>>Poor Julius. Nobody believes him. Except me. The reason I put Julius's|
>>opinion on the credible list is that he has a track record here of careful
>>and considered observations. Further, he seems to have an abiding interest
>>in recording the minutiae of aroid growing for the advancement of
>>knowledge about these plants. This he does because it is his ethic and
>>his, might I say, mania.
As others have discussed, smell is one of those dumb senses in people. That
is, we do smell, but our smell sensitivity is a weak and pitiful thing
compared to a lion, a beetle, a prairie dog, or a vulture. Many of us have
personal experiences of scents that are pleasant to us, which at the same
time are cloying or downright repulsive to others.
But look at what evidence we have before us. We have Julius insisting that
there is a type of bulbifer that is good smelling. I presume here that this
judgment was made by him in reference to other experiences with bulbifers
that smelled bad. What that does, if I am right in my assumption, is remove
the person-to-person variation in odor sensitivity. What we can't rule out
by this alone is whether Julius's experiencing the good smell was merely a
snapshot of a range of smells emitted by bulbifer over the bloom period. In
other words. maybe bulbifer emits different odors depending on the age of
Let's also assume for a moment that Lord P. insists that all bulbifers smell
bad and that this is evidence that Julius is crazy. Could it not be that
Lord P.'s experiences are deficient in experiencing the range of odors
emitted by bulbifer cultivars because he has not yet come across one of the
good-smelling ones? This seems most believable. If we also assume that Lord
P. is another experienced and astute observer of aroids, we can probably
eliminate the idea that smell differences between the young and older
bulbifer flowers is the explanation, Surely, Lord P. would have detected
that over his years of experience.
So, what we conclude is that Julius (and the others reporting good smells)
have probably experienced the odor of another form of bulbifer. That is a
perfectly credible theory. The path toward resolution of this dispute is to
provide the naysayers with plants of the alternately-odiferous bulbifer so
that the skeptics can experience the good smells for themselves.
After all that I'll bet the community will come to the conclusion that there
are at least two odor clones of bulbifer and that Julius is a truthful
person. Whether he is crazy or not will hinge on other considerations.
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