this way that the smell molecules reach the olfactory receptors at the top part of the nose.
The receptors in this area in turn send the information they get from these molecules to the brain, and the brain's smell center gathers messages from various smell receptors and assesses this information at lightning speed. This leads to the sensation which we perceive as "smell."
Briefly, the nose works like a chemical analysis laboratory. It is so sensitive that it can recognize up to 10,000 separate odors.
What's quite interesting is the breathtaking speed of all these processes. The time between the coffee molecules entering our nostrils and our recognizing their smell is far less than a second.
This flawless system obviously cannot be the result of a series of coincidences, as the evolutionists would have us believe. Like all the other systems of the human body, the sense of smell is also an extremely complex design. This is God's art of creation.
In our day, ongoing research is being conducted into the sense of smell. Every new insight into this sense serves to reveal just how superb this complex system is.
Now let's examine more closely the various parts of the system

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