Ethics Intelligent Design Mind Plants

Is salad murder?

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A Darwinian biologist wrestles with the significance of plant intelligence:

But despite his reservations about interpreting plants as intelligent beings with dignity, Kutschera thinks that “plants should be considered, with respect to humans, as valuable and equal organisms – current end-points of organismic evolution,”, which started some 3.8 billion years ago. They should be protected and not destroyed, because they are our “evolved cousins”, and, moreover, photosynthetic organisms.”

Indeed, he holds to a Darwinian explanation of plant intelligence and of the living world generally and sees the main danger of plant rights as arising from “an invasion of uncritical thinking, in tandem with the emergence of pseudoscientific claims, similar to those made by creationists, adherents of homeopathy, etc.” It takes considerable mental gymnastics to link creationism, in which human uniqueness is a key assumption, with plants rights, which seems to be an offshoot of radical animal rights, which denounces the idea of human uniqueness.

If we think plants are “equal organisms” with respect to humans, it’s not clear whether salad is or isn’t murder. Or whether murder is even a serious ethical problem. One may have the right precepts but defending them is awkward. More at Mind Matters

See also: Can plants be as smart as animals? Seeking to thrive and grow, plants communicate extensively, without a mind or a brain

and

That plant is not a cyborg

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