Do Plants Think? Scientists
Are Beginning To Believe It
By James Donahue
A recent article in the
Christian Science Monitor reports on new research by scientists in “the evolving paradigm of plant intelligence.”
The story by
Patrik Jonsson notes that some scientists believe
plants are capable of carefully considering their environment, speculating on the future, conquering
territory and enemies, “and are often capable of forethought – revelations that could affect everyone from gardeners
Jonsson added that the research has opened “a sprouting debate over the nature of intelligence itself.”
Examples of findings
by the research included the discovery that the parasitic plant strangleweed “can sense the presence of friends, foes
and food, and make adroit decisions on how to approach them.”
Also the ground-hugging
mayapple “plans its growth two years into the future, based on computations of weather patterns.”
Plant geneticists are
finding that plants can communicate with each other as well as with insects by coded gas exhalations. “They can perform
Euclidean geometry calculations through cellular computations and, like a peeved boss, remember the tiniest transgression
These findings support
the occult belief by the aboriginal people that the Earth is a living sentient being and that everything on the
planet is not only alive, but part of a vast universal information system.
It seems that even the
grass, the flowers and the trees are sending information not only within their own ranks, but to the Mother Earth and to the
I had my first realization
of how plants respond to human involvement in their environment a few years back, when I was cutting firewood to heat our
home. My father and I used to drive back into the wooded area of the family farm every Saturday to cut down a few trees, saw
them into sections, and load them on the back of a pickup for delivery to the back yard.
Thinking of conservation
even in those years, we used to seek out the fallen or diseased trees in the forest, or take older trees that were crowding
out the smaller ones. I never dreamed that what we were doing was exciting the forest, however.
One day I read about
an experiment by some Russian biologists with a few cabbage plants growing in a greenhouse type of environment.
A row of about six cabbage
plants were attached to a sensitive instrument that measured various electronic waves transmitted by the living plants. The
device worked somewhat like an electroencephalograph attached to the human brain.
During the experiment,
a man entered the room each day at a certain time to water and add nourishment to the soil in each of the pots in which the
cabbages were growing. The signals were recorded. There was a reaction to this activity each day.
Then one day a new person
entered the room carrying an ax. This man walked up to one of the cabbage plants and chopped it to pieces. The response on
the recorders was immediate. There was a wild increase in electronic activity. It was clear that the other cabbage plants
not only were aware of this terrible event, they expressed a strong response to what just happened.
From that time on, the
mere entrance of the room by the man who had wielded the ax, caused the same kind of electronic reaction among the surviving
The conclusion among
the scientists conducting the study is that the cabbage plants not only are aware of their surroundings, they communicate
with one another, and respond to events that affect them.
After this, I found it
difficult to enter the forest and cut down trees. I realized that the trees not only were communicating, but they may have
feared my approach. Eventually we sold that home and moved into a smaller house that had a gas fired furnace.