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Are plants conscious?

zmikecuber
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12/7/2015 8:17:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com...

So are plants conscious?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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12/7/2015 8:25:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I guess mythbusters also did something about this.

https://www.youtube.com...
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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12/7/2015 8:28:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Another interesting video

https://www.youtube.com...
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Smithereens
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12/7/2015 8:40:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Before I watch the video, what is their explanation of consciousness? Does it arise from a neurological based central nervous system?
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zmikecuber
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12/7/2015 9:03:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 8:40:25 PM, Smithereens wrote:
Before I watch the video, what is their explanation of consciousness? Does it arise from a neurological based central nervous system?

I don't know about central. But it argues that plants respond to pain, noises, etc.

Now, of course, the entire thing is about how you define "consciousness"... :P
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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12/7/2015 9:04:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 8:40:25 PM, Smithereens wrote:
Before I watch the video, what is their explanation of consciousness? Does it arise from a neurological based central nervous system?

The mythbusters one with the polygraph of the plant supposedly jumping when they thought about burning the plant is weird and makes me suspicious. But hey, it's still pretty interesting... not sure if that's been duplicated over and over again, but if it has been, that would be pretty fascinating.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
SM2
Posts: 546
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12/7/2015 9:48:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Plants, like all life-forms, respond to stimuli from their environment. That doesn't mean they're "conscious" in the sense that we normally use the word.
sadolite
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12/7/2015 9:55:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 9:48:11 PM, SM2 wrote:
Plants, like all life-forms, respond to stimuli from their environment. That doesn't mean they're "conscious" in the sense that we normally use the word.

BUMP
tejretics
Posts: 6,660
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12/8/2015 4:16:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Define "consciousness." Being responsive to sounds, lights, etc =/= actual sentience - since the latter involves the ability to subjectively perceive the sounds and lights. (I haven't seen the video yet -- I'll do it when I get some time -- but I that's what such videos usually imply.)
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass

http://gotejas.com...
zmikecuber
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12/8/2015 4:27:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 9:48:11 PM, SM2 wrote:
Plants, like all life-forms, respond to stimuli from their environment. That doesn't mean they're "conscious" in the sense that we normally use the word.

why not?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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12/8/2015 4:29:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 12:15:37 AM, Geogeer wrote:
At 12/7/2015 8:17:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com...

So are plants conscious?



You Canadians are a weird bunch, eh?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
SM2
Posts: 546
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12/8/2015 4:30:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 4:27:39 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/7/2015 9:48:11 PM, SM2 wrote:
Plants, like all life-forms, respond to stimuli from their environment. That doesn't mean they're "conscious" in the sense that we normally use the word.

why not?

They don't have brains.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,517
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12/8/2015 4:33:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 4:30:51 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:27:39 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/7/2015 9:48:11 PM, SM2 wrote:
Plants, like all life-forms, respond to stimuli from their environment. That doesn't mean they're "conscious" in the sense that we normally use the word.

why not?

They don't have brains.

Why does that matter?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
SM2
Posts: 546
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12/8/2015 4:35:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 4:33:57 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:30:51 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:27:39 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/7/2015 9:48:11 PM, SM2 wrote:
Plants, like all life-forms, respond to stimuli from their environment. That doesn't mean they're "conscious" in the sense that we normally use the word.

why not?

They don't have brains.

Why does that matter?

You ever taken biology?
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,517
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12/8/2015 4:36:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 4:35:33 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:33:57 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:30:51 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:27:39 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/7/2015 9:48:11 PM, SM2 wrote:
Plants, like all life-forms, respond to stimuli from their environment. That doesn't mean they're "conscious" in the sense that we normally use the word.

why not?

They don't have brains.

Why does that matter?

You ever taken biology?

Sure
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
SM2
Posts: 546
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12/8/2015 4:40:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 4:36:29 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:35:33 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:33:57 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:30:51 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:27:39 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/7/2015 9:48:11 PM, SM2 wrote:
Plants, like all life-forms, respond to stimuli from their environment. That doesn't mean they're "conscious" in the sense that we normally use the word.

why not?

They don't have brains.

Why does that matter?

You ever taken biology?

Sure

Then you can answer that question yourself.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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12/8/2015 5:21:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 8:17:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com...

So are plants conscious?

If you define consciousness as a "first-person experience" - then maybe. Plants however cannot centralise their experiences. I.e. An experience in one part of the plant (e.g. The anther) has virtually no bearing on the experience of another part of the plant (e.g. Its roots) - there there is no communication pathway between them.

That's not the case with human (or animal) brains, where the body communicates from most of its external parts to a central part, and different parts of the brain can communicate/directly influence other parts. Thus in humans we have a much more singular sense of "me" than a plant or most other things could in principle.

I think the Sun being conscious is a more interesting example - because the whole system is in flux - that is the experience of each particle in the sun does influence its neighbours - however a particles on one side of the sun has very little bearing on particles on the the other side. So a more diffuse sense of "me-ness".

Perhaps the whole objective sense of "me" is at best an approximation by rapid communication be closely linked parts, and if our brains were huge (like, the size of an elephant), then we would have an incredibly different sense of "me" since the parts of the brain take a long time to communicate with each other as compared to us now.

/speculative unscientific ramble
Geogeer
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12/8/2015 6:08:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 4:29:08 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:15:37 AM, Geogeer wrote:
At 12/7/2015 8:17:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com...

So are plants conscious?



You Canadians are a weird bunch, eh?

You don't know the half of it, eh.
THsea
Posts: 85
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12/8/2015 9:04:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 5:21:26 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 12/7/2015 8:17:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com...

So are plants conscious?

If you define consciousness as a "first-person experience" - then maybe. Plants however cannot centralise their experiences. I.e. An experience in one part of the plant (e.g. The anther) has virtually no bearing on the experience of another part of the plant (e.g. Its roots) - there there is no communication pathway between them.

That's not the case with human (or animal) brains, where the body communicates from most of its external parts to a central part, and different parts of the brain can communicate/directly influence other parts. Thus in humans we have a much more singular sense of "me" than a plant or most other things could in principle.

I think the Sun being conscious is a more interesting example - because the whole system is in flux - that is the experience of each particle in the sun does influence its neighbours - however a particles on one side of the sun has very little bearing on particles on the the other side. So a more diffuse sense of "me-ness".

Perhaps the whole objective sense of "me" is at best an approximation by rapid communication be closely linked parts, and if our brains were huge (like, the size of an elephant), then we would have an incredibly different sense of "me" since the parts of the brain take a long time to communicate with each other as compared to us now.

/speculative unscientific ramble

This is just in response to your claim about plants parts not communicating... That is not true. You have a fun caveat at the end though, so I won't hold it against you! I did enjoy your rambling :)

Now onto science!
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

It's kind of a complicated article, and I won't pretend to fully understand it! However, I used to do topping on a lot of my plants (not tobacco, but still something people smoke!) and I did notice some variation in the root systems in cuttings that were rooted at the same time, had all the same treatments and environments... The only difference was that some were topped. Topping is cutting off a portion of the upward growth, usually resulting in loss of apical dominance... In other words, makes a "bushier" plant!

I'm not claiming that what I saw is proof (the article is, protein changes in roots after topping)... There could be small changes in the soil environments that I could not account for. It did lead me to start reading more, and plants are really complex in how they interact with things... There is communication between the above ground parts and the roots, which makes sense because its all apart of the plant... Quite a bit is actually going on below! Changes in either aspect will change what the plant is doing as a whole.

I've read a long time ago (cant remember where) that plants even communicate in the soil with each other by using hormones. If one is being attacked, it will release a hormone which will tell other plants to start making this hormone as well... Its one associated with protecting themselves from insects and such... I think it was Jasmonic Acids? I don't know. To tired to look it up, I come on DDO at night when I'm done with everything else.

As for consciousness in plants... I don't know. If we use this definition (that I got off google!)

con"scious"ness
noun
noun: consciousness
1. the state of being awake and aware of one's surroundings.

Then I think so, but I wouldn't say so with any conviction. What I know about plants leads me to think they have a type of consciousness, just not the same as animals do. Their experience is as different from ours as ours is to worms. We are all related, however distantly.

Or maybe I'm thinking about it in to much of a vacuous sense. Oh well.
/speculative blah blah blah wordslol
THsea
Posts: 85
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12/8/2015 9:09:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I decided to do a quick google search (so people don't think that I'm completely insane), it wasn't what I originally read... But it's close enough. It's a quick read about plants communicating with hormones.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

I'm currently studying Agronomy, so I'm very interested in plants.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,517
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12/8/2015 12:11:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 5:21:26 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 12/7/2015 8:17:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com...

So are plants conscious?

If you define consciousness as a "first-person experience" - then maybe. Plants however cannot centralise their experiences. I.e. An experience in one part of the plant (e.g. The anther) has virtually no bearing on the experience of another part of the plant (e.g. Its roots) - there there is no communication pathway between them.


Not sure if that's true. There are electrical signals throughout the plant, and when the leaf is burned, it shows up on a polygraph on a different leaf.

That's not the case with human (or animal) brains, where the body communicates from most of its external parts to a central part, and different parts of the brain can communicate/directly influence other parts. Thus in humans we have a much more singular sense of "me" than a plant or most other things could in principle.

That's true.


I think the Sun being conscious is a more interesting example - because the whole system is in flux - that is the experience of each particle in the sun does influence its neighbours - however a particles on one side of the sun has very little bearing on particles on the the other side. So a more diffuse sense of "me-ness".

Perhaps the whole objective sense of "me" is at best an approximation by rapid communication be closely linked parts, and if our brains were huge (like, the size of an elephant), then we would have an incredibly different sense of "me" since the parts of the brain take a long time to communicate with each other as compared to us now.

This is assuming though that time measurement is objective. What about the analogy the first video made, with star trek? Perhaps since the brain is larger and slower, it's very *perception of time* would be different than ours. In other words, it would experience time moving at a normal rate, and everything else around it is going really fast.

But if any system of information can be called "conscious" then wouldn't consciousness overlap? The consciousness of me, with the consciousness of the city I'm in, with the consciousness of the state, with the consciousness of the country, etc. etc. It seems there would be a huge amount of consciousnesses, and the individual "me" would be entirely subjective.

It's very difficult to say, at what point does a system of information have some meaningful "me-ness" to it?


/speculative unscientific ramble
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,517
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12/8/2015 12:12:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 4:40:56 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:36:29 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:35:33 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:33:57 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:30:51 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:27:39 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/7/2015 9:48:11 PM, SM2 wrote:
Plants, like all life-forms, respond to stimuli from their environment. That doesn't mean they're "conscious" in the sense that we normally use the word.

why not?

They don't have brains.

Why does that matter?

You ever taken biology?

Sure

Then you can answer that question yourself.

There's a reason why I posted in the philosophy section and not the science section.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
johnlubba
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12/8/2015 12:54:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 12:12:57 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:40:56 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:36:29 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:35:33 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:33:57 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:30:51 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:27:39 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 12/7/2015 9:48:11 PM, SM2 wrote:
Plants, like all life-forms, respond to stimuli from their environment. That doesn't mean they're "conscious" in the sense that we normally use the word.

why not?

They don't have brains.

Why does that matter?

You ever taken biology?

Sure

Then you can answer that question yourself.

There's a reason why I posted in the philosophy section and not the science section.

Actually it could also be applicable in the science section, seeing as there are cases where people have displayed high levels of consciousness even when the brain has been severely compromised, Such as cases in NDE's or cases where people have severe cases of brain damage and lived their whole lives in a vegetative state only to display very lucid consciousness moments before death, or very rare cases where people have shown high levels of IQ even though they have virtually little to no brain whatsoever.

To answer the Op, Yes I believe plants have consciousness but not as much as humans.
ShabShoral
Posts: 4,004
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12/8/2015 1:19:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
There is literally no way to establish whether anything has consciousness if you are not that thing. Qualia is inherently unknowable through external testing.

"Reactions" prove nothing - a rock "reacts" when the wind blows it. Why are the plants' behaviours in a special category?
I would prefer not to.
Skepsikyma
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12/9/2015 6:45:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 5:21:26 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 12/7/2015 8:17:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com...

So are plants conscious?

If you define consciousness as a "first-person experience" - then maybe. Plants however cannot centralise their experiences. I.e. An experience in one part of the plant (e.g. The anther) has virtually no bearing on the experience of another part of the plant (e.g. Its roots) - there there is no communication pathway between them.

That's not the case with human (or animal) brains, where the body communicates from most of its external parts to a central part, and different parts of the brain can communicate/directly influence other parts. Thus in humans we have a much more singular sense of "me" than a plant or most other things could in principle.

This actually isn't entirely true; there are various ways in which stimuli in one part of the plant can cause reaction is the others (gaseous hormones, regular hormones and phloem-transmitted action potentials being three of them).

I would compare a large plant to an ant or bee colony more than I would to a mammalian body, and I'd compare the entire aggregate ant or bee colony to one large brain, operating through similar processes of association, 'decision-making', and what is definitely analogous to 'learning'. The plant just moves faster than the colony does, in most instances, and plants have developed ways of 'listening in' on the private conversations of competitors in a way which gives both an edge against threats. For example, caterpillars are moving through one tree and eating leaves, so it begins to produce unpalatable compounds, using a gaseous hormone to more efficiently send stress signals to other areas of the plant. The other tree 'picks up' on the hormone, and begins making its leaves more bitter, and the effect cascades through this plant community. Alternatively, a wasp which parasitizes that particular caterpillar may learn to follow this chemical gradient to the source, where it will find lots of plump little larvae on which to lay its eggs.

Are they anything like humans? No. But on a scale of consciousness, I'd definitely put trees miles above clams, shrimp, or individual insects.
"See now Oblivion shimmering all around us, its very tranquility deadlier than tempest. How little all our keels have troubled it."
- Lord Dunsany -

"Over her head the stars, the thoughts of God in the heavens,
Shone on the eyes of man, who had ceased to marvel and worship"
- Henry Longfellow -

"We enjoy, we see nothing by direct vision; but only by reflection, and in anatomical dismemberment."
- Thomas Carlyle -
komododragon8
Posts: 405
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12/9/2015 7:33:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 8:17:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com...

So are plants conscious?

Response to stimuli is literally a requirement for life. If you want to look for things that we actually value, look for complex emotion, self awareness, consciousness. Those are the things which you need for personhood.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,517
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12/9/2015 6:28:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/9/2015 6:45:56 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 12/8/2015 5:21:26 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 12/7/2015 8:17:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com...

So are plants conscious?

If you define consciousness as a "first-person experience" - then maybe. Plants however cannot centralise their experiences. I.e. An experience in one part of the plant (e.g. The anther) has virtually no bearing on the experience of another part of the plant (e.g. Its roots) - there there is no communication pathway between them.

That's not the case with human (or animal) brains, where the body communicates from most of its external parts to a central part, and different parts of the brain can communicate/directly influence other parts. Thus in humans we have a much more singular sense of "me" than a plant or most other things could in principle.

This actually isn't entirely true; there are various ways in which stimuli in one part of the plant can cause reaction is the others (gaseous hormones, regular hormones and phloem-transmitted action potentials being three of them).

I would compare a large plant to an ant or bee colony more than I would to a mammalian body, and I'd compare the entire aggregate ant or bee colony to one large brain, operating through similar processes of association, 'decision-making', and what is definitely analogous to 'learning'. The plant just moves faster than the colony does, in most instances, and plants have developed ways of 'listening in' on the private conversations of competitors in a way which gives both an edge against threats. For example, caterpillars are moving through one tree and eating leaves, so it begins to produce unpalatable compounds, using a gaseous hormone to more efficiently send stress signals to other areas of the plant. The other tree 'picks up' on the hormone, and begins making its leaves more bitter, and the effect cascades through this plant community. Alternatively, a wasp which parasitizes that particular caterpillar may learn to follow this chemical gradient to the source, where it will find lots of plump little larvae on which to lay its eggs.

Are they anything like humans? No. But on a scale of consciousness, I'd definitely put trees miles above clams, shrimp, or individual insects.

This is a good response.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,517
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12/9/2015 6:29:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/9/2015 6:45:56 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 12/8/2015 5:21:26 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 12/7/2015 8:17:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com...

So are plants conscious?

If you define consciousness as a "first-person experience" - then maybe. Plants however cannot centralise their experiences. I.e. An experience in one part of the plant (e.g. The anther) has virtually no bearing on the experience of another part of the plant (e.g. Its roots) - there there is no communication pathway between them.

That's not the case with human (or animal) brains, where the body communicates from most of its external parts to a central part, and different parts of the brain can communicate/directly influence other parts. Thus in humans we have a much more singular sense of "me" than a plant or most other things could in principle.

This actually isn't entirely true; there are various ways in which stimuli in one part of the plant can cause reaction is the others (gaseous hormones, regular hormones and phloem-transmitted action potentials being three of them).

I would compare a large plant to an ant or bee colony more than I would to a mammalian body, and I'd compare the entire aggregate ant or bee colony to one large brain, operating through similar processes of association, 'decision-making', and what is definitely analogous to 'learning'. The plant just moves faster than the colony does, in most instances, and plants have developed ways of 'listening in' on the private conversations of competitors in a way which gives both an edge against threats. For example, caterpillars are moving through one tree and eating leaves, so it begins to produce unpalatable compounds, using a gaseous hormone to more efficiently send stress signals to other areas of the plant. The other tree 'picks up' on the hormone, and begins making its leaves more bitter, and the effect cascades through this plant community. Alternatively, a wasp which parasitizes that particular caterpillar may learn to follow this chemical gradient to the source, where it will find lots of plump little larvae on which to lay its eggs.

Are they anything like humans? No. But on a scale of consciousness, I'd definitely put trees miles above clams, shrimp, or individual insects.

What would you say about the "polygraph" tests that supposedly say plants read minds? Lol.. it sounds like a bunch of bologna quasi science to me.
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