Plants “deciding”. Death and Life.

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Animals facing competition have been shown to optimally choose between different behaviors, including confrontation, avoidance and tolerance, depending on the competitive ability of their opponents relative to their own. For example, if their competitors are bigger or stronger, animals are expected to “give up the fight” and choose avoidance or tolerance over confrontation.

Similar responses are documented for plant as well. Plants can detect the presence of other competing plants through various cues, such as the reduction in light quantity or in the ratio of red to far-red wavelengths (R:FR), which occurs when light is filtered through leaves. Such competition cues are known to induce two types of responses: confrontational vertical elongation, by which plants try to outgrow and shade their neighbors, and shade tolerance, which promotes performance under limited light conditions. Some plants, such as clonal plants, can exhibit avoidance behavior as a third response type: they grow away from their neighbors.

To learn if plants can choose between these responses and match them to the relative size and density of their opponents, researchers used the clonal plant Potentilla reptans in an experimental setup that simulated different light-competition settings. They used vertical stripes of transparent green filters that reduce both light quantity and R:FR and could therefore provide a realistic simulation of light competition.

The results demonstrated that Potentilla reptans can indeed choose its response to competition in an optimal way. (1)

We have named simple interactions “decisions”.

And yet, a decision is not to do what you are programmed to do. A decision is not to just obey to your genes or your… chemistry. True decisions are those made against all genetics or environmental input. True decisions are those made against the result of “laws” or rules.

Imagine a cold universe.

Full of plants. Full of interactions.

A universe dark and empty.

A lifeless universe.

True decisions are the rare moments when rules are rendered unimportant due to the sheer will to decide. True decisions are those made independently of the “interactions”. When you decide to die for what you believe, even though everything and everyone tells you the opposite. When you decide to love someone, even though everything in your brain tells you this is crazy.

Imagine a cold universe.

Full of plants. Full of interactions.

A universe dark and empty.

This universe will never be alive.

Until a person decides to die in it…

Author: skakos

Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been the Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. Spiros has a diploma in Chemical Engineering, an MSc in Advanced Materials' Technology, an MBA in Decisions' Science, a phD in the use of conductive polymers in PCB industry and is still learning. He also worked as a technical advisor and a researcher in the Advanced Materials sector for many years in the past. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs ever that is perfect for educational purposes. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy, as well as the philosophy of the irrational. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. Since our thought is dictated by our assumptions, the only way to free it and know cosmos as it is, is to think irrationally and destroy everything we have built. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans. We should stop thinking in order to think. Credo quia absurdum!

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