Share on twitter Twitter How far does consciousness extend? We recognize the sentience of humans and animals, but what if plants are conscious, too? According to research that began to emerge a few decades ago, plants may have emotions, and even be able to sense our thoughts. The scientific evidence that supports this possibility began in the most unlikely way.
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Truth or Lie? Are plants capable of emotions? Are they capable of extrasensory perception? Most of us assume that no, plants are unfeeling and certainly not psychic. One man disagreed. Cleve Backster claimed that his experiments show evidence that plants not only respond to physical and chemical stimuli, but that they are capable of knowing the emotions and thoughts of entities around them.
Though no other scientists have been able to get the results Backster did, the idea remains intriguing to popular culture. Who is Cleve Backster? When telling a lie, it is common for the autonomic nervous system to go into the fight-or-flight mode.
The machine uses the data gathered to calculate statistical data; the calculated data is converted into graph tracings. One day, when watering the Dracaena plant in his office, an alternative use of the polygraph came to mind. Backster was curious to see if the galvanic skin response electrodes could monitor the movement of water from roots to leaves. Backster, based on his current knowledge, expected a decrease in resistance, indicated by an upward line in the polygraph. The expected change did not occur.
After about a minute into the experiment, the plant began exhibiting polygraph tracings resembling those of a human. Experimental psychologist Dr. Gustav Theodor Fechner in the mid s and biophysicist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose in the early s, postulated that, despite a lack of a brain-like structure, plants have a rudimentary nervous system which enables emotion-style responses.
These results and other paranormal findings of experimenters since are common subjects of heated debate. The mainstream scientific community dismisses the idea of plant emotionality. However, Cleve Backster did not doubt the possible existence of paranormal plant emotionality. Under this principle, Backster continued his research into the emotionality of plants. Backster again attached a galvanic skin response electrode to the leaf a Dracaena plant.
Then he chose an adjacent leaf, and dipped it into a cup of hot coffee. There were no significant changes in the polygraph tracings. Baffled, and while still running the experiment, Backster began thinking up other ideas that might illicit a response.
He thought about burning the adjacent leaf with a lit match. As stated by Backster, at that moment the tracings of the polygraph had significant spikes.
Truth or Lie? Are plants capable of emotions? Are they capable of extrasensory perception? Most of us assume that no, plants are unfeeling and certainly not psychic.
The Backster Effect: Are Plants Conscious?
Written and illustrated by Vikki Zhang Front: In the s Cleve Backster, an interrogation specialist with the CIA, conducted research that led him to believe that plants can communicate with other lifeforms. White Rose Millennium Press. They all lived alone, and all want something big from this metropolis. She was such a gorgeous tomato, with smooth shinny skin of the most ardent red you can imagine in the world, and a luxuriant green crown of hair on top. The sound of her steps walking made a delightful melody. The best time for her is walking down the street, showered with compliments from every corner of the town. The stage she belonged on should have been a real megalopolis like New Pot City.