Intelligent Design Plants

At Mind Matters News: How plants talk when we’re not around

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Some aspects of plant behavior can be studied in the same terms as animal or human behavior:

One genuine surprise in recent decades has been the discovery that plants have nervous systems like animals and use some of the same compounds in communications — for example, TMAO to relieve stress and glutamate to speed transmission.

Biologist Peter Rogers pointed out recently that the similarities may shed a bit of light on issues around anaesthesia. Surprisingly, it is possible to anesthetize a plant.

Denyse O’Leary, “How plants talk when we’re not around” at Mind Matters News

Consciousness (as some almost argue)?

Well, “consciousness” is going a little far because we’d best be clear what we mean by that. With plants, as with, say, worms, there could be an extensive communications network without any actual consciousness in the sense of an “I” in there. The effect would be roughly similar to a “smart” building, though much more complex. That is, the communications are highly sensitive and extensive, whether or not anyone is actually “home.”

Still, the ways plants communicate are remarkable. For example, one researcher tells us that plants can use RNA to “talk to” neighbours, affecting their gene expression, It was a quite unexpected finding…

Denyse O’Leary, “How plants talk when we’re not around” at Mind Matters News

You may also wish to read: Evolutionary psychologist argues that worms feel pain. But how? Wait. Barash’s hypothesis overlooks the fact that suffering is more than an alarm system. An alarm could be going off in an empty building. If some invertebrates show much more self-awareness than expected, it hardly follows that all do. We risk impeding humane reforms if we cast the net too widely.

4 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: How plants talk when we’re not around

  1. 1
    Silver Asiatic says:

    We risk impeding humane reforms if we cast the net too widely.

    True. I can see how these findings are used against human exceptionalism, so they’re a danger in that regard. Strangely, the very evidence that makes Darwinism impossible is then used to support the same theory from a different angle: panpsychism and thus “consciousness is easy to produce since bacteria have it”.
    If standard materialism fails, as it has already, atheism will persist with a ‘conscious materialism’ and evidence will be from plants that think and worms that feel pain, etc.

  2. 2
    News says:

    Silver Asiatic at 1: Yes but also this: Genuine animal suffering (a dog or horse in pain, say) needs to be distinguished from the fact that many life forms have very complex signalling systems – but perhaps there is “no one home” in terms of a subject that is actually experiencing the pain. It is doubtless a fruitful topic for research into animal intelligence.

  3. 3
    martin_r says:

    And here we go again:

    One genuine surprise in recent decades ….

    Or

    It was a quite unexpected finding…

    Darwinists … these guys are permanently surprised …

  4. 4
    Silver Asiatic says:

    News

    that many life forms have very complex signalling systems – but perhaps there is “no one home” in terms of a subject that is actually experiencing the pain

    True. Then we’re expected to assign conscious awareness to everything but as you say, this is an area that remains a mystery. Holy Week reminds us of the power of the incarnation and what that achieved. A visible case of human exceptionalism.

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