Equisetum, considered a “living fossil” is the only surviving member of a large family of spore-bearing vascular plants found as early as 150 mya. It’s still here. The giant sauropods not so much.
The question is not whether plants are “as smart as SMART animals” (no) but whether many plants can use information to the same degree as many animals can (yes). It would make more sense to see that the reason they can is that nature is full of intelligence (not personal intelligences). And that the intelligence clearly did not get there by Darwinian means, as the above example illustrates.
We know something’s changed when scientists need to make these points. Maybe underestimating the significance of human intelligence plays a role. After all, if we are just clever apes, maybe lettuce is just-as-clever apes too. Maybe salad is murder…
We are “trained,” if you like, to expect certain discoveries (dark matter, for example). Then we learn something significant that really surprises us and allows for new thinking about, for example, ecology.
It looks very much like a plan rather than an accident.
“Dr Cardona also suggests that this might mean oxygenic photosynthesis was not the product of a billion years of evolution from anoxygenic photosynthesis, but could have been a trait that evolved much sooner, if not first.” So when did the billions of years of Darwinian evolution that “gradually evolved” photosynthesis happen?
“Surprisingly, when they are grown together for a long time — around a month — some algal cells enter the fungal cells. Both organisms remain active and healthy in this relationship. ” This is one likely vector but did all plants really need fungi to live on land?
Marcos Eberlin: Maybe one could grant the evolutionary miracle a single time, but six times?
He worries that their concern is “clouding their objectivity.” But isn’t objectivity the next two-minute hate?
You didn’t think plants were conscious, did you? Did you really think salad is murder? Yet telling us that plants are not conscious is the gist of a recently published major paper in Trends in Plant Science. (open access) Part of the background to the “plants think like people” movement in science, which they oppose, Read More…
The history of life keeps changing on us. Much more stasis, much less Darwin. Where will we end up?
It sounds as though the necessary evolution occurred a long time ago and that a Darwinian process just isn’t happening. But they are not likely allowed to discuss it that way.
The researchers don’t hazard a guess as to why the wild plant rejects its descendant. It’s tempting to liken it to a wolf pack chasing away a stray dog (if not outright killing him). Interesting development.
Steady on here. “Evolution” randomly evolved a number of complex and specified strategies that hit the same target? And we can achieve “intelligent crop design” by co-operating with it? Better take your Darwin pills before you talk about this with colleagues.
The plant, Hibiscadelphus woodii, was formally discovered in 1991 and had been declared extinct in 2016: In 2016, the same year the plant was listed extinct, the National Tropical Botanical Garden teamed up with drone operator Ben Nyberg to supplement the work of intrepid scientists like Wood, who rappel down cliffs and trudge through rainforests Read More…