In the retrospect of the publicity over Behe’s Devolution book, which exposes Darwinian evolution as the devourer rather than the builder of novelty in life systems, the sophisticated arithmetic calculation done by plants provide proof that, at the very least, if this ability evolved, it couldn’t have been by any know evolutionary mechanism today….
“Plants do complex arithmetic calculations to make sure they have enough food to get them through the night, new research published in journal eLife shows. Scientists at Britain’s John Innes Centre said plants adjust their rate of starch consumption to prevent starvation during the night when they are unable to feed themselves with energy from the sun. They can even compensate for an unexpected early night. here
“This is the first concrete example in a fundamental biological process of such a sophisticated arithmetic calculation,” mathematical modeler Martin Howard of John Innes Centre (JIC) said. During the night, mechanisms inside the leaf measure the size of the starch store and estimate the length of time until dawn. Information about time comes from an internal clock, similar to the human body clock.
“The capacity to perform arithmetic calculation is vital for plant growth and productivity,” JIC metabolic biologist Alison Smith said.
However, as some of you who don’t like to give me too much credit may already suspect the sophisticated arithmetic abilities of plants don’t end at this level of math… In the light of the undeniable evidence that the efficiency of the life-sustaining process of photosynthesis depends on quantum mechanics it seem logical that if plants have to do the very sophisticated math to calculate their starch reserves to survive, they also may have to be able to do some quantum mechanics equations to figure the intensity of light source depending on how long the “night” lasts, whether 8, 12 or 16 hours…(Unless of course Darwinists can isolate a watch inside the plant cells designed by the blind watchmaker that can detect photons in superposition in order to ascertain time…
If it is true that plants have the ability to not only sense quantum superposition of photons but also measure time, which it appears to be the case, the plants would have to have 2 sets of computers evolved separately; one to calculate the starch reserves and the second one to calculate the probabilities of quantum superposition or even another way of measuring time based on quantum mechanics…
I guess for Darwinists 2 simultaneous mutations will do to explain that…;-)
Who needs the involvement in pointless arguments with Darwinists over chloroquine resistance to bury Darwinism? The sophisticated arithmetic calculation abilities by plants will do…😉
Now, I would have thought that trajectory was a parabola, not an ellipse.
What if it’s thrown hard enough to get into free fall?
This is all phoodoo has. Ever. It’s just this “hahah you believe in luck”. He’s clearly not here to actaully discuss anything, or try to persuade anyone with arguments or evidence. He’s here to state the fact of his disbelief as succinct as he can manage.
“Haha, you believe that? Lucky errors. Haha, “skeptics”” – All phoodoo’s posts ever.
The Huffingtion Post reference was for people who can’t seem to read not only with understanding but more so with reason…
The Nature link later in the OP was for people who tend not to embarrass themselves by showing their ignorance early on…I hope you know who those people are…
Don’t you hate those people? Those people are the worst!
There is no integrity when it comes to those people…
I can’t help but notice that you failed to make any mention of the speculative assumptions the authors make in this research publication. Any reason you might fail to do that outside of embarrassment for your apparent failure to read the actual published article?
The conclusions the authors reached are all based on models, modeling and a heavy dose of speculation. Have you now changed your position to embrace the prospect that modeling produces valid results with out a dependence on strict empiricism? Joe F. will be please to hear that!
You do realize that the Nature link is nothing more than a news report much akin to what other news reporting agencies reported, e.g., Huffington Post, BBC, and of course the Nature link.
When you read the original article did it not strike you that the results (the actual data they collected not the modeling results) and plots look amazingly like zero order chemical reaction/kinetics? Up to and including the tail end of the plots when substrate levels fall to sufficient levels that the process then switches to apparent first order kinetics.
irony meters world-wide just exploded!
Actually, J-Mac, when you describe your “Nature link later in the OP” as a “Nature paper on the theme” you are in error.
Nature publishes ‘articles’ and (confusingly…) ‘letters’; either of these could be referred to as “papers” in Nature: they are the peer-reviewed primary literature. Nature also includes “News” items (and “News and Views”). “News” items are pieces of journalism, authored by science reporters, as is the case for the link you provided. They are NOT part of the primary literature, and should not be referred to as ‘papers’.
PeterP provided the link to the primary literature, Scialdone et al. Everything else is spin.
I am curious as to how the plants ‘know’ how much starch they have remaining. I suspect ratios of G6P to Glu (as the authors note) and perhaps (pure speculation on my part) the ratio of 1-6 vs 1-4 linkages…
I’m glad you finally admitted it because you had made the same comments in the past and my kids thought you had some major auto-spelling issues…
We hope you are well…
Oh, Okay, sorry…So, you don’t think plants do math to survive? You are not a stupid guy, so tell me what you don’t like about it…
ETA: I actually tested it in our sunroom with my wife’s plants…;-)
I think this was covered, in the various discussions of how useful math can be at describing an impressive variety of real-world phenomena — and how real-world systems need not be doing explicit math calculations even though math can be used to describe their actions. Natural systems “solve” such math challenges as the 3-body (or n-body) problem, and chaotic phenomena, etc. even when people can’t.
I’m gland you have mentioned it as I have spent a lot of time thinkg about it…I like your speculation but something is missing though … We have to speculate but there must be an answer just around the corner…
I think what is missing is the authors lack of characterization of the starch degradation enzymes and their kinetics. It appears that according to the data the authors present that the enzymes are not following first order kinetics but rather appear to be inherently rate limited and not dependent on substrate concentration, e.g., rubisco. It isn’t like zero order kinetic processes are rare in living organisms, e.g., ethanol clearance once concentrations saturate ADH ( somewhere around 1mM)
Also there is no indiction that the authors took into account potential recruitment of stored starch versus transient starch.
As Joe Rogan has demonstrated, plants are conscious. Hence they can collapse the wave function.
I am sure that must have something to do with it.
Just rearranging the furniture in my head. Perhaps chemistry is the collapse of the wave function. A falling downhill.
You as well? My bike was either stolen by badgers or a rock. That, to at least 3
CreationistsDesign Proponentsists round here, is How To Be Parsimonious. In fact, scratch the badgers, it was the rock – that’s even more parsimonious. Heh and, indeed, heh.
I have your bike. Or to be truthful, my rock has your bike. It is having a wonderful time doing wheelies around the back yard. Rocks are like that. The badgers may have played some role in the matter, but they aren’t saying nothing.
It was either stolen or it wasn’t. Or something else.
How did he demonstrated exactly that plants are conscious? How do you know you are conscious?
Truly, words are his power …
So don’t you want to play Lucky Accident or God? I’ve laid out nibbles and everything.
I’ve realised on reflection that, following guidance from Mung, phoodoo and J-Mac, it is more parsimonious to assume a single badger than several.
Mathematics is an abstraction. May as well claim plants are capable of abstraction. IOW, that plants are intelligent.
Is quantum superposition an abstraction?
ETA: How’s the naming names going at PS? 😉
Leaving out air resistance and gravitational attraction from bodies other than the Earth, and modelling Earth as a perfect sphere if uniform density, it is an ellipse, as are all orbits of satellites. The rock is just a satellite which starts out with too small a velocity, and its ellipsoidal orbit intersects the surface of the earth. Of course it is very close to being a parabola, which would be the trajectory if Earth was infinitely larger than the rock.
I had never really thought about that, but you are absolutely correct. Modeling the cat’s trajectory as a parabola is merely the approximation you get when you ignore the variation in gravity. One can demonstrate that the approximation is fit-for-purpose, and the math is more tractable.. for most problems.
Humm, there’s a lesson there, somewhere…
Its all lucky accidents to you, so what is there to play?
Oh, wait, you get the magic third way you can’t explain. That’s not a fair game!
It’s not about me. You think it’s Lucky Accident or God, not me, so I was interested to see how you would apply that logic to my little list. Are you saying it’s all God?
Fancy a game of chicken instead?
Yes. Living systems have an inner harmony in which the consistency of the whole is maintained while the parts are in a constant state of flux. The plant in reality is never isolated from its environment. In fact the plant that we perceive in space is an abstraction which is dependent on our senses. The real plant is a being in time, and we come closer to this reality when, as Goethe did, we perceive it as a process of imagination. This imagination is not to be thought of as fantasy, but as what Goethe termed “exact sensory imagination”. It takes a real effort in concentrated thinking to experience the plant in this way. The plant must be studied in all stages throughout its development and at all levels of focus.
Consciousness is necessity in making decisions, so no, individual plants cannot be said to make decisions.
Plasticity has a genetic basis in the same way that these conversations have a basis in the English alphabet. Plasticity is a feature of the way that genes are organised. Genes are just one part of this coordinated activity. The meaning of our sentences does not have its basis in the alphabet and the meaningful, contextual expression of the life of a plant does not have its basis in individual genes.
Did plants evolve simple math abilities first?
It either evolved or it didn’t.
Or something else.
Plants are incapable of performing pure mathematics. But there does seem to be practical mathematics going on within plants. If computers are said to perform mathematical calculations why not plants? Do these operations have to be conscious?
Plants of necessity follow the laws of their nature, they cannot deviate from this. It would be unheard of to think of a daffodil bulb saying, “I know it’s time to rise up out of this bed but I’m too comfortable as I am so I’ll just lie here sleeping, maybe I’ll wake up and reach out for the sun next year.”
We humans have much more freedom in that regard. We are not obliged to follow the course of heavens in the same way. And we can perform pure mathematics just for the fun of it. But at all times there are processes going on within us that are governed by mathematical regularity and we have no conscious control over them. So in the way that our bodies maintain such a spacial and temporal balance we are much like plants. I am happy to call this unconscious, practical mathematics.
But whatever name we give to these processes they are still remarkable coordinated activities worthy of our admiration.
Yeah, just like evolutionists: 1+1=3 because of omnipotence of natural selection… 😉
Or any number of somethings else.
No,first they learned up from down.
By Jove! It’s amazing how the planets integrate the complex process of their orbits in real time.
To the question actually being considered there, the two options were ‘Lucky Accidents or God?’, according to phoodoo. It wasn’t about whether there’s any sense in which ‘plants do maths’. Yet, you chose to argue with me, not phoodoo. It’s quite fascinating. You all know it’s ‘not evolution’, but you can’t agree on what ‘it’ is. Phoodoo says God, you say something New-Agey, J-mac says ‘quantum’, and you all nod your heads in enthusiastic agreement before turning back to what it’s not.
Why not rocks? Why not air? After all, gas molecules are doing statistical mechanics all the time. How else do they make sure they aren’t all in the same place at once?
i disagree with anyone who argues that we have only two choices, Lucky accidents or God.
This would be a hangover from thinking that is borrowed from physics where it is acceptable to break things down to simple linear cause and effect.
But life is not like that, it persists because of non-linear processes.
So lucky accidents are something that we observe. For instance some plants distribute their seeds in the wind. The seeds that land in places where they can thrive do so by luck. But the species survives because the numbers of seeds produced ensures that some will go on to reach maturity. Luck is accounted for in the process.
IMO postulating God is not an explanation For those who don’t believe in God, He is obviously excluded from being involved. For those who do believe in God, how He achieves his aims is still a question in need of answers. After all these are the type of questions that prompted scientific enquiry in the first place. I don’t see any evidence where belief in God has stifled scientific enquiry.
But when it is concluded that the diversity of nature is pure solely to molecules being shuffled and prospering through the luck of the draw, then there is no need to ask any further questions. Until, that is, complex coordinated processes are discovered which makes that conclusion suspect.
What the article presents, mostly based on hypotheses about how different arithmetic operations could be performed by plants, is directly “mechanical.” The “abstractions” are molecular interactions. The authors support their hypotheses about the molecules involved and their interactions by presenting data on what is no longer working in different mutants, and building models to account to the behaviour of such mutants.
I don’t mind calling those molecular interactions “abstractions” and “abstract operations.” Whether to therefore conclude that plants are intelligent I’m not sure.
In other news, oxygen has the ability to calculate the number of hydrogen atoms needed to fill its outer valence shell of electrons. It appears oxygen is just as smart as plants.
Good point. I tried to discuss these issues previously here in the thread “polarity-in-nature”.
In Euclidean geometry figures such as ellipses and parabolas are frozen into static forms which can then be measured. This is an appropriate way of proceeding in physics. Projective geometry, of which Euclidean geometry is a limited part, sees both of these forms as individual expressions of the conic which is more primal. Projective geometry is a more appropriate method of studying the living world. A plant develops within the polarity of the centric material building forces and the peripheral form building forces as explained in the quote below.
From “The Plant Between Sun and Earth” by George Adams and Olive Whicher:
IMO instead of speculating about who or what is responsible for calculating the way the plant gains and uses its substances we should be looking at how the plant develops, its expansions and contractions, spherical shapess and invaginations, radial, planar and spiral formations.
Where did I say its “not evolution”?
You don’t buy the theory of evolution. Your notions may be ‘evolutionary’, but you know damn well that what you mean by evolution is not the same as that body of theory taught in biology classes the world over. You’re like Joe G, with his perpetual refrain ‘ID is not anti evolution’. Word games. The stock in trade of the IDist.