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Switch to Forum Live View The Neuroscience of Flora
2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 7:38PM #1
Iwantamotto
Posts: 8,277

Do Plants Think


In essence, while the scientist interviewed in the article won't be seeing plants as people anytime soon, I believe a small "I told you so" is in order, in that plants think, at least on a very basic level.


To be honest, I didn't know if it belonged here, but the topic amuses me for many reasons, particularly when the ethics of harming "simpler" creatures is brought to these forums (whether they are human or not).  If I'm supposed to honor the cow or the human embryo, despite neither being "up there" in terms of awesome mental abilities, why must I deny this honor to a plant?  A plant feels pain.  Is it not torture to cause it?  A plant would rather not be eaten (at best, it creates fruit to distract from itself), so am I not murdering the potato when I mash it up and salt it and eat it?


Where do we draw the line when we discuss how omnivores (and spare me the "but we're not" crap ... we are, or let me see your stomach stones for eating roughage, oh, and your 4 stomachs) should treat "lesser" beings?       


Edit: made working link


 

Moderated by Stardove on Jun 07, 2012 - 07:50PM
Knock and the door shall open.  It's not my fault if you don't like the decor.
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 7:43PM #2
Erey
Posts: 18,940

I never thought of a plant creating fruit to distract from itself.  I suppose that might be one reason.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 8:40PM #3
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,786

Jun 7, 2012 -- 7:38PM, Iwantamotto wrote:


Do Plants Think


In essence, while the scientist interviewed in the article won't be seeing plants as people anytime soon, I believe a small "I told you so" is in order, in that plants think, at least on a very basic level.


To be honest, I didn't know if it belonged here, but the topic amuses me for many reasons, particularly when the ethics of harming "simpler" creatures is brought to these forums (whether they are human or not).  If I'm supposed to honor the cow or the human embryo, despite neither being "up there" in terms of awesome mental abilities, why must I deny this honor to a plant?  A plant feels pain.  Is it not torture to cause it?  A plant would rather not be eaten (at best, it creates fruit to distract from itself), so am I not murdering the potato when I mash it up and salt it and eat it?


Where do we draw the line when we discuss how omnivores (and spare me the "but we're not" crap ... we are, or let me see your stomach stones for eating roughage, oh, and your 4 stomachs) should treat "lesser" beings?       


Edit: made working link


 




This is a fascinating subject, One I think too often about. I have never had any doubt that plants think and are aware.


I don't think of them as lesser beings. In fact I am inclined to think of them as better beings.


As for root vegetables that is a hard one. I try to think of them as dormant until they sprout, thus alleviating myself of the feeling of killing them. I know it is mental gymnastics but it works.  I just put sprouted Onions in the garden. Could not eat them after that.

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 9:22PM #4
teilhard
Posts: 51,416

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) wrote it niceley in "Erewhon" ...


"Even a potato in a dark cellar has a certain low kind of cunning about him which serves him in excellent stead. He knows perfectly well what he wants and how to get it. He sees the light coming from the cellar window and sends his shoots crawling straight thereto; they will crawl along the floor and up the walll and out the cellar window; if there be a little earth anywhere on the journey he will find it and use it for his own ends. What deliberation he may exercise in the manner of his roots when he is planted in the earth is a thing unknown to us ..."


We Animals -- especially we arrogant Hominid Primates -- fancy ourselves oh-so-SUPERIOR in particular to the "lowly" Plants ...

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 9:40PM #5
TemplarS
Posts: 6,868

"Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does."


    - G.B. Shaw  (who seems to have a quote apropos of just about anything...)

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 9:45PM #6
mountain_man
Posts: 39,703

Jun 7, 2012 -- 7:38PM, Iwantamotto wrote:

...Where do we draw the line when we discuss how omnivores (and spare me the "but we're not" crap ... we are, or let me see your stomach stones for eating roughage, oh, and your 4 stomachs) should treat "lesser" beings?


That article, along with much of the anti-omnivore discussion, is a bit too anthropomorphic for me. Sure, plants can release certain pheromones and hormones that make changes in the plant, but it's not a thought process but a chemical process that is in no way similar to our own chemically brought about thought processes. Not even close.


But, if one wants to believe that plants can think, then I guess all that's left is water and rocks. Not much nutrition in that diet.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 10:01PM #7
teilhard
Posts: 51,416

"Water" and "Rocks" is what Plants and Animals are MADE of ...


Jun 7, 2012 -- 9:45PM, mountain_man wrote:


Jun 7, 2012 -- 7:38PM, Iwantamotto wrote:

...Where do we draw the line when we discuss how omnivores (and spare me the "but we're not" crap ... we are, or let me see your stomach stones for eating roughage, oh, and your 4 stomachs) should treat "lesser" beings?


That article, along with much of the anti-omnivore discussion, is a bit too anthropomorphic for me. Sure, plants can release certain pheromones and hormones that make changes in the plant, but it's not a thought process but a chemical process that is in no way similar to our own chemically brought about thought processes. Not even close.


But, if one wants to believe that plants can think, then I guess all that's left is water and rocks. Not much nutrition in that diet.





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2 years ago  ::  Jun 08, 2012 - 12:03AM #8
Fodaoson
Posts: 11,158

To continue on this nonsensical path, Think of onion and  potatoes as plant embryos,i.e. plant abortions.   Apples contain seeds that are Potential  new apple trees so we are eating potential apple again …   There is only one thing that is for sure for all seeds, plants, animals and Humans; DEATH. Some of each get to experience life but not all and not of the same quality and quantity. .

“I seldom make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.” Edward Gibbon
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 08, 2012 - 9:39AM #9
teilhard
Posts: 51,416

PART of The Basic DEFINITION of "Life" includes Responsiveness to Stimuli ... Whether one understands that "Responsiveness" to be a Degree of "Awareness" ("Sentience") -- or not -- may depend upon what one WISHES to believe or understand about "Living Things" in general ...


SOME Folks want or need to understand "Living Things" (mostly) AS "Things," i.e., "Objects" ... while others may want or need to understand "Living Things" (mostly) as "Living" ...



I like the keen Observation made by Anais Ninn:


"We don't see Things as THEY are, but rather we see Things as WE are ... "

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 08, 2012 - 10:17AM #10
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Poor taters! Frown

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