Each stoma integrate their local state with the current atmospheric conditions and the state of their neighbors, behaving as the cells of a cellular automaton .
Plant leaves literally compute.
Somebody mentions it every single time a headline ends in a question mark, and it's not witty, clever, or funny any more. It's just annoying at this point. That style of headline isn't going away, and at this point everybody knows about "Betteridge's Law".
And reading the 'new' feed is even more discouraging. I can't deal with the constant flood of garbage that obviously wasn't interesting or relevant, just to find a few tiny morsels.
Even if your flag doesn't kill the story, the conversation about why you flagged it will be valuable --- at the very least, more valuable than the off-topic story.
If you choose to define thoughts as stimuli-response, then you're classifying our entire system of instinctive responses as thoughts, which is practically a brain bypass. (The literal knee-jerk reaction.)
Sure, it can be, if you're willing to admit that computers respond to stimuli.
Journalists, please stop giving people ammo for their stupid guns.
BUT, as a biologist, I often find it amusing that people discount plants completely. It's easy to forget that they are alive too. Fundamentally, they aren't so different from you or a turtle or a fruit fly. Different cellular structure, sure. Not easily recognizable "consciousness", absolutely. Non-motile, check.
However, plants are very much alive. They react to stimuli, survive in hostile environments, procreate. They are more alien to our sensibilities, but they are arguably not very much different in the grand scale of things.
Edit: came along this interesting link about the measure of sentience: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentience_quotient
A central nervous system is defined as "the complex of nerve tissues that controls the activities of the body". Plants don't have "proper" animal nerve tissues, but they do have a complex system that controls activities of the plant, by sending mRNA/proteins through the phloem to the parts of the plant that need regulation (a lot of it is local regulation but psssst, this kills the trolling)
Nice link! Never heard of that before. But if (non-conscious) IBM Watson has a quotient of +12, and humans have one of +13, what good is it for?
On the other hand, I find it annoying that a vegetarian can draw the line in the sand and decide what is morally correct for everyone to believe.
I'm sure there are vegans judging you for eating (milk, eggs etc. whatever you do eat), and there are "vegetarians" that eat seafood who think you are too extreme, and there are probably people who only eat plants that died of natural causes who think all those groups are terrible and should have more self control over their diet.
The article was pretty interesting and novel to me and if you get a few more dumb questions from people, I don't think it is the end of the world.
Pretty much everyone does that. People don't notice so much when other people are drawing the same lines as them.
Only some vegetarians do that, and it's wrong to imply that it's a defining feature of the demographic. I have vegetarian friends that cook me meat when I visit for dinner, despite me asking not to get special treatment. Other vegetarians just don't like the taste of meat, nothing to do with moral or health attitudes.
Unless the vegetarian is being vocal about the moral issue, it's pretty impolite to bring up the topic apropos of nothing - it's almost always just the questioner trying to score some sort of point.
That said, I eat vegetarian most of the time because the alternative is to eat scary meat, which I'm not going to do. It's insensitive to the animal and a serious risk for me. Accordingly, I haven't eaten fast food in over a decade.
I'm also going to Spain next month and have every intention of gorging myself on delicious cured pork products every chance I get.
Not that I've heard of. I have heard of fruititarians, who only eat the parts of plants the plants produce specifically to be eaten. (It's more complex than that, in fact, but I won't go into it all here.)
Only a really disingenuous person would claim it's kinder to eat meat. There's arguments in favor of eating meat (there's some book called "The Mindful Carnivore" which goes a bit deeper than "meat bad veg good"), but ... that's way off topic.
Nobody with half a brain thinks plants scream when you eat them, and that's not what the article is saying.
When they ask what a Broccoli Fish is, I explain patiently that there's no such thing.
Do you kill invasive insects? Frankly, a shrimp or a lobster is pretty much on a level with a cockroach, when you get down to neural complexity and everything relevant to moral vegetarianism, as opposed to vegetarianism for health reasons.
Bony fish are not much more complex.
Things like sea cucumber don't even have brains: They have nerves, but they lack any centralized structure for them to converge on. Same with jellyfish.
So I suppose my point is that it isn't a dumb question, at least if you're a vegetarian for moral reasons related to killing a living being with emotions.
If nature wrote this kinda code, Evolution is like debugging!
But this is really really oversimplified ...
If you believe that a Turing test is sufficient to judge an AI as "intelligent" then in the same way you'd have to conclude that the behavior is the measure, which seems to disallow certain assumptions regarding intent.
Then again, given the recent research into how the gut flora can affect all manner of processes in humans, it certainly looks like Me(tm) is a product of a whole host of complex systems whose interactions display an emergent "intentional" system.
If you generate a 200 hz signal around the root systems of cabbage, the roots will grow toward the source. The plants can generate that signal as well, so yes, certain plants communicate with a very rudimentary audio communication system.
Do plants think? It depends on your definition, but yes, Plants think, computers think, humans think. A better word might be "plants calculate the best course of action to achieve a goal just like humans do.".
No. Obviously not. We obviously manipulate our environment in complex ways.
> "plants calculate the best course of action to achieve a goal just like humans do.".
If you truly believed this you could never justify eating them.