If you have 20 minutes this weekend, may we suggest you read Michael Pollan’s article on plant intelligence.
Some thought provoking points from the article:
Plants are orders of magnitude more resilient than animals. They don’t have a central brain or heart. In fact they don’t have any vital organ. This means that over 90% of a plant can be destroyed, and it will still be able to recuperate.
Plants live in slow motion compared to animals, taking months and years to grow. Because of this, it’s hard for us humans to discern any intelligent activity as we would with another human or animal.
Plants communicate with each other, through the air and underground. The tips of plant roots have incredible sensing capability: gravity, moisture, light, pressure, volume, beneficial and dangerous chemicals, microbes, AND signals from neighboring plants.
Scientists working on plant intelligence are utilizing the latest research on distributed computing and swarm behavior. Basically “remarkably brainy behavior can emerge in the absence of actual brains.”
Read the whole thing here, it’s fascinating.