Can Plants Think? Ctd

Dec 7 2011 @ 7:55am

A reader writes:

Almost surprised you Tomatomost hilarious photo of L. Ron Hubbard anywhere. Context here:

Hubbard's experiments soon came to the attention of Garden News, to which publication he revealed, gardener to gardener, his conviction that plants felt pain. He demonstrated by connecting an E-meter to a geranium with crocodile clips, tearing off its leaves and showing how the needle of the E-meter oscillated as he did so. The Garden News correspondent was enormously excited and wrote a story under the sensational headline 'PLANTS DO WORRY AND FEEL PAIN', describing Hubbard as a 'revolutionary horticultural scientist'.

It was not long before television and Fleet Street reporters were beating a path to Saint Hill Manor demanding to interview Hubbard about his novel theories. Always pleased to help the gentlemen of the press, he was memorably photographed looking compassionately at a tomato jabbed by probes attached to an E-meter – a picture that eventually found its way into Newsweek magazine, causing a good deal of harmless merriment at his expense. Alan Whicker, a well-known British television interviewer, did his best to make Hubbard look like a crank, but Hubbard contrived to come across as a rather likeable and confident personality. When Whicker moved in for the kill, sarcastically inquiring if rose pruning should be stopped lest it caused pain and anxiety, Hubbard neatly side-stopped the question and drew a parallel with an essential life-preserving medical operation on a human being. He might have whacky ideas, Whicker discovered, but he was certainly no fool.

Another reader:

In my view, plants do not have minds.  They are not intelligent.  That's not to say that they aren't absolutely amazing.  I studied them professionally for 15 years (PhD Harvard 2002), and I used think seriously and publish on exactly the sort of things Alva Noë seems pre-occupied with.  But "expressive of intelligence and mind?"  How much more anthropomorphic can you get?

Another links to YouTube:

Reminds me of the research on plants' feelings and empathy by Cleve Baxster.  Hell, Spock seems to agree.