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Re: The sixth sense

>I have heard of experiments done in India with Sitar music . The plants
>really grew well with that sort of laid back music .
	Although I would like to believe in all sorts of levels of
understanding on the part of plants (anyone familiar with the Findhorn
Garden community?!), the bottom line regarding all the experiments that
I've heard about, from playing music to butchering plants and taking
readings on the plants right next to them, none of the experiments are
repeatable with any success, leading to questioning of their reliability.

Another point to make is that we are so inclined to anthropomorphize (sp?)
about plants, as well as to overinterpret or to slant the interpretation in
"favor" of our preconceived interpretations - the most recent experimenting
I heard about involved  someone setting up an audible response based on
ethylene production, saying that ethylene production increased with plant
stress or something to that effect. Now, the audible response sounded very
much like screaming in agony kind of sound. If, as another pointed out on
another list serve, the audible response had been more along the lines of
"yes, Yes, oh yes Yes YES" our interpretation of the plant's "suffering"
might be entirely different.

Natural selection and all has been covered very nicely by others, so
there's no need for me to reiterate thopse very valid points. The only
aspect perhaps not strongly enough stated is how random the mutations or
changes are - and then, with time, lots of time,natural selection (or
unnatural selection, in the case of the helmeted crabs) goes for that which
works best. The others lose out, die off, leaving only those plants, or any
other organisms which "know their surroundings best" surviving to be
effectively pollinated, not eaten by predators, dispersing their seed well,
propagating best vegetatively or asexually, or whatever.


Jonathan Ertelt
Greenhouse Manager
Vanderbilt University Biology Department
Box 1812, Sta. B
Nashville, TN  37235
(615) 322-4054

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