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

By Stefano Mancuso

ISBN-10: 1610916034

ISBN-13: 9781610916035

Are crops clever? Can they resolve difficulties, converse, and navigate their atmosphere? Or are they passive, incapable of self sustaining motion or social habit? Philosophers and scientists have contemplated those questions considering the fact that historic Greece, as a rule concluding that crops are unthinking and inert: they're too silent, too sedentary -- simply too assorted from us. but discoveries during the last fifty years have challenged those rules, laying off new gentle at the outstanding features and complicated 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 realizing of the vegetal global. Combining a ancient point of view with the most recent in plant technology, Mancuso argues that, because of cultural prejudices and human conceitedness, we proceed to underestimate vegetation. in reality, they procedure details, sleep, have in mind, and sign to each other -- exhibiting that, faraway from passive machines, crops are clever and conscious. via a survey of plant services from sight and contact to communique, Mancuso demanding situations our suggestion of intelligence, featuring a imaginative and prescient of flora that's extra refined than such a lot imagine.

crops have a lot to coach us, from community construction to options in robotics and man-made fabrics -- yet provided that we comprehend extra approximately how they stay. half botany lesson, half manifesto, Brilliant Green is an interesting and passionate exam of the internal workings of the plant kingdom.

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

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

Example text

The relationship between humans and plants is totally ambivalent. For example, the same Judaism which is based on the Old Testament forbids the gratuitous destruction of trees and celebrates the new year of trees (Tu Bishvat). The ambivalence comes from the fact that on the one hand we humans are intimately aware that we can’t exist without plants, and on the other hand we’re unwilling to recognize the role they play on the planet. It’s true that not all religions have the same relationship to the plant world.

Naturally, in order to live, the euglena needs energy, too. Normally, it supplies its energy needs through photosynthesis, like all plants, but if light is scarce, it doesn’t give up: it transforms itself into a predator and behaves like an animal. It can locate food and move to reach it—yes, it’s a plant, but it moves! This microscopic alga, in fact, swims with the aid of very thin flagella. Obviously, both the paramecium and the euglena can reproduce. If you watch them moving in the water, there don’t seem to be many differences between them.

What else? At most, we could add some aesthetic qualities and appreciations of its usefulness. We certainly wouldn’t include attributes referring to its “social dimension,” whereas in the case of the cat we’ve said that it is sociable (though “individualistic” would also describe a cat’s way of relating to its environment). We wouldn’t attribute any sort of intelligence to a plant—whereas in the cat we recognize it easily—nor would it occur to us to call an oak affectionate! And yet something’s off about this.

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

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