Thursday, April 28, 2016

Check Out the Axillary Glands on This One

Smell dating. Do me a favor and don’t take off that t-shirt for a few days. Get it all fumed-out. Now send it to us; we’ll cut it up into pieces and ship it out to potential mates. If they like what they smell, you’ve got yourself a date.

Yeah it's cute, but let's get something straight - when you choose a mate based on their armpits, it is your offspring that benefit, but not you necessarily.

Yes there is truth to this; it's pretty well-known: People tend to prefer the smell of others who have complementary immune systems. This makes your offspring have super-immune systems.

The thing is, it's not the Pleistocene anymore, and we don't have to choose mates based on major histocompatibility complexes via volatile metabolites. I mean, who said I even wanted to reproduce, I'm just looking for a date for this Friday, right?

In this case, smelling t-shirts is funny, but it's not so practical these days. Dating someone because of their MHC is like dating a robot because you like their algorithm.

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