The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Plants are intelligent things! (And pilot UFOs?)

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.


A while back I posted an item about the book The Secret Life of Plants (by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird) tying it to the idea found in the 1951 sci-fi movie, The Thing from Another World: the being that came to Earth in a flying saucer was an kind of intelligent, advanced vegetable.
The December 23/30 New Yorker magazine has a piece The Intelligent Plant by Michael Pollan [Page 92 ff.] that details the current studies about what appears to be intelligent behavior by plants, noting that The Secret Life of Plants was considered New Age hooey pretty much but contained ideas that are now being taken seriously by botanists and plant scientists:

“…plants reacted to the thoughts (good or ill) of humans in close proximity and, in the case of humans familiar to them, over a great distance.” [Page 92]

“Plants are able to sense and optimally respond to so many environmental variables … that there may exist some brainlike information-processing system to integrate the data and coördinate a plant’s behavioral response … electrical and chemical signaling systems have been identified in plants which are homologous to those found in the nervous systems of animals.” [Page 92]

“… plants exhibit intelligence … an intrinsic ability to process information from both abiotic and biotic stimuli that allows optimal decisions about future activities in a given environment.” [Page 92]

“It is only human arrogance, and the fact that the lives of plants unfold in what amounts to a much slower dimension of time, that keeps us from appreciating their intelligence and consequent success." [Page 94]

The article provides a number of experiments which have shown what appears to be thought processes, telepathy among plants, and plant networks that mimic what goes on in human brains via neurons.

That some plant scientists are aghast at the idea of Plant Neurobiology is solidly presented but offset by detailed procedures that can only be seen, by objective observers, as some kind of thinking or intelligence in plants..

Pollan writes that Darwin was obsessed with plants and in his 1880 book The Power of Movement in Plants “was asking us to think of the plant as a kind of upside-down animal, with its main sensory organs and ‘brain’ on the bottom, underground, and its sexual organs on top.” [Page 95]

With plants, Pollan writes, “there is some unifying mechanism across living systems that can process information and learn.” [Page 98]

And “ … if we decide that [consciousness] as the state of being awake and aware of one’s environment … then plants may qualify as conscious beings …”  [Page 101]

And for our UFO purposes here, “If we could begin to understand plants on their own terms … it would be like being in contact with an alien culture.” [Page 104]

If you want to explore other planets, the best thing is to send plantoids.” [Page 105, italics mine]

The article is extensive and much more explicit and interesting than my self-serving synopsis here indicates, and you will be edified by seeking it out (online or in the magazine itself).

My point is that we might do well to consider The Thing scenario as one possibility for UFO occupants (extraterrestrial visitors); that is, they are vegetables with sentience (intelligence) seeking the Earth’s waters to sustain their civilization and/or culture, elsewhere in the universe where water has become a lost but necessary commodity.

The idea is not as far-fetched as one might think, once they read the New Yorker piece.

RR

8 Comments:

  • There is a system of cellular maintenance and adaptation, that, not surprising is called just that, cellular intelligence, and that is not to say cellular life is self aware in the same manner as we, even though they cross communicate and develop learning strategies. At least thats the currently conceptual model of cellular life forms
    Without exaggerating you could state that genetic engineering is an expression of applying artificial intelligence modifying complex behaviors. Another thing to bear in mind is where they fit in the energy exchange in terms of what they consume and what they serve. The other issue is how this would take place if they have mobility and how they would navigate grasping and coordination. What could be possible on the far edge of this consideration are hybridised (genetically engineered) use of photosynthesis but then thats extremely restrictive in terms of a a consistently available radiant source of light in space. Of course they require carbon dioxide as one of their foods, another barrier. There would have to be ( in my opinion) a lot of bridges to be crossed on many parallel levels to create a bipedal plant to say the least, just in terms of the processing and variety of characteristics they would have to come up with to make this a workable scenario. The model of cellular intelligence and self awareness is the crux of AI theory and the source of a great deal of debate.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, December 21, 2013  

  • Your clustered response, Bruce, gets at the overall view but misses the detailed examples in the article which allow the extrapolation I'm suggesting.

    That plants, here on Earth, seem to have intelligence, even consciousness, provides conjectures that plants elsewhere may have evolved in ways that allow for mobility and sustenance where Carbon Dioxide is not necessary of the ingredient that sustains the things.

    Like those castigated in the New Yorker piece -- the plant (botanical) traditionalists -- you consider the matter from an Earth-centric position, or what the botanical reality is here.

    The vicissitudes, presented rather completely by writer Pollan, make (or allow) an imaginative scenario where plant life is mobile and self-sufficient to the point that one can envision a troop of such entities traversing the Universe in search of water or something needed to keep them and their kind alive.

    Light, carbon dioxide, and photosynthesis (not mentioned in the piece, by the way, surprisingly) could be replaced by other elements of a wholly different kind.

    That's what NASA is finding out in its study of Mars and the moons of Saturn and Jupiter.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, December 21, 2013  

  • My points were not based on what might be but what is in terms of what is acknowledged without stretching,bearing in mind this is all speculative so the the simple answer to your post is anything is possible, however...
    The critical assumption you are making is on the assumed physicality of the UFO subject you are applying cellular intelligence onto, specifically to plants.
    What goes along with the possible aspect of this in relation to the physicality of the UFO is probability and given the hurdles that would have to be jumped, I give it a extremely faint maybe, bearing in mind we are dealing with evidence for this and the fact that in all likelihood the theoretical creatures would be dealing with two strictly different atmospheres or environments that would be necessary to bring this about..in their evolutionary direction and sustenance versus ours and being able to cope here. Yes, plants could be more evolved compared to AB or C but when you mix that with interstellar flight, I think the likelihood if nil for the reasons I mentioned. The essay did not change my mind.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, December 21, 2013  

  • It's obvious that the piece didn't alter your view, Bruce.

    But taking into account the evolutionary stretch for plants, here and, especially, elsewhere, one can hypothesize an alien plant life-form, one seeking water or chemicals depleted on their home turf.

    The article, for me, allows one to open their mind to such possibilities.

    That's the importance of the piece mostly.

    It shows that creative, intellectual types are not closed-minded or narrow-minded.

    The output of Sci-fi writers, as those mentioned in the piece, along with the authors of The Secret Life of Plants, coupled with the Hawks' film, The Thing, broadens one's mind -- some minds anyway.

    That you are unmoved, almost surprises.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, December 21, 2013  

  • I do think you bring an important subject to the fore, which is the consideration of exobiology in any UFO discussion. I do think on the physicality side, there is a strong possibility we are dealing with an amphibious cetacean like creature based on the evidence. Thats simply a strong suspicion and I have countered my own thinking just to be critically healthy about it. I think another strong theme in this topic is the issue of anthropomorphism..and it's more likely we are dealing with a species (if there is physicality) that bears little resemblance to us biologically or in terms of consciousness.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, December 21, 2013  

  • With all the UFO sightings near or in water, an amphibious creature is grist for hypothesis.

    "... it's more likely we are dealing with a species (if there is physicality) that bears little resemblance to us biologically or in terms of consciousness."

    That's what I like(d) about the Hawks' film (despite the bipedal creature, which was dismissed in later versions of the movie, that I hate).

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, December 21, 2013  

  • And this just popped up on my news feed:

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/environment/flora-fauna/flowers-abruptly-proliferated-on-earth-millions-of-years-ago/articleshow/27714388.cms

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, December 21, 2013  

  • Reading this post brought back memories of my studies in biology, both botany and zoology, numerous hours in the labs and out in the field.

    I recall coming across an organism called the Hydra, a small multicellular animal that looked more plant-like and possessing plant-like attributes. However, the Hydra was/is an invertebrate zoological organism and lives in fresh water ponds and streams.

    The kicker is that the Hydra has a neural net that surrounds the organism, but no brain.

    From an evolutionary standpoint one could question if complexed plant forms could have evolved into simple organisms with a crude but highly adaptive neural system, such as the hydra.

    If plantlike organisms exist outside of our earth, then the possibility of "ET" plants possessing a neural structure may be a possibility...

    Food for thought?

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Saturday, December 21, 2013  

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