Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things

 You’re not really all that different from a plant.

Excerpted from the article “Plants Feel Pain and Might Even See:  It’s time to retire the hierarchical classification of living things” by Peter Wohlleben in Nautilis:

After our first cup of coffee, we were soon deep into our main topic: trees and plants in general. Coccia argued that our biological classifications are not grounded in science. They are strongly influenced by theology and are dominated by two ideas: the supremacy of the human race and the world as a place humans must bend to their will. And then there is our centuries-old compulsion to categorize everything. When you combine these concepts, you get a ranking system that puts humankind at the top, animals in the middle, and plants way down at the bottom.

I listened, fascinated by what he had to say. Here was a man of my own heart. I would prefer it, I told Coccia, if science categorized species one beside the other. That would still allow an order, a system of sorting, without imposing any kind of a hierarchy. He immediately agreed. He reiterated his belief that the ordering system we have today is not scientific but rather influenced by cultural, historical, and religious values. For Coccia, the hard boundary between the plant and animal world does not exist. He believes plants can experience sensations and even reflect on them. And he is not the only one who thinks this.

You can read the whole article HERE.  It’s fascinating.

2 Comments

  1. Rocks, too

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  2. i so agree! will read the whole article!

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