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plant emotions

Thomas Bjorkman tnb1 at cornell.edu
Tue Nov 30 14:15:24 EST 1999

In article < at pop.unb.ca>, savidge at unb.ca
(Rod Savidge) wrote:

> I certainly agree with Pixie.  Anything is possible until proven
> impossible.  Moreover, there have been many solid scientific contributions
> published on electrical phenomena in plants, and those who have made
> negative remarks about the possibility of plant emotions seem to be
> ignorant of the research that has been done.   Electrical signalling, hence
> information transfer, is entirely plausible.  
> RA Savidge
> At 07:39 AM 30/11/1999 -0500, you wrote:
> >these fantastic scientists!!!
> >
> >No nervous systems or brains?  How do we know??  They are very different 
> >from us, so what right do we have to make assumptions?  
> >
> >Pixie

I am one of those scientists who have published research on electrical
phenomena in plants. They are clearly there, and it is quite clear how
they happen. They are definitely used for information transfer, usually
related to sensory inputs.  However, there is no sign of emotion.

It is difficult to conceive of emotion as it woudl be experienced by a
plant, so if you choose to define it as the ability to detect
environmental stimuli, you will find it prenesnt in abundance. That seems
like an inappropriate definintion. 

I often speak of the plants I am growing as being "happy." By that I do
not mean that they are experiencing elation in the way sentient mammals
do. I mean that their physiological functions are running near optimum.
Their psychological functions, as far as I can tell after 20 years of
investigation, are absent.
Thomas Björkman    
Dept. of Horticultural Sciences   
Cornell University

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