How Do It Taste?

Recently this blog posed a question. How do germs taste?

With their palates of course.

If visible light implies the existence somewhere of an eye, or if dollar bills imply the existence of a global economy, then taste must imply the existence of a palate. Presumably even taste in art or clothes implies a palate, or palates.

And maybe this isn’t trivial. The insight of evolutionary biology forces us to consider the palate to be less a seat of experience and rather more an affinity device, a proxy locator for the optimal exchange, between biomes, of amino acids. A brain is merely an extension of a palate, an ecolinguistic perambulator, assessing risks and rewards to various degrees of success for the planet’s flora.

So there are the ways germs taste, to us: I think of odiferous cheeses, sour beers, and fish sauce. And then there are the ways germs taste – with their palates – in order to decide what to eat. This function advances their own affiliations and interests. And if your brain helps a germ obtain nourishment, then that germ might be said to have a taste for you.

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