Thursday, October 30, 2014

Can Plants Think, Talk, Read your Mind?
Evidence for Plant Consciousness Mounts

Image: Still Frame from “Little Shop of Horrors” 

“I just come and talk to the plants, really – very important to talk to them. They respond.”
~ Prince Charles

The Prince of Wales took some flak from his critics for that comment back in 1986. When asked again recently if he still spoke to planets, joked in a self-deprecating way, “No, now I instruct them instead.”   

But how strange, really, is the notion that plants are sentient beings capable of awareness and interaction which is more akin to its higher-order cousins (animals and humans)?

There is mounting evidence that plants have such capacities—albeit in rudimentary forms. We won’t spend time recounting the same info, we’ll give you links and you can read it for yourself.

From The Economist article on the question to The Epoch Times blog(s) on the subject, and many other sources online in between, a growing debate on the question of plant sentience among “serious” scientists is reason enough to stand up and take notice. 

The challenge materialist scientists face is not so much proving or disproving the phenomenon exists; but rather, explaining how/why it should exist. Materialist science has this challenge precisely due to its own limits: materialism.

The fact that plants have no brain or central nervous system puts “serious scientists” into a bit of a quandary. Yes, they can come up with alternative theories, chemical processes and point to alternative bio-electrical pathways in plants. But that’s precisely the point: they assume that the brain and central nervous system (or corollary bio-chemical-electric network in plants) is the origin of consciousness.

Pardon the analogy, but this is like saying the Internet produces what it outputs.

A reasonable person observing only the Internet in isolation—that is, the technology alone—could easily come to such a conclusion. Electrical signals whizzing about this vast network of interconnected nodes. It’s obvious, is it not? The Internet is sentient in and of itself and reacts to the events of the world around it via technology. This is what is commonly referred to as the ghost in the machine.

Image: “Ghost in the Machine” 

But those who know the truth about the Internet know that remove humans from the situation and what you get is a big, hulking mass of cables, circuit boards, screens and keyboards…dead tech.

The activity is dependent on CONSCIOUSNESS.  In this case, the consciousness of the humanity who designed, built and use the technology. Even if that consciousness is mostly bottled-up inside ego (cravings for and aversions to all manner of conceivable and inconceivable things reaching into the highest heights of conscious human awareness to the darkest depths of subconscious desire and depravity).

Sure your iPhone6 will give the appearance of sentience. Complete with a name (Siri) and lots of autonomous activity. But without an operator, it’s just a fancy little box with blinky lights and nifty sounds. That complex device was designed and constructed according to a template, and is an expression of the human mind.

Working backwards, then, how is the human brain any different than the iPhone6 or the Internet? We can observe lots of activity, and we can see it accept inputs and produce outputs. Thanks to EEG, MRI and other imaging technology we can see it very active during thinking, dreaming, meditation, etc. But is this evidence that it is the origin of it all?

If you sent a “bot” into the Internet which was incapable of detecting anything but its own nature—digital technology—it would be completely blind to the biological organisms that are truly behind and at the heart of the Internet, yes? It could explore the whole of the Internet as part of the digital paradigm and be completely blind to the underlying biological creators of the Network, despite the “signature” of those strange biological creatures all over the place…the digital representation of them.

Likewise, if one identifies solely with the material paradigm and “reason” (which is the intellectual paradigm on which artificial intelligence is based), one becomes blind to the underlying paradigm on which physical reality is based.

That underlying paradigm is energy and consciousness. Now, even physics (quantum mechanics in particular) recognizes that matter as such doesn’t exist. The fact that the observer effect has direct consequences on certain quantum experiments is reason enough to begin questioning the underlying “metaparadigm” of materialist science…the unquestioned underlying assumption that the physical universe is primary.

This question is explored in the excellent talk by Peter Russell called The Primacy of Consciousness.

Video: The Primacy of Consciousness - Peter Russell - Full Version
Source: YouTube:

The erroneous assumptions established by the metaparadigm of material science (that the material universe is primary and all phenomena stem from the foundation of the material) lock science into the problems of the scientific method: of concocting elaborate theories and then hunting for physical explanations which support said theories. As if material evidence is the only—and ultimate—arbiter of what is real and what is not.

Still, there is no reasonable scientific, economic, physical explanation for altruism and love…self-sacrifice, for instance. The many values we hold most dear fly in the face of all manner of logical argument, when reduced to that most “ultimate” arbiter…materialism. Materialism and love are incompatible, fundamentally, and so science simply ignores the latter in favour of its foundational metaparadigm.

Why? Were the metaparadigm proven—somehow—to be incorrect, the very foundations of the scientific community would be shaken, and much of what we hold true today would simply collapse like a deck of cards.

And that day is coming.

The real question we should be asking is this: what sense does it make to construct a universe where consciousness is an emergent phenomenon reserved for certain beings but not others? Does it not make more sense to design a universe on a common platform using a similar paradigm at all levels? Just as we constructed the Internet?

So here the atheists chime in with their evolution versus creationism argument. Sorry, it doesn’t hold up in this case.

Evolution is a theory, and while it is true that organisms change over time, no one has ever witnessed the birth of a new organism by means of natural selection. But all that aside, there’s an even greater reason why it doesn’t hold up in this case.

In the context of the present discussion, all life is bound by the same fundamental matrix with DNA at its very biological heart. Be it single-celled organisms to multi-cellular organisms to multi-individual super-organisms (ecosystems) to the planet itself, life follows repeating shapes and patterns at all levels. This happens on the physical as well as metaphysical planes. Truth be told, biology’s definition of “life as we know it” is far too narrow.

The sooner materialist science recognizes this, the sooner scientists will not only talk to plants, they will LISTEN. And REAL science can “emerge”…and the REAL magic can begin.

No comments:

Post a Comment