Get Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant PDF

By Stefano Mancuso

ISBN-10: 1610916034

ISBN-13: 9781610916035

Are crops clever? Can they clear up difficulties, speak, and navigate their atmosphere? Or are they passive, incapable of self sustaining motion or social habit? Philosophers and scientists have reflected those questions on the grounds that historical Greece, almost always concluding that crops are unthinking and inert: they're too silent, too sedentary -- simply too varied from us. but discoveries during the last fifty years have challenged those rules, laying off new mild at the amazing features and intricate inside lives of plants.

In Brilliant Green, Stefano Mancuso, a number one scientist and founding father of the sector of plant neurobiology, provides a brand new paradigm in our knowing of the vegetal global. Combining a historic viewpoint with the newest in plant technology, Mancuso argues that, as a result of cultural prejudices and human vanity, we proceed to underestimate vegetation. in truth, they method info, sleep, consider, and sign to each other -- displaying that, faraway from passive machines, vegetation are clever and conscious. via a survey of plant functions from sight and contact to conversation, Mancuso demanding situations our inspiration of intelligence, proposing a imaginative and prescient of vegetation that's extra refined than so much imagine.

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

monetary help for the interpretation of this ebook has been supplied through SEPS: Segretariato Europeo in keeping with Le Pubblicazioni Scientifiche.

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Additional info for Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence

Example text

It’s a bit like not keeping all your money in one place, but instead dividing it up and hiding it in several places to minimize the loss in case of theft, or diversifying your investments to distribute risk. In short, a very wise move! A plant’s functions are not related to organs—which means plants breathe without having lungs, nourish themselves without having a mouth or stomach, stand erect without having a skeleton, and as we will soon see, make decisions without having a brain. It’s because of this very special physiology that large portions of a plant can be removed without putting its survival at risk: some plants can have up to 90 or 95 percent of themselves eaten, but then grow back normally from the small surviving nub.

The first organisms chose two divergent paths, which can be summed up thus: plants opted for a stationary lifestyle, animals for a nomadic one. It’s interesting to note in passing that the same choice in favor of a stationary life gave birth to the first great civilizations. Plants faced the necessity of obtaining from the earth, the air, and the sun everything they needed in order to live; animals, on the other hand, needed to feed on other animals or on plants, and for that purpose developed manifold movement capacities (running, flying, swimming, and so on).

Without stating it outright, this shows the belief that plants are not living beings—otherwise representing them would be forbidden! In the Koran, there is actually no explicit ban on representing animals; the prohibition is transmitted through the hadith, the sayings of the prophet Mohammad that form the basis for the interpretation of Islamic law, by virtue of the fact that in Islam there is no God but Allah and everything comes from him, and everything is him—which evidently doesn’t mean plants.

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

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