Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant by Stefano Mancuso

By Stefano Mancuso

Are crops clever? Can they remedy difficulties, speak, and navigate their atmosphere? Or are they passive, incapable of self sufficient motion or social habit? Philosophers and scientists have contemplated those questions on the grounds that old Greece, normally concluding that vegetation are unthinking and inert: they're too silent, too sedentary -- simply too diversified from us. but discoveries during the last fifty years have challenged those principles, laying off new mild at the amazing functions and complicated inside lives of plants.

In Brilliant Green, Stefano Mancuso, a number one scientist and founding father of the sphere of plant neurobiology, offers a brand new paradigm in our knowing of the vegetal global. Combining a old standpoint with the most recent in plant technology, Mancuso argues that, because of cultural prejudices and human vanity, we proceed to underestimate crops. in reality, they strategy info, sleep, consider, and sign to each other -- exhibiting that, faraway from passive machines, crops are clever and acutely aware. via a survey of plant features from sight and contact to communique, Mancuso demanding situations our thought of intelligence, proposing a imaginative and prescient of plants that's extra refined than so much imagine.

crops have a lot to educate us, from community development to thoughts in robotics and man-made fabrics -- yet provided that we comprehend extra approximately how they dwell. half botany lesson, half manifesto, Brilliant Green is a fascinating and passionate exam of the internal workings of the plant kingdom.

monetary aid for the interpretation of this e-book has been supplied by way of SEPS: Segretariato Europeo in line with Le Pubblicazioni Scientifiche.

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Extra resources for Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence

Sample text

It makes no difference that we know they grow and therefore move; to us they’re motionless because their movements escape our sight, and thus our deep understanding. But what’s the significance of our denial? In the hypertechnological society we live in, there are many things of which we have no direct (sensory) knowledge, but whose properties we don’t doubt. Few people know how a television works, or a phone or a computer, but we wouldn’t think of belittling their technical characteristics merely because we have no direct sensory experience of the ways they work.

His duties are fulfilled. And what does Noah do next? He plants a vineyard. But where does the original vine come from, if it isn’t mentioned elsewhere in the story? Noah brought it with him before the Flood, aware of its usefulness, though not that it was a living being. In this way, almost without the reader’s realizing it, the idea that plants are not living creatures comes through the story in Holy Scripture. In Genesis, two plants, the olive and the grape vine, are associated with the value of rebirth and of life, though the vital quality of the plant world in general goes unrecognized.

It’s a bit like a trompe l’oeil or an optical illusion, but on a temporal scale. For example, we know very well that a plant moves to capture light, to distance itself from danger, and to seek support (in the case of the climbing plants). For decades, modern techniques of photography and film have enabled us to reconstruct plant movement, which Darwin had already discussed and validated. Today a quick Internet search will bring you to a video showing a flower opening or a shoot growing. ” The sight of these movies astounds us, it speaks to the existence of movements in plants, but it doesn’t budge our unshakable conviction, partly instinctive, that these creatures are closer to the mineral world than to animal life.

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