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[Plant-education] Debate Over Plants Having Feelings

Jensen, Douglas via plant-ed%40net.bio.net (by Doug.Jensen from Converse.edu)
Wed Oct 31 13:57:18 EST 2007

Oh yeah.  This is a favorite.  Also, remember that plants prefer
classical music to rock music, and that you have to be careful which
plants you put by your crystals so their vibration frequencies don't
interfere with each other.  And above all, don't interact with your
plant when you're feeling down or angry, because your bad ju-ju will
infect it.

The short answer is that we cannot measure "feelings" in plants, so
science cannot answer the question of whether they have them.  They
certainly don't have them in the same way that we do. 

Your coworker's claim is more one about an understanding (or
misunderstanding) of science than about plants.

I wouldn't argue with the person, but if you must, I suggest that you
ask what he or she means by "feelings" and their presence can be defined
in plants in an observable fashion.  Here are some possibilities...  

1.  If to have feelings requires nervous systems like ours, then plants
definitely don't have them.  We can see that.

2.  If it means that the plants are happy or sad as a reaction to
something, then you need a way to observe that change.  Psychologists
usually use questionnaires to measure such things.  Neurologists may
have EEG methodologies to do it with people, but those would be
standardized or calibrated with questionnaires.

3.  If your coworker wants to measure whether the plants can react to
environmental changes and perhaps grow better in some environments than
in others, he or she will see that they do--just as all other organisms

Douglas P. Jensen
Department of Biology

-----Original Message-----
From: plant-ed-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu
[mailto:plant-ed-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu] On Behalf Of
shawnvsmail from gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 12:10 PM
To: bionet-plants-education from moderators.isc.org
Subject: [Plant-education] Debate Over Plants Having Feelings

I need help, I know this may sound ridiculous but here goes.

I am having a debate with coworkers.
I say that plants do not have feelings but my coworkers say that they

I think this is ridiculous and I wish I had not got involved.

I explained that it is impossible for plants to have feelings like
people because they do not have a nervous system and brain and that
plants are living organisms which react to different stimuli and
chemical processes such as Photosynthesis.

But this did not register with them so I made no headway.

I need Biologists and Botanists give me some information concerning
this matter so that I can put some real credibility to this issue.


Bill Vereen

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