For the longest time, we have treated plants as passive living things, with no special role in nature except as a source of our basic needs. With the development of metal and concrete building materials and genetically modified organisms, plants have become even more “useless” for human beings. The rapid conversation of forests for agricultural, commercial, and residential use is a testament of this mindset.
In 2015, plant neurobiologists Stefano Mancuso and Alessadra Viola published a book entitled Brilliant Green: the Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence. In it, they discuss the findings of the decade-long research of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology which shows that plants are not as passive as we think they are. In fact, for Mancuso and his colleagues, plants exhibit a unique kind of intelligence, an intelligence so different from ours. Through plants’ capacity to solve problems, they have enabled biodiversity, and life in this planet. If we wished to flourish into the future, we must understand plant behavior and learn to interact appropriately with them.
Implications for AI
If there is any living thing that has suffered the most from the materialism, it is plants. Leaves and branches have been removed in order to discover its material composition. Many plant species have been lost because humans thought they were not useful for survival. They have been engineered, with their very DNA changed to fit the needs of humans.
Mancuso and Viola’s research are important because it shows us how every living being on this planet is imbued with intelligence, not just for its own survival, but in support of the entire ecosystem for life [see article entitled To Sustain Life, We Must Build Communities to understand the importance of cooperation in nature]. As humans, we have imposed our own definition of intelligence, hence failing to appreciate the unique capacities of plants, animals, and nature in general. The same mindset that has lead us to exploit nature and disregard the implications of our actions to future societies, has led us into a pursuit for a “better” human – one whose body cannot be affected by disease, whose memory is perfect, whose capacity is limitless.
As materialism peaks and the quest for AI intensifies, we will see more of humans becoming objectified – a possibility that can have worse repercussions than racism. This is fueled by the widespread denial of what true science is telling us – that the human body has a capacity for self healing [Joe Dispenza: You Can Cure Yourself Through Your Thoughts], that our memory and soul is eternal [Quantum Physics and the Immortality of the Human Spirit] , and that death is no more than a transition from one reality to the next [Human Life and Its Connection to All of the Universe’s Creation].
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