Do Plants Have Something to Say? One Scientist is Listening

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sciborg2

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« on: September 04, 2019, 12:12:36 am »
Do Plants Have Something to Say? One Scientist is Listening

Ellie Shechet

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Monica Gagliano says that she has received Yoda-like advice from trees and shrubbery. She recalls being rocked like a baby by the spirit of a fern. She has ridden on the back of an invisible bear conjured by an osha root. She once accidentally bent space and time while playing the ocarina, an ancient wind instrument, in a redwood forest. “Oryngham,” she says, means “thank you” in plant language. These interactions have taken place in dreams, visions, songs and telekinetic interactions, sometimes with the help of shamans or ayahuasca.

This has all gone on around the same time as Dr. Gagliano’s scientific research, which has broken boundaries in the field of plant behavior and signaling. Currently at the University of Sydney in Australia, she has published a number of studies that support the view that plants are, to some extent, intelligent. Her experiments suggest that they can learn behaviors and remember them. Her work also suggests that plants can “hear” running water and even produce clicking noises, perhaps to communicate.

Plants have directly shaped her experiments and career path. In 2012, she says, an oak tree assured her that a risky grant application — proposing research on sound communication in plants — would be successful. “You are here to tell our stories,” the tree told her.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 11:36:08 am »
Taking anthropomorphize to a whole new level. I definitely believe there's more going on with plants than we typically suspect, especially with large old-growth forests, and I think I've seen a write up of her plant hearing experiment (which seemed very normal).

But she sounds crazy lol. I did not realize she was performing shamanistic rituals and holding conversation with plants. We can barely do that with other primates, and can't do it at all with other intelligent mammals (whales, etc). The idea that a tree has figured it out and can communicate with this lady seems beyond fanciful.

I dont think anyone can truly do good science when you're this close to the subject.
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sciborg2

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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 01:49:35 pm »
I dont think anyone can truly do good science when you're this close to the subject.

Why I've been waiting for Neil Degrasse Tyson to retire after he tried to get the US gov't to fun his personal hobby of space travel. ;-)
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Wilshire

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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 01:55:26 pm »
Eh, the two seem different, but im not sure how to demarcate the difference.

People can still make objective observations... ie "do science" ... when they are passionate. But there's some line that can be crossed. Certainly, there'd be no experiments done in any field if no one cared about what they were doing.

On the other hand, if your subject is telling you truths like a God directly into your mind, and you belive that its predicting the future, you probably stepped over that line at some point and became a worshiper rather than a scientist. Right?

So, thinking your plants are gods, and thinking space is neat, seem not to be on the same level.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 01:57:15 pm by Wilshire »
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sciborg2

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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2019, 02:05:22 pm »
Eh, the two seem different, but im not sure how to demarcate the difference.

People can still make objective observations... ie "do science" ... when they are passionate. But there's some line that can be crossed. Certainly, there'd be no experiments done in any field if no one cared about what they were doing.

On the other hand, if your subject is telling you truths like a God directly into your mind, and you belive that its predicting the future, you probably stepped over that line at some point and became a worshiper rather than a scientist. Right?

So, thinking your plants are gods, and thinking space is neat, seem not to be on the same level.

Tyson is an atheist evangelist, so is that enough to make him forcibly retire? He has also advocated MWI, the nonsense explanation for wave function (non) collapse.

It seems to me if someone is doing the research openly and honestly so we can evaluate & replicate their findings that person hasn't crossed any lines? (Exceptions might be made for people harming the public good, like Dawkin's downplaying child molestation...)
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Wilshire

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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2019, 03:42:40 pm »
Atheist Evangelist is an entertaining term, but no I don't think subscribing to one belief over another (as far as gods are concerned) makes one unfit to think logically in most cases.

All I'm saying is if you're researching plants, and your plants suddenly become telepathic and are telling you the future, you're probably no longer able to distinguish fact from fiction in regards to plants.

In the case of Tyson, I don't know. Is he being whispered the future by his astrological calculations/observations? Then yeah, I'd say he's in the same paranormal boat.

Once you start subscribing magic to your science, you're probably not "doing" science.

Peter Watt's  Echopraxia makes a nice conversation of this. His point something along the lines of: as long as your prediction are right it doesn't really matter if you call it God or call it Science, as they functionally amount to the same thing. Its just a matter of calling a spade a spade. If you're worshiping your plants and they whisper secrets of the universe, and those whispers are right, I'm not saying its invalid, just that that doesn't sound like the definition most people use for science.

In the end though, its the outcome that matters, not what one calls it.

It seems to me if someone is doing the research openly and honestly so we can evaluate & replicate their findings that person hasn't crossed any lines? (Exceptions might be made for people harming the public good, like Dawkin's downplaying child molestation...)
So I guess, yes, you're probably right. Seems weird to me, but in the end that's a straw man. Someone that appears strange to me doesn't make them wrong. If the experiments get replicable results, who cares.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 03:54:11 pm by Wilshire »
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Francis Buck

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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2019, 05:24:56 pm »
I totally buy into plants and trees and forests all being more way more active (and certainly sentient), I remain skeptical lol. It's not that I think it is impossible so much as unlikely. Although I also really take no stance on how psychoactives might actually work, given that we don't understand regular old unaltered consciousness.

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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2019, 05:49:43 pm »
Well yeah. The idea that some things are conscious and other things are not seems strange to me, especially deciding which is which before we figure out what it even is and how it works.

Thats part of the reason the entire study of taxonomy is the way it is - we started defining things by how they looked. Our tools have told us a much different story.

Seems like wishful thinking that only humans have consciousness... if that is what is thought.
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sciborg2

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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2019, 11:29:54 pm »
I'm admittedly being a bit extra contrarian here...but I suspect this is the future when you look at demographic shifts globally and the inclusion of more religious nations into the global scientific community. Even the "nones" of the West will include the lady above...
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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2019, 11:58:57 am »
I'm admittedly being a bit extra contrarian here...but I suspect this is the future when you look at demographic shifts globally and the inclusion of more religious nations into the global scientific community. Even the "nones" of the West will include the lady above...

Contrarian to your hearts content :). I can tell there's a point you're driving at but not sure I've figured it out.

Can you explain what you mean with this last post?
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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2019, 02:44:42 pm »
I'm admittedly being a bit extra contrarian here...but I suspect this is the future when you look at demographic shifts globally and the inclusion of more religious nations into the global scientific community. Even the "nones" of the West will include the lady above...

Contrarian to your hearts content :). I can tell there's a point you're driving at but not sure I've figured it out.

Can you explain what you mean with this last post?

I'm thinking of a few years old Pew Research projection, "Why people with no religion are projected to decline as a share of the world’s population":

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/07/why-people-with-no-religion-are-projected-to-decline-as-a-share-of-the-worlds-population/

Parallel this with an expected rise of more non-Western nations participating in a global scientific community along with the decline of materialism as the metaphysical "brand" of science.

We'll probably see more stuff with people at the least having prayed for a solution to a scientific problem showing up in interviews, and probably every so often someone speaking publicly about experiences like those above.
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2019, 03:31:01 pm »
Hmmm, not sure I agree with your conclusion. Even if the total % of "nones" decreases proportionally, that doesn't mean more religious people will proportionally be drawn to scientific endeavors. After all, the vast majority of people are not scientists, so the overall population pool is likely a bad predictor of this type of phenomenon.

Just a gut feeling, but I'd guess similar to how colleges/achedemia tend to be more liberal places regardless of their geographical location, so too will those few "doing science" remain as they are. People don't like change, groups of people even less so. The passive effects of aging "nones" dying off doesn't seem like something that will be tipping the balance in highly specialized fields.

ETA: I love the term "nones" as its a homophone to nuns :P . Brilliantly subversive .
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 03:33:17 pm by Wilshire »
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Francis Buck

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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2019, 09:47:29 pm »
For the sake of clarity, I'm definitely way more on the 'contrarian' side of things here -- I'm purely skeptical of the idea that ingesting a particular type of mind-altering substance will allow for cross-species communication (even more specifically, the kind of communication alleged in the article). And even then, I'm just skeptical lol. The part about plants making clicking noises in order to communicate also comes off as especially anthropocentric.

Now, the idea, more broadly speaking, that mind-altering substances and/or the induction of mind-altering states (say, via meditation or a drum circle) can lead to actual, genuine "transcedental" knowledge or understanding of the universe -- of that I am basically convinced until proven otherwise, lol. 
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 09:51:48 pm by Francis Buck »

sciborg2

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« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2019, 03:32:34 pm »
Now, the idea, more broadly speaking, that mind-altering substances and/or the induction of mind-altering states (say, via meditation or a drum circle) can lead to actual, genuine "transcedental" knowledge or understanding of the universe -- of that I am basically convinced until proven otherwise, lol. 

Curious - Incommunicable initiatory knowledge, philosophical insight into varied "Hard Problems", or anomalous knowledge transfer from some Other or maybe "just" the Subconscious (say mathematical knowledge)?
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