Plants Can Communicate And Respond To Touch. So Are They Intelligent?

"In the 1960s and '70s, a series of questionable experiments claimed to prove that plants could behave like humans, that they had feelings, responded to music and could even take a polygraph test.

Though most of those claims have since been debunked, climate journalist Zoë Schlanger says a new wave of research suggests that plants are indeed "intelligent" in complex ways that challenge our understanding of agency and consciousness.

"Agency is this effect of having ... an active stake in the outcome of your life," Schlanger says. "And when I was looking at plants and speaking to botanists, it became very clear to me that plants have this."

In her new book, The Light Eaters: How the Unseen World of Plant Intelligence Offers a New Understanding of Life on Earth, Schlanger, a staff reporter at The Atlantic, writes about how plants use information from the environment, and from the past, to make "choices" for the future."

Tonya Mosley reports for NPR May 6, 2024.

Source: NPR, 05/10/2024